Finnell et al LC-NE neuroinflammation manuscript.docx
Exposure to psychosocial stress is known to precipitate the emergence of stress related psychiatric disorders such as depression and anxiety. While mechanisms by which this occurs remain largely unclear, recent evidence points towards a causative role for inflammation. Neurotransmitters, such as norepinephrine (NE) are capable of regulating expression of proinflammatory cytokines and thus may contribute to the emergence of stress-related disorders. The locus coeruleus (LC) is the major source of norepinephrine (NE) to the brain and therefore the current study utilized N-(2-chloroethyl)-N-ethyl-2-bromobenzylamine (DSP-4), an LC selective noradrenergic neurotoxin, to determine the discrete involvement of the LC-NE system in social defeat-induced inflammation in LC projection regions including the central amygdala (CeA), dorsal raphe (DR) and plasma. In the current study, rats were exposed to brief social defeat or control manipulations on 5 consecutive days. To determine whether a history of social defeat enhanced or “primed” the inflammatory response to a subsequent defeat exposure, all rats regardless of stress history were exposed to an acute social defeat challenge immediately prior to tissue collection. As anticipated, prior history of social defeat primed inflammatory responses in the plasma and CeA while neuroinflammation in the DR was markedly reduced. Notably, DSP-4 treatment suppressed stress-induced circulating inflammatory cytokines independent of prior stress history. In contrast, neuroinflammation in the CeA and DR were greatly augmented selectively in DSP-4 treated rats with a history of social defeat. Together these data highlight the dichotomous nature of NE in stress-induced inflammatory priming in the periphery and the brain and directly implicate the LC-NE system in these processes.