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      Increased serum peripheral C-reactive protein is associated with reduced brain barriers permeability of TSPO radioligands in healthy volunteers and depressed patients: implications for inflammation and depression

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          Abstract

          The relationship between peripheral and central immunity and how these ultimately may cause depressed behaviour has been the focus of a number of imaging studies conducted with Positron Emission Tomography (PET). These studies aimed at testing the immune-mediated model of depression that proposes a direct effect of peripheral cytokines and immune cells on the brain to elicit a neuroinflammatory response via a leaky blood-brain barrier and ultimately depressive behaviour. However, studies conducted so far using PET radioligands targeting the neuroinflammatory marker 18 kDa translocator protein (TSPO) in patient cohorts with depression have demonstrated mild inflammatory brain status but no correlation between central and peripheral immunity. To gain a better insight into the relationship between heightened peripheral immunity and neuroinflammation, we estimated blood-to-brain and blood-to-CSF perfusion rates for two TSPO radiotracers collected in two separate studies, one large cross-sectional study of neuroinflammation in normal and depressed cohorts (N = 51 patients and N = 25 controls) and a second study where peripheral inflammation in N = 7 healthy controls was induced via subcutaneous injection of interferon (IFN)-α. In both studies we observed a consistent negative association between peripheral inflammation, measured with c-reactive protein P (CRP), and radiotracer perfusion into and from the brain parenchyma and CSF. Importantly, there was no association of this effect with the marker of BBB leakage S100β, that was unchanged. These results suggest a different model of peripheral-to-central immunity interaction whereas peripheral inflammation may cause a reduction in BBB permeability. This effect, on the long term, is likely to disrupt brain homeostasis and induce depressive behavioural symptoms.

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          Most cited references 72

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          The role of inflammation in depression: from evolutionary imperative to modern treatment target.

          Crosstalk between inflammatory pathways and neurocircuits in the brain can lead to behavioural responses, such as avoidance and alarm, that are likely to have provided early humans with an evolutionary advantage in their interactions with pathogens and predators. However, in modern times, such interactions between inflammation and the brain appear to drive the development of depression and may contribute to non-responsiveness to current antidepressant therapies. Recent data have elucidated the mechanisms by which the innate and adaptive immune systems interact with neurotransmitters and neurocircuits to influence the risk for depression. Here, we detail our current understanding of these pathways and discuss the therapeutic potential of targeting the immune system to treat depression.
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            User-guided 3D active contour segmentation of anatomical structures: significantly improved efficiency and reliability.

            Active contour segmentation and its robust implementation using level set methods are well-established theoretical approaches that have been studied thoroughly in the image analysis literature. Despite the existence of these powerful segmentation methods, the needs of clinical research continue to be fulfilled, to a large extent, using slice-by-slice manual tracing. To bridge the gap between methodological advances and clinical routine, we developed an open source application called ITK-SNAP, which is intended to make level set segmentation easily accessible to a wide range of users, including those with little or no mathematical expertise. This paper describes the methods and software engineering philosophy behind this new tool and provides the results of validation experiments performed in the context of an ongoing child autism neuroimaging study. The validation establishes SNAP intrarater and interrater reliability and overlap error statistics for the caudate nucleus and finds that SNAP is a highly reliable and efficient alternative to manual tracing. Analogous results for lateral ventricle segmentation are provided.
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              Role of translocator protein density, a marker of neuroinflammation, in the brain during major depressive episodes.

              The neuroinflammatory hypothesis of major depressive disorder is supported by several main findings. First, in humans and animals, activation of the immune system causes sickness behaviors that present during a major depressive episode (MDE), such as low mood, anhedonia, anorexia, and weight loss. Second, peripheral markers of inflammation are frequently reported in major depressive disorder. Third, neuroinflammatory illnesses are associated with high rates of MDEs. However, a fundamental limitation of the neuroinflammatory hypothesis is a paucity of evidence of brain inflammation during MDE. Translocator protein density measured by distribution volume (TSPO VT) is increased in activated microglia, an important aspect of neuroinflammation.
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                Author and article information

                Contributors
                (View ORCID Profile)
                (View ORCID Profile)
                Journal
                Brain, Behavior, and Immunity
                Brain, Behavior, and Immunity
                Elsevier BV
                08891591
                January 2021
                January 2021
                : 91
                : 487-497
                Article
                10.1016/j.bbi.2020.10.025
                33160089
                © 2021

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