Publications by authors named "Daniel Peterlik"

12 Publications

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Metabotropic glutamate receptor subtype 7 controls maternal care, maternal motivation and maternal aggression in mice.

Genes Brain Behav 2020 01 14;19(1):e12627. Epub 2019 Dec 14.

Department of Behavioural and Molecular Neurobiology, University of Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany.

The group III metabotropic glutamate receptor subtype 7 (mGlu7) is an important regulator of glutamatergic and GABAergic neurotransmission and known to mediate emotionality and male social behavior. However, a possible regulatory role in maternal behavior remains unknown to date. Adequate expression of maternal behavior is essential for successful rearing and healthy development of the young. By understanding genetic and neural mechanisms underlying this important prosocial behavior, we gain valuable insights into possible dysregulations. Using genetic ablation as well as pharmacological modulation, we studied various parameters of maternal behavior in two different mouse strains under the influence of mGlu7. We can clearly show a regulatory role of mGlu7 in maternal behavior. Naïve virgin female C57BL/6 mGlu7 knockout mice showed more often nursing postures and less spontaneous maternal aggression compared to their heterozygous and wildtype littermates. In lactating C57BL/6 wildtype mice, acute central activation of mGlu7 by the selective agonist AMN082 reduced arched back nursing and accelerated pup retrieval without affecting maternal aggression. In addition, in lactating CD1 wildtype mice the selective mGlu7 antagonist XAP044 increased both pup retrieval and maternal aggression. With respect to receptor expression levels, mGlu7 mRNA expression was higher in lactating vs virgin C57BL/6 mice in the prefrontal cortex, but not hypothalamus or hippocampus. In conclusion, these findings highlight a significant role of the mGlu7 receptor subtype in mediating maternal behavior in mice. Region-dependent studies are warranted to further extend our knowledge on the specific function of the brain glutamate system in maternal behavior.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/gbb.12627DOI Listing
January 2020

Individual differences in stress vulnerability: The role of gut pathobionts in stress-induced colitis.

Brain Behav Immun 2017 Aug 21;64:23-32. Epub 2016 Dec 21.

Laboratory for Molecular Psychosomatics, Clinic for Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, University of Ulm, 89081 Ulm, Germany. Electronic address:

Chronic subordinate colony housing (CSC), an established mouse model for chronic psychosocial stress, promotes a microbial signature of gut inflammation, characterized by expansion of Proteobacteria, specifically Helicobacter spp., in association with colitis development. However, whether the presence of Helicobacter spp. during CSC is critically required for colitis development is unknown. Notably, during previous CSC studies performed at Regensburg University (University 1), male specific-pathogen-free (SPF) CSC mice lived in continuous subordination to a physically present and Helicobacter spp.-positive resident. Therefore, it is likely that CSC mice were colonized, during the CSC procedure, with Helicobacter spp. originating from the dominant resident. In the present study we show that employing SPF CSC mice and Helicobacter spp.-free SPF residents at Ulm University (University 2), results in physiological responses that are typical of chronic psychosocial stress, including increased adrenal and decreased thymus weights, decreased adrenal in vitro adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) responsiveness, and increased anxiety-related behavior. However, in contrast to previous studies that used Helicobacter spp.-positive resident mice, use of Helicobacter spp.-negative resident mice failed to induce spontaneous colitis in SPF CSC mice. Consistent with the hypothesis that the latter is due to a lack of Helicobacter spp. transmission from dominant residents to subordinate mice during the CSC procedure, colonization of SPF residents with Helicobacter typhlonius at University 2, prior to the start of the CSC model, rescued the colitis-inducing potential of CSC exposure. Furthermore, using SPF CSC mice and H. typhlonius-free SPF residents at University 1 prevented CSC-induced colitis. In summary, our data support the hypothesis that the presence or absence of exposure to certain pathobionts contributes to individual variability in susceptibility to stress-/trauma-associated pathologies and to reproducibility of stress-related outcomes between laboratories.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbi.2016.12.019DOI Listing
August 2017

Type-7 metabotropic glutamate receptors negatively regulate α-adrenergic receptor signalling.

Neuropharmacology 2017 02 18;113(Pt A):343-353. Epub 2016 Oct 18.

Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, Sapienza University, Rome, Italy; I.R.C.C.S. Neuromed, Pozzilli, Italy. Electronic address:

We studied the interaction between mGlu7 and α-adrenergic receptors in heterologous expression systems, brain slices, and living animals. L-2-Amino-4-phosphonobutanoate (L-AP4), and l-serine-O-phosphate (L-SOP), which activate group III mGlu receptors, restrained the stimulation of polyphosphoinositide (PI) hydrolysis induced by the α-adrenergic receptor agonist, phenylephrine, in HEK 293 cells co-expressing α-adrenergic and mGlu7 receptors. The inibitory action of L-AP4 was abrogated by (i) the mGlu7 receptor antagonist, XAP044; (ii) the C-terminal portion of type-2 G protein coupled receptor kinase; and (iii) the MAP kinase inhibitors, UO126 and PD98059. This suggests that the functional interaction between mGlu7 and α-adrenergic receptors was mediated by the βγ-subunits of the G protein and required the activation of the MAP kinase pathway. Remarkably, activation of neither mGlu2 nor mGlu4 receptors reduced α-adrenergic receptor-mediated PI hydrolysis. In mouse cortical slices, both L-AP4 and L-SOP were able to attenuate norepinephrine- and phenylephrine-stimulated PI hydrolysis at concentrations consistent with the activation of mGlu7 receptors. L-AP4 failed to affect norepinephrine-stimulated PI hydrolysis in cortical slices from mGlu7 mice, but retained its inhibitory activity in slices from mGlu4 mice. At behavioural level, i.c.v. injection of phenylephrine produced antidepressant-like effects in the forced swim test. The action of phenylephrine was attenuated by L-SOP, which was inactive per se. Finally, both phenylephrine and L-SOP increased corticosterone levels in mice, but the increase was halved when the two drugs were administered in combination. Our data demonstrate that α-adrenergic and mGlu7 receptors functionally interact and suggest that this interaction might be targeted in the treatment of stress-related disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuropharm.2016.10.018DOI Listing
February 2017

Blocking metabotropic glutamate receptor subtype 5 relieves maladaptive chronic stress consequences.

Brain Behav Immun 2017 Jan 11;59:79-92. Epub 2016 Aug 11.

Faculty of Biology and Preclinical Medicine, Laboratory of Molecular and Cellular Neurobiology, University of Regensburg, D-93053 Regensburg, Germany. Electronic address:

Etiology and pharmacotherapy of stress-related psychiatric conditions and somatoform disorders are areas of high unmet medical need. Stressors holding chronic plus psychosocial components thereby bear the highest health risk. Although the metabotropic glutamate receptor subtype 5 (mGlu5) is well studied in the context of acute stress-induced behaviors and physiology, virtually nothing is known about its potential involvement in chronic psychosocial stress. Using the mGlu5 negative allosteric modulator CTEP (2-chloro-4-[2-[2,5-dimethyl-1-[4-(trifluoromethoxy)phenyl]imidazol-4yl]ethynyl]pyridine), a close analogue of the clinically active drug basimglurant - but optimized for rodent studies, as well as mGlu5-deficient mice in combination with a mouse model of male subordination (termed CSC, chronic subordinate colony housing), we demonstrate that mGlu5 mediates multiple physiological, immunological, and behavioral consequences of chronic psychosocial stressor exposure. For instance, CTEP dose-dependently relieved hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis dysfunctions, colonic inflammation as well as the CSC-induced increase in innate anxiety; genetic ablation of mGlu5 in mice largely reproduced the stress-protective effects of CTEP and additionally ameliorated CSC-induced physiological anxiety. Interestingly, CSC also induced an upregulation of mGlu5 in the hippocampus, a stress-regulating brain area. Taken together, our findings provide evidence that mGlu5 is an important mediator for a wide range of chronic psychosocial stress-induced alterations and a potentially valuable drug target for the treatment of chronic stress-related pathologies in man.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbi.2016.08.007DOI Listing
January 2017

Induction of Suppressor Cells and Increased Tumor Growth following Chronic Psychosocial Stress in Male Mice.

PLoS One 2016 8;11(7):e0159059. Epub 2016 Jul 8.

Institute of Immunology, University of Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany.

To study the impact of psychosocial stress on the immune system, male mice were subjected to chronic subordinate colony housing (CSC), a preclinically validated mouse model for chronic psychosocial stress. CSC substantially affected the cell composition of the bone marrow, blood, and spleen by inducing myelopoiesis and enhancing the frequency of regulatory T cells in the CD4 population. Expansion of the myeloid cell compartment was due to cells identified as immature inflammatory myeloid cells having the phenotype of myeloid-derived suppressor cells of either the granulocytic or the monocytic type. Catecholaminergic as well as TNF signaling were implicated in these CSC-induced cellular shifts. Although the frequency of regulatory cells was enhanced following CSC, the high capacity for inflammatory cytokine secretion of total splenocytes indicated an inflammatory immune status in CSC mice. Furthermore, CSC enhanced the suppressive activity of bone marrow-derived myeloid-derived suppressor cells towards proliferating T cells. In line with the occurrence of suppressor cell types such as regulatory T cells and myeloid-derived suppressor cells, transplanted syngeneic fibrosarcoma cells grew better in CSC mice than in controls, a process accompanied by pronounced angiogenesis and clustering of immature myeloid cells in the tumor tissue. In addition, tumor implantation after CSC reinforced the CSC-induced increase in myeloid-derived suppressor cells and regulatory T cell frequencies while the CSC-induced cellular changes eased off in mice without tumor. Together, our data suggest a role for suppressor cells such as regulatory T cells and myeloid-derived suppressor cells in the enhanced tumor growth after chronic psychosocial stress.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0159059PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4938385PMC
August 2017

The Emerging Role of Metabotropic Glutamate Receptors in the Pathophysiology of Chronic Stress-Related Disorders.

Curr Neuropharmacol 2016 ;14(5):514-39

Faculty of Biology and Preclinical Medicine, University of Regensburg, D-93053 Regensburg, Germany.

Chronic stress-related psychiatric conditions such as anxiety, depression, and alcohol abuse are an enormous public health concern. The etiology of these pathologies is complex, with psychosocial stressors being among the most frequently discussed risk factors. The brain glutamatergic neurotransmitter system has often been found involved in behaviors and pathophysiologies resulting from acute stress and fear. Despite this, relatively little is known about the role of glutamatergic system components in chronic psychosocial stress, neither in rodents nor in humans. Recently, drug discovery efforts at the metabotropic receptor subtypes of the glutamatergic system (mGlu1-8 receptors) led to the identification of pharmacological tools with emerging potential in psychiatric conditions. But again, the contribution of individual mGlu subtypes to the manifestation of physiological, molecular, and behavioral consequences of chronic psychosocial stress remains still largely unaddressed. The current review will describe animal models typically used to analyze acute and particularly chronic stress conditions, including models of psychosocial stress, and there we will discuss the emerging roles for mGlu receptor subtypes. Indeed, accumulating evidence indicates relevance and potential therapeutic usefulness of mGlu2/3 ligands and mGlu5 receptor antagonists in chronic stress-related disorders. In addition, a role for further mechanisms, e.g. mGlu7-selective compounds, is beginning to emerge. These mechanisms are important to be analyzed in chronic psychosocial stress paradigms, e.g. in the chronic subordinate colony housing (CSC) model. We summarize the early results and discuss necessary future investigations, especially for mGlu5 and mGlu7 receptor blockers, which might serve to suggest improved therapeutic strategies to treat stress-related disorders.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4983752PMC
http://dx.doi.org/10.2174/1570159x13666150515234920DOI Listing
January 2017

Relief from detrimental consequences of chronic psychosocial stress in mice deficient for the metabotropic glutamate receptor subtype 7.

Neuropharmacology 2017 03 14;115:139-148. Epub 2016 May 14.

Faculty of Biology and Preclinical Medicine, Laboratory of Molecular and Cellular Neurobiology, University of Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany. Electronic address:

Chronic stress-related psychiatric conditions and comorbid somatic pathologies are an enormous public health concern in modern society. The etiology of these disorders is complex, with stressors holding a chronic and psychosocial component representing the most acknowledged risk factor. During the last decades, research on the metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGlu) system advanced dramatically and much attention was given to the role of the metabotropic glutamate receptor subtype 7 (mGlu7) in acute stress-related behavior and physiology. However, virtually nothing is known about the potential involvement of mGlu7 in chronic psychosocial stress-related conditions. Using the chronic subordinate colony housing (CSC, 19 days) in male mice, we addressed whether central mGlu7 is altered upon chronic psychosocial stressor exposure and whether genetic ablation of mGlu7 interferes with the multitude of chronic stress-induced alterations. CSC exposure resulted in a downregulation of mGlu7 mRNA transcript levels in the prefrontal cortex, a brain region relevant for stress-related behaviors and physiology. Interestingly, mGlu7 deficiency relieved multiple chronic stress-induced alterations including the CSC-induced anxiety-prone phenotype; mGlu7 ablation also ameliorated CSC-induced physiological and immunological consequences such as hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis dysfunctions and colonic inflammation, respectively. Together, our findings provide first evidence for the involvement of mGlu7 in a wide range of behavioral and physiological alterations in response to chronic psychosocial stressor exposure. Moreover, the stress-protective phenotype of genetic mGlu7 ablation suggests mGlu7 pharmacological blockade to be a relevant option for the treatment of chronic stress-related emotional and somatic dysfunctions. This article is part of the Special Issue entitled 'Metabotropic Glutamate Receptors, 5 years on'.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuropharm.2016.04.036DOI Listing
March 2017

Blocking metabotropic glutamate receptor subtype 7 (mGlu7) via the Venus flytrap domain (VFTD) inhibits amygdala plasticity, stress, and anxiety-related behavior.

J Biol Chem 2014 Apr 4;289(16):10975-10987. Epub 2014 Mar 4.

Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, Novartis AG, CH-4057 Basel, Switzerland,; Faculty of Biology and Preclinical Medicine, Laboratory of Molecular and Cellular Neurobiology, University of Regensburg, D-93053 Regensburg, Germany,. Electronic address:

The metabotropic glutamate receptor subtype 7 (mGlu7) is an important presynaptic regulator of neurotransmission in the mammalian CNS. mGlu7 function has been linked to autism, drug abuse, anxiety, and depression. Despite this, it has been difficult to develop specific blockers of native mGlu7 signaling in relevant brain areas such as amygdala and limbic cortex. Here, we present the mGlu7-selective antagonist 7-hydroxy-3-(4-iodophenoxy)-4H-chromen-4-one (XAP044), which inhibits lateral amygdala long term potentiation (LTP) in brain slices from wild type mice with a half-maximal blockade at 88 nm. There was no effect of XAP044 on LTP of mGlu7-deficient mice, indicating that this pharmacological effect is mGlu7-dependent. Unexpectedly and in contrast to all previous mGlu7-selective drugs, XAP044 does not act via the seven-transmembrane region but rather via a binding pocket localized in mGlu7's extracellular Venus flytrap domain, a region generally known for orthosteric agonist binding. This was shown by chimeric receptor studies in recombinant cell line assays. XAP044 demonstrates good brain exposure and wide spectrum anti-stress and antidepressant- and anxiolytic-like efficacy in rodent behavioral paradigms. XAP044 reduces freezing during acquisition of Pavlovian fear and reduces innate anxiety, which is consistent with the phenotypes of mGlu7-deficient mice, the results of mGlu7 siRNA knockdown studies, and the inhibition of amygdala LTP by XAP044. Thus, we present an mGlu7 antagonist with a novel molecular mode of pharmacological action, providing significant application potential in psychiatry. Modeling the selective interaction between XAP044 and mGlu7's Venus flytrap domain, whose three-dimensional structure is already known, will facilitate future drug development supported by computer-assisted drug design.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1074/jbc.M113.542654DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4036238PMC
April 2014

HPA axis changes during the initial phase of psychosocial stressor exposure in male mice.

J Endocrinol 2013 1;218(2):193-203. Epub 2013 Jul 1.

Department of Behavioural and Molecular Neurobiology, University of Regensburg, 93053 Regensburg, Germany.

Chronic subordinate colony (CSC) housing for 19 days results in unaffected basal morning corticosterone (CORT) levels despite a pronounced increase in adrenal mass, likely mediated by an attenuation of adrenal corticotropin (ACTH) responsiveness. Given that the pronounced increase in basal morning plasma CORT levels returns to baseline as early as 48 h after the start of CSC, it is likely that the attenuated ACTH responsiveness develops already during this initial phase. This was tested in the present study. In line with previous findings, basal morning plasma CORT levels were elevated following 10 h, but not 48 h, of CSC exposure. Basal morning plasma ACTH concentrations and relative in vivo adrenal CORT content were increased following 10 h and to a lesser extent following 48 h of CSC exposure, positively correlating. Relative in vitro adrenal CORT secretion in response to ACTH (100 nM) and kidney protein expression of 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 2 (HSD11B2) were unaffected following both time points. Adrenal mRNA expression of key steroidogenic enzymes was unaffected/decreased following 10 h and unaffected/increased following 48 h of CSC exposure. Together, our findings suggest that basal plasma hypercorticism during the initial CSC phase is mainly prevented by an attenuation of pituitary ACTH release. An increased absolute adrenal weight following 10 h, but not 48 h, of CSC exposure indicates that restoration of normal adrenal mass also adds to a lesser extent to prevent basal hypercorticism. A contributing role of alterations in enzymatic CORT degradation and steroidogenic enzyme availability is likely, but has to be further addressed in future studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1530/JOE-13-0027DOI Listing
September 2013

Differential roles of mGlu(7) and mGlu(8) in amygdala-dependent behavior and physiology.

Neuropharmacology 2013 Sep 7;72:215-23. Epub 2013 May 7.

Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, Neuroscience DA, Forum 1, Novartis Campus, CH-4056 Basel, Switzerland.

Glutamate transmission and synaptic plasticity in the amygdala are essential for the learning and expression of conditioned fear. Glutamate activates both ionotropic glutamate receptors and eight subtypes of metabotropic glutamate receptors (mGlu1-8). In the present study, we investigated the roles of mGlu7 and mGlu8 in amygdala-dependent behavior and synaptic plasticity. We show that ablation of mGlu7 but not mGlu8 attenuates long-term potentiation (LTP) at thalamo-lateral amygdala (LA) synapses where a strong association between LTP and learning has been demonstrated. mGlu7-deficient mice express a general deficit in conditioned fear whereas mGlu8-deficient mice show a dramatic reduction in contextual fear. The mGlu7 agonist AMN082 reduced thalamo-LA LTP and intra-amygdala administration blocked conditioned fear learning. In contrast, the mGlu8 agonist DCPG decreased synaptic transmission but not LTP at thalamo-LA synapses. Intra-amygdala DCPG selectively reduced the expression of contextual fear but did not affect the acquisition and expression of cued fear. Taken together, these data revealed very different roles for mGlu7 and mGlu8 in amygdala synaptic transmission, fear learning and its expression. These receptors seem promising targets for treating anxiety disorders with different underlying pathologies with exaggerated fear learning (mGlu7) or contextual fear (mGlu8).
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuropharm.2013.04.052DOI Listing
September 2013

Pharmacological interference with metabotropic glutamate receptor subtype 7 but not subtype 5 differentially affects within- and between-session extinction of Pavlovian conditioned fear.

Neuropharmacology 2012 Mar 10;62(4):1619-26. Epub 2011 Nov 10.

University of Regensburg, Faculty of Biology and Preclinical Medicine, Regensburg, Germany.

Fear extinction is defined as the attenuation of a conditioned-fear memory by re-exposing animals to the conditioned stimulus without the aversive stimulus. This process is known to be effectively enhanced via administration of D-cycloserine (DCS), a partial NMDA-receptor agonist. However, other glutamatergic mechanisms, such as interference with metabotropic glutamate receptor (mGluR) subtypes 5 and 7 in the extinction of aversive memories are insufficiently understood. Using the allosteric mGluR5 receptor antagonist 2-methyl-6-(phenylethynyl)-pyridine (MPEP), the mGluR7 allosteric agonist N,N'-dibenzyhydryl-ethane-1,2-diamine dihydrochloride (AMN082), and DCS for comparison, we aimed to study how pharmacological blockade of mGluR5 and activation of mGluR7 influenced within- and between-session conditioned-fear extinction training and extinction retention in rats. We show that when injected before extinction training, mGluR7 activation with AMN082 enhanced freezing and thereby attenuated within-session fear extinction, whereas both DCS and the mGluR5 receptor antagonist MPEP had no effect on this process. However, these differential drug effects were not long lasting, as no difference in extinction retention were observed 24 h later. Therefore, we assessed whether the compounds affect 24 h consolidation of extinction training following incomplete extinction training (between-session extinction). Similar to DCS, AMN082- but not MPEP-treated rats showed facilitated extinction retention, as exhibited by decreased freezing. Finally, using fluoxetine, we provide evidence that the effect of AMN082 on between-session extinction retention is most likely not via increasing 5-HT transmission. These findings demonstrate that mGluR7 activation differentially modulates conditioned-fear extinction, in dependence on the protocol employed, and suggests drugs with AMN082-like mechanisms as potential add-on drugs following exposure-based psychotherapy for fear-related human disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.neuropharm.2011.10.021DOI Listing
March 2012

Chronic psychosocial stress promotes systemic immune activation and the development of inflammatory Th cell responses.

Brain Behav Immun 2010 Oct 6;24(7):1097-104. Epub 2010 May 6.

Institute of Immunology, University of Regensburg, Franz-Joseph-Strauss-Allee 11, Regensburg, Germany.

Recent studies indicate that chronic psychosocial stress favors the development of generalized immune dysfunction. During stressor exposure neuroendocrine factors affect numbers and functionality of leukocytes. However, the exact mechanisms leading to systemic changes in immune functions during stress are still not clear. During chronic subordinate colony housing, a model of chronic psychosocial stress, mice developed spontaneous colonic inflammation. Decreased glucocorticoid signaling, induced by a combination of adrenal insufficiency and glucocorticoid resistance, was thought to prevent tempering of local immune cells, and to promote tissue inflammation. In this study we investigated changes in the systemic immune status after chronic subordinate colony housing and analyzed potential mechanisms underlying those alterations. Analysis of T helper cell subsets in peripheral lymph nodes revealed a reduction of regulatory T cells, accompanied by increased T cell effector functions. Generalized activation of T cells was shown by elevated cytokine production upon stimulation. In addition, we observed no apparent shift towards T helper type 2 responses. It is likely, that the previously reported hypocorticism in this stress model led to a steady production of inflammatory Th1, Th2, and Th17 cytokines and obstructed the shift towards an anti-inflammatory response. In conclusion, we established chronic subordinate colony housing as a model to investigate the outcome of stress on the systemic immune status. We also provide evidence that distinct T helper cell subtypes react differentially to the suppressive effect of glucocorticoids.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.bbi.2010.04.014DOI Listing
October 2010
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