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Salud mental

versão impressa ISSN 0185-3325


BECERRIL VILLANUEVA, Luis Enrique et al. Behavioural changes modulated by interleukins. Salud Ment [online]. 2012, vol.35, n.5, pp.411-418. ISSN 0185-3325.

The nervous, endocrine, and immune systems maintain permanent and concerted communication through humoral and neural pathways, which involves neurotransmitters like serotonin and noradrenaline; hormones like cortisol, corticosterone release hormone; and a wide range of inflammatory molecules and their corresponding receptors. Variations in the circulatory levels of these soluble mediators modulate several physiological processes and help to mantain homeostasis in the face of stressful stimuli, regardless whether they are physical like systemic bacterial, viral or parasitical infections, as well as tissular injuries or psychological stress, that is secondary to the individual's perception and processing. Chronic activation of neuro-immune-endocrine interactions induces numerical and functional changes in these systems and behavioral disorders. "Sickness behavior" is one the most studied behavioral disorders that is characterized by the presence of anhedonia, fatigue, psychomotor retardation, decreased appetite, altered sleep patterns, and pain-increased sensitivity. Based on the similarities between the behavioral symptoms of "sickness behavior" and major depression, it has been hypothesized that molecules like cytokines and other inflammatory factors could be involved in the pathophysiology of several neuropsychiatric disorders, such as depression, cognitive dysfunction, fatigue, anxiety and personality disorders as well as neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson and Alzheimer. The behavioral disorders in major depression can be induced by single or combined administration of proinflammatory cytokines as well as mitogens or infectious agents that induce significant secretion of wide range of inflammatory molecules. Variations in peripheral and central inflammatory mediators significantly affect the levels of neurotransmitters, such as glutamate, dopamine, and serotonin; p38 MAPK and IDO proteins. The latest data on the involvement of cytokines and neurotransmitters in metabolic pathways have provided various targets for pharmaceutical development and have established new treatment approaches for psychiatric disorders. All this advantages about molecular mecanism involved in behavioural changes will result in the short term in a better quality of life for patients.

Palavras-chave : Cytokines; inflammation; behavior; disease; major depression.

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