Natural killer cells protect white matter integrity in bipolar disorder

Roberto Furlan, Elisa Melloni, Annamaria Finardi, Benedetta Vai, Sara Di Toro, Veronica Aggio, Luca Battistini, Giovanna Borsellino, Elena Manfredi, Andrea Falini, Cristina Colombo, Sara Poletti, Francesco Benedetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Bipolar Disorder (BD) associates with disrupted white matter (WM) microstructure and functional connectivity, and with a perturbation of the immune system. Higher cytokines, and reduced T cells, correlated with WM disruption and fMRI responses. A core component of the innate immune system, natural killer (NK) cells were detected in brain parenchyma, but never studied in BD. Methods: We studied Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) measures of water diffusion, fMRI corticolimbic functional response and connectivity, and multi-parameter cytofluorometry analysis of NK (CD56+) subpopulations, in 30 inpatients with active Bipolar Disorder type I. NK cells were also obtained in 36 healthy controls. Results: Patients had significantly higher circulating counts of CD56+GMCSF+, CD56+INFγ+, and CD56+IL17+. NK cell levels positively associated to fractional anisotropy (FA) measures. CD56+TNFα+, CD56+INFγ+, and CD56+GMCSF+ directly correlated with FA, and inversely with radial (RD) and mean (MD) diffusivity. Duration of lithium treatment associated with higher CD56+TNFα+, CD56+IL2+, and CD56+IL4+, and positively associated with FA in tracts were NKs had significant effects. A mediation model suggested a partial mediation of CD56+TNFα+ cells, higher in patients on lithium, on the effects of lithium on FA. Frequencies of the same cytokine-producing NK cells also influenced fMRI cortico-limbic functional connectivity during processing of both, emotional and non-emotional stimuli. Discussion: Higher circulating cytokine-producing NK cells associated with lithium treatment, and with DTI measures of WM integrity, partially mediating the effect of lithium on WM. The same cells associated with fMRI responses and connectivity, thus suggesting an effect on structural and functional connectomics in BD.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBrain, Behavior, and Immunity
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 2019

Fingerprint

Bipolar Disorder
Lithium
Natural Killer Cells
Anisotropy
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Diffusion Tensor Imaging
Cytokines
Immune System
Connectome
Interleukin-4
Interleukin-2
Inpatients
White Matter
T-Lymphocytes
Water
Brain
Therapeutics

Keywords

  • Bipolar disorder
  • Connectomics
  • Functional connectivity
  • Neuroimmunology
  • Neuroinflammation
  • White matter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

Cite this

Natural killer cells protect white matter integrity in bipolar disorder. / Furlan, Roberto; Melloni, Elisa; Finardi, Annamaria; Vai, Benedetta; Di Toro, Sara; Aggio, Veronica; Battistini, Luca; Borsellino, Giovanna; Manfredi, Elena; Falini, Andrea; Colombo, Cristina; Poletti, Sara; Benedetti, Francesco.

In: Brain, Behavior, and Immunity, 01.01.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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abstract = "Background: Bipolar Disorder (BD) associates with disrupted white matter (WM) microstructure and functional connectivity, and with a perturbation of the immune system. Higher cytokines, and reduced T cells, correlated with WM disruption and fMRI responses. A core component of the innate immune system, natural killer (NK) cells were detected in brain parenchyma, but never studied in BD. Methods: We studied Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) measures of water diffusion, fMRI corticolimbic functional response and connectivity, and multi-parameter cytofluorometry analysis of NK (CD56+) subpopulations, in 30 inpatients with active Bipolar Disorder type I. NK cells were also obtained in 36 healthy controls. Results: Patients had significantly higher circulating counts of CD56+GMCSF+, CD56+INFγ+, and CD56+IL17+. NK cell levels positively associated to fractional anisotropy (FA) measures. CD56+TNFα+, CD56+INFγ+, and CD56+GMCSF+ directly correlated with FA, and inversely with radial (RD) and mean (MD) diffusivity. Duration of lithium treatment associated with higher CD56+TNFα+, CD56+IL2+, and CD56+IL4+, and positively associated with FA in tracts were NKs had significant effects. A mediation model suggested a partial mediation of CD56+TNFα+ cells, higher in patients on lithium, on the effects of lithium on FA. Frequencies of the same cytokine-producing NK cells also influenced fMRI cortico-limbic functional connectivity during processing of both, emotional and non-emotional stimuli. Discussion: Higher circulating cytokine-producing NK cells associated with lithium treatment, and with DTI measures of WM integrity, partially mediating the effect of lithium on WM. The same cells associated with fMRI responses and connectivity, thus suggesting an effect on structural and functional connectomics in BD.",
keywords = "Bipolar disorder, Connectomics, Functional connectivity, Neuroimmunology, Neuroinflammation, White matter",
author = "Roberto Furlan and Elisa Melloni and Annamaria Finardi and Benedetta Vai and {Di Toro}, Sara and Veronica Aggio and Luca Battistini and Giovanna Borsellino and Elena Manfredi and Andrea Falini and Cristina Colombo and Sara Poletti and Francesco Benedetti",
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AU - Furlan, Roberto

AU - Melloni, Elisa

AU - Finardi, Annamaria

AU - Vai, Benedetta

AU - Di Toro, Sara

AU - Aggio, Veronica

AU - Battistini, Luca

AU - Borsellino, Giovanna

AU - Manfredi, Elena

AU - Falini, Andrea

AU - Colombo, Cristina

AU - Poletti, Sara

AU - Benedetti, Francesco

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N2 - Background: Bipolar Disorder (BD) associates with disrupted white matter (WM) microstructure and functional connectivity, and with a perturbation of the immune system. Higher cytokines, and reduced T cells, correlated with WM disruption and fMRI responses. A core component of the innate immune system, natural killer (NK) cells were detected in brain parenchyma, but never studied in BD. Methods: We studied Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) measures of water diffusion, fMRI corticolimbic functional response and connectivity, and multi-parameter cytofluorometry analysis of NK (CD56+) subpopulations, in 30 inpatients with active Bipolar Disorder type I. NK cells were also obtained in 36 healthy controls. Results: Patients had significantly higher circulating counts of CD56+GMCSF+, CD56+INFγ+, and CD56+IL17+. NK cell levels positively associated to fractional anisotropy (FA) measures. CD56+TNFα+, CD56+INFγ+, and CD56+GMCSF+ directly correlated with FA, and inversely with radial (RD) and mean (MD) diffusivity. Duration of lithium treatment associated with higher CD56+TNFα+, CD56+IL2+, and CD56+IL4+, and positively associated with FA in tracts were NKs had significant effects. A mediation model suggested a partial mediation of CD56+TNFα+ cells, higher in patients on lithium, on the effects of lithium on FA. Frequencies of the same cytokine-producing NK cells also influenced fMRI cortico-limbic functional connectivity during processing of both, emotional and non-emotional stimuli. Discussion: Higher circulating cytokine-producing NK cells associated with lithium treatment, and with DTI measures of WM integrity, partially mediating the effect of lithium on WM. The same cells associated with fMRI responses and connectivity, thus suggesting an effect on structural and functional connectomics in BD.

AB - Background: Bipolar Disorder (BD) associates with disrupted white matter (WM) microstructure and functional connectivity, and with a perturbation of the immune system. Higher cytokines, and reduced T cells, correlated with WM disruption and fMRI responses. A core component of the innate immune system, natural killer (NK) cells were detected in brain parenchyma, but never studied in BD. Methods: We studied Diffusion Tensor Imaging (DTI) measures of water diffusion, fMRI corticolimbic functional response and connectivity, and multi-parameter cytofluorometry analysis of NK (CD56+) subpopulations, in 30 inpatients with active Bipolar Disorder type I. NK cells were also obtained in 36 healthy controls. Results: Patients had significantly higher circulating counts of CD56+GMCSF+, CD56+INFγ+, and CD56+IL17+. NK cell levels positively associated to fractional anisotropy (FA) measures. CD56+TNFα+, CD56+INFγ+, and CD56+GMCSF+ directly correlated with FA, and inversely with radial (RD) and mean (MD) diffusivity. Duration of lithium treatment associated with higher CD56+TNFα+, CD56+IL2+, and CD56+IL4+, and positively associated with FA in tracts were NKs had significant effects. A mediation model suggested a partial mediation of CD56+TNFα+ cells, higher in patients on lithium, on the effects of lithium on FA. Frequencies of the same cytokine-producing NK cells also influenced fMRI cortico-limbic functional connectivity during processing of both, emotional and non-emotional stimuli. Discussion: Higher circulating cytokine-producing NK cells associated with lithium treatment, and with DTI measures of WM integrity, partially mediating the effect of lithium on WM. The same cells associated with fMRI responses and connectivity, thus suggesting an effect on structural and functional connectomics in BD.

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