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Front Neuroendocrinol. 2009 Jan;30(1):30-45. doi: 10.1016/j.yfrne.2008.10.001. Epub 2008 Nov 5.

Interleukin-1 (IL-1): a central regulator of stress responses.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Mount Scopus, Jerusalem, Israel.

Abstract

Ample evidence demonstrates that the pro-inflammatory cytokine interleukin-1 (IL-1), produced following exposure to immunological and psychological challenges, plays an important role in the neuroendocrine and behavioral stress responses. Specifically, production of brain IL-1 is an important link in stress-induced activation of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis and secretion of glucocorticoids, which mediate the effects of stress on memory functioning and neural plasticity, exerting beneficial effects at low levels and detrimental effects at high levels. Furthermore, IL-1 signaling and the resultant glucocorticoid secretion mediate the development of depressive symptoms associated with exposure to acute and chronic stressors, at least partly via suppression of hippocampal neurogenesis. These findings indicate that whereas under some physiological conditions low levels of IL-1 promote the adaptive stress responses necessary for efficient coping, under severe and chronic stress conditions blockade of IL-1 signaling can be used as a preventive and therapeutic procedure for alleviating stress-associated neuropathology and psychopathology.

PMID:
19017533
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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