Peripheral elevation of TNF-alpha leads to early synaptic abnormalities in the mouse somatosensory cortex in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis
Sensory abnormalities such as numbness and paresthesias are often the earliest symptoms in neuroinflammatory diseases including multiple sclerosis. The increased production of various cytokines occurs in the early stages of neuroinflammation and could have detrimental effects on the central nervous system, thereby contributing to sensory and cognitive deficits. However, it remains unknown whether and when elevation of cytokines causes changes in brain structure and function under inflammatory conditions. To address this question, we used a mouse model for experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) to examine the effect of inflammation and cytokine elevation on synaptic connections in the primary somatosensory cortex. Using in vivo two-photon microscopy, we found that the elimination and formation rates of dendritic spines and axonal boutons increased within 7 d of EAE induction-several days before the onset of paralysis-and continued to rise during the course of the disease. This synaptic instability occurred before T-cell infiltration and microglial activation in the central nervous system and was in conjunction with peripheral, but not central, production of TNF-alpha. Peripheral administration of a soluble TNF inhibitor prevented abnormal turnover of dendritic spines and axonal boutons in presymptomatic EAE mice. These findings indicate that peripheral production of TNF-alpha is a key mediator of synaptic instability in the primary somatosensory cortex and may contribute to sensory and cognitive deficits seen in autoimmune diseases.
Long-lasting behavioral effects in neonatal mice with multiple exposures to ketamine-xylazine anesthesia
Anesthetic agents are often administered in the neonatal period, a time of rapid brain development and synaptogenesis. Mounting evidence suggests that anesthetics can disrupt neurocognitive development, particularly in cases of multiple or prolonged anesthetic exposure. Previous studies have shown that administering multiple doses of ketamine-xylazine (KX) anesthesia to neonatal mice can induce long-term changes to synaptic plasticity in the cortex, but the effect on neurocognitive function remains unclear. In this study, we exposed neonatal mice to single dose and multiple doses of KX anesthesia in the neonatal period (postnatal days 7, 9, 11), and conducted a series of behavioral tests in young adulthood (1month of age). Mice receiving multiple doses of KX anesthesia showed deficits in novel object recognition, sociability, preference for social novelty and contextual fear response, but no effect on auditory-cued fear response. Single dose of KX anesthesia had no effect on these behaviors except for contextual fear response. We also observed that multiple exposures to KX anesthesia were associated with decreased CaMKII phosphorylation, which is known to play a role in synapse development and long-term potentiation, likely contributing to learning impairment.