Interaction between interleukin-1β and type-1 cannabinoid receptor is involved in anxiety-like behavior in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis

Antonietta Gentile, Diego Fresegna, Alessandra Musella, Helena Sepman, Silvia Bullitta, Francesca De Vito, Roberta Fantozzi, Alessandro Usiello, Mauro Maccarrone, Nicola B. Mercuri, Beat Lutz, Georgia Mandolesi, Diego Centonze

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Mood disorders, including anxiety and depression, are frequently diagnosed in multiple sclerosis (MS) patients, even independently of the disabling symptoms associated with the disease. Anatomical, biochemical, and pharmacological evidence indicates that type-1 cannabinoid receptor (CB1R) is implicated in the control of emotional behavior and is modulated during inflammatory neurodegenerative diseases such as MS and experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). Methods: We investigated whether CB1R could exert a role in anxiety-like behavior in mice with EAE. We performed behavioral, pharmacological, and electrophysiological experiments to explore the link between central inflammation, mood, and CB1R function in EAE. Results: We observed that EAE-induced anxiety was associated with the downregulation of CB1R-mediated control of striatal GABA synaptic transmission and was exacerbated in mice lacking CB1R (CB1R-KO mice). Central blockade of interleukin-1β (IL-1β) reversed the anxiety-like phenotype of EAE mice, an effect associated with the concomitant rescue of dopamine (DA)-regulated spontaneous behavior, and DA-CB1R neurotransmission, leading to the rescue of striatal CB1R sensitivity. Conclusions: Overall, results of the present investigation indicate that synaptic dysfunction linked to CB1R is involved in EAE-related anxiety and motivation-based behavior and contribute to clarify the complex neurobiological mechanisms underlying mood disorders associated to MS.

Original languageEnglish
Article number231
JournalJournal of Neuroinflammation
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2 2016


  • Anxiety
  • Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis
  • Interleukin-1β
  • Striatum
  • Type-1 cannabinoid receptor

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Immunology
  • Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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