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Brain Behav Immun. 2015 May;46:249-60. doi: 10.1016/j.bbi.2015.02.016. Epub 2015 Feb 26.

Loss of T cells influences sex differences in behavior and brain structure.

Author information

1
Neurosci. Grad Program, McMaster Univ., Hamilton, ON, Canada.
2
Mouse Imaging Ctr., Hosp. for Sick Children, Toronto, ON, Canada.
3
Psychiatry & Behavioural Neurosciences, McMaster Univ., Hamilton, ON, Canada.
4
Mouse Imaging Ctr., Hosp. for Sick Children, Toronto, ON, Canada; Department of Medical Biophysics, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.
5
Psychiatry & Behavioural Neurosciences, McMaster Univ., Hamilton, ON, Canada; Brain-Body Institute, St. Joseph's Healthcare, Hamilton, ON, Canada. Electronic address: jfoster@mcmaster.ca.

Abstract

Clinical and animal studies demonstrate that immune-brain communication influences behavior and brain function. Mice lacking T cell receptor β and δ chains were tested in the elevated plus maze, open field, and light-dark test and showed reduced anxiety-like behavior compared to wild type. Interestingly sex differences were observed in the behavioural phenotype of TCRβ-/-δ- mice. Specifically, female TCRβ-/-δ- mice spent more time in the light chamber compared to wild type females, whereas male TCRβ-/-δ- spent more time in the center of the open field compared to wild type males. In addition, TCRβ-/-δ- mice did not show sex differences in activity-related behaviors observed in WT mice. Ex vivo brain imaging (7 Tesla MRI) revealed volume changes in hippocampus, hypothalamus, amygdala, periaqueductal gray, and dorsal raphe and other brain regions between wild type and T cell receptor knockout mice. There was also a loss of sexual dimorphism in brain volume in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, normally the most sexually dimorphic region in the brain, in immune compromised mice. These data demonstrate the presence of T cells is important in the development of sex differences in CNS circuitry and behavior.

KEYWORDS:

Brain structure; Elevated plus maze; Light/dark; MRI; Open field; Sex difference

PMID:
25725160
DOI:
10.1016/j.bbi.2015.02.016
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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