Publications by authors named "Katharina Gryksa"

3 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Consequences of pandemic-associated social restrictions: Role of social support and the oxytocin system.

Psychoneuroendocrinology 2022 01 20;135:105601. Epub 2021 Nov 20.

Department of Behavioural and Molecular Neurobiology, University of Regensburg, Regensburg, Germany. Electronic address:

During pandemics, governments take drastic actions to prevent the spreading of the disease, as seen during the present COVID-19 crisis. Sanctions of lockdown, social distancing and quarantine urge people to exclusively work and teach at home and to restrict social contacts to a minimum; lonely people get into further isolation, while families` nerves are strained to the extreme. Overall, this results in a dramatic and chronic increase in the level of psychosocial stress over several months mainly caused by i) social isolation and ii) psychosocial stress associated with overcrowding, social tension in families, and domestic violence. Moreover, pandemic-associated social restrictions are accompanied by loss of an essential stress buffer and important parameter for general mental and physical health: social support. Chronic psychosocial stress and, in particular, social isolation and lack of social support affect not only mental health, but also the brain oxytocin system and the immune system. Hence, pandemic-associated social restrictions are expected to increase the risk of developing psychopathologies, such as depression, anxiety-related and posttraumatic stress disorders, on the one hand, but also to induce a general inflammatory state and to impair the course of infectious disorders on the other. Due to its pro-social and stress-buffering effects, resulting in an anti-inflammatory state in case of disease, the role of the neuropeptide oxytocin will be discussed and critically considered as an emerging treatment option in cases of pandemic-induced psychosocial stress, viral infection and during recovery. In this review, we aim to critically focus on possible short- and long-term consequences of social restrictions on mental health and the immune system, while discussion oxytocin as a possible treatment option.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.psyneuen.2021.105601DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8605825PMC
January 2022

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

Minocycline alters behavior, microglia and the gut microbiome in a trait-anxiety-dependent manner.

Transl Psychiatry 2019 09 13;9(1):223. Epub 2019 Sep 13.

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

Major depressive disorder is the main cause of disability worldwide with imperfect treatment options. However, novel therapeutic approaches are currently discussed, from augmentation strategies to novel treatments targeting the immune system or the microbiome-gut-brain axis. Therefore, we examined the potential beneficial effects of minocycline, a tetracycline antibiotic with pleiotropic, immunomodulatory action, alone or as augmentation of escitalopram on behavior, prefrontal microglial density, and the gut microbiome in rats selectively bred for high anxiety-like behavior (HAB). We show that concomitant with their high innate anxiety and depression, HABs have lower microglial numbers in the infralimbic and prelimbic prefrontal cortex and an altered gut microbiota composition compared with controls. Three weeks of minocycline treatment alleviated the depressive-like phenotype, further reduced microglial density, exclusively in male HAB rats, and reduced plasma concentrations of pro-inflammatory cytokines. However, coadministration of escitalopram, which had no effect alone, prevented these minocycline-induced effects. Moreover, minocycline led to a robust shift in cecal microbial composition in both HABs and rats non-selected for anxiety-like behavior. Minocycline markedly increased relative abundance of Lachnospiraceae and Clostridiales Family XIII, families known for their butyrate production, with a corresponding increase and positive correlation in plasma 3-OH-butyrate levels in a trait-dependent manner. Thus, our data suggest that the antidepressant effect of minocycline is sex- and trait-dependent, associated with a reduced microglial number in the prefrontal cortex, and with changes in microbial composition and their metabolites. These results further support the microbiome-gut-brain axis as potential target in the treatment of depression.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41398-019-0556-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6744405PMC
September 2019
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