Neurochemical and neuroinflammatory perturbations in two Gulf War Illness models: Modulation by the immunotherapeutic LNFPIII

Gulf War Illness (GWI) manifests a multitude of symptoms, including neurological and immunological, and approximately a third of the 1990–1991 Gulf War (GW) veterans suffer from it. This study sought to characterize the acute neurochemical (monoamine) and neuroinflammatory profiles of two established GWI animal models and examine the potential modulatory effects of the novel immunotherapeutic Lacto-N-fucopentaose III (LNFPIII). In Model 1, male C57BL/6 J mice were treated for 10 days with pyridostigmine bromide (PB) and permethrin (PM). In Model 2, a separate cohort of mice were treated for 14 days with PB and N,N-Diethyl-methylbenzamide (DEET), plus corticosterone (CORT) via drinking water on days 8–14 and diisopropylfluorophosphate (DFP) on day 15. LNFPIII was administered concurrently with GWI chemicals treatments. Brain and spleen monoamines and hippocampal inflammatory marker expression were examined by, respectively, HPLC-ECD and qPCR, 6 h post treatment cessation. Serotonergic (5-HT) and dopaminergic (DA) dyshomeostasis caused by GWI chemicals was apparent in multiple brain regions, primarily in the nucleus accumbens (5-HT) and hippocampus (5-HT, DA) for both models. Splenic levels of 5-HT (both models) and norepinephrine (Model 2) were also disrupted by GWI chemicals. LNFPIII treatment prevented many of the GWI chemicals induced monoamine alterations. Hippocampal inflammatory cytokines were increased in both models, but the magnitude and spread of inflammation was greater in Model 2; LNFPIII was anti-inflammatory, more so in the apparently milder Model 1. Overall, in both models, GWI chemicals led to monoamine disbalance and neuroinflammation. LNFPIII co-treatment prevented many of these disruptions in both models, which is indicative of its promise as a potential GWI therapeutic.

J.M. Carpenter, H.E. Gordon, H.D. Ludwig, J.J. Wagner, D.A. Harn, T. Norberg, N.M. Filipov. Neurotoxicology. 2019 Dec 19;77:40-50. doi: 10.1016/j.neuro.2019.12.012

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