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Inflammation Causes Mood Changes Through Alterations in Subgenual Cingulate Activity and Mesolimbic Connectivity

Harrison, NA; Brydon, L; Walker, C; Gray, MA; Steptoe, A; Critchley, HD; (2009) Inflammation Causes Mood Changes Through Alterations in Subgenual Cingulate Activity and Mesolimbic Connectivity. Biological Psychiatry , 66 (5) 407 - 414. 10.1016/j.biopsych.2009.03.015. Green open access

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Abstract

Background: Inflammatory cytokines are implicated in the pathophysiology of depression. In rodents, systemically administered inflammatory cytokines induce depression-like behavior. Similarly in humans, therapeutic interferon-a induces clinical depression in a third of patients. Conversely, patients with depression also show elevated pro-inflammatory cytokines.Objectives: To determine the neural mechanisms underlying inflammation-associated mood change and modulatory effects on circuits involved in mood homeostasis and affective processing.Methods: In a double-blind, randomized crossover study, 16 healthy male volunteers received typhoid vaccination or saline (placebo) injection in two experimental sessions. Mood questionnaires were completed at baseline and at 2 and 3 hours. Two hours after injection, participants performed an implicit emotional face perception task during functional magnetic resonance imaging. Analyses focused on neurobiological correlates of inflammation-associated mood change and affective processing within regions responsive to emotional expressions and implicated in the etiology of depression.Results: Typhoid but not placebo injection produced an inflammatory response indexed by increased circulating interleukin-6 and significant mood reduction at 3 hours. Inflammation-associated mood deterioration correlated with enhanced activity within subgenual anterior cingulate cortex (sACC) (a region implicated in the etiology of depression) during emotional face processing. Furthermore, inflammation-associated mood change reduced connectivity of sACC to amygdala, medial prefrontal cortex, nucleus accumbens, and superior temporal sulcus, which was modulated by peripheral interleukin-6.Conclusions: Inflammation-associated mood deterioration is reflected in changes in sACC activity and functional connectivity during evoked responses to emotional stimuli. Peripheral cytokines modulate this mood-dependent sACC connectivity, suggesting a common pathophysiological basis for major depressive disorder and sickness-associated mood change and depression.

Type: Article
Title: Inflammation Causes Mood Changes Through Alterations in Subgenual Cingulate Activity and Mesolimbic Connectivity
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.biopsych.2009.03.015
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biopsych.2009.03.015
Language: English
Additional information: This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-No Derivative Works License (CC BY-NC-ND), which permits non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Keywords: Cytokines, depression, fMRI, mood, peripheral inflammation, subgenual cingulate, functional magnetic-resonance, to-brain communication, major depression, interferon-alpha, negative mood, antidepressant treatment, amygdala response, faces, stimulation, behavior
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > Institute of Epidemiology and Health > Behavioural Science and Health
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/188325
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