Divergent immune responses in behaviorally-inhibited vs. non-inhibited male rats

Kerry C. Michael, Robert H. Bonneau, Rebecca A. Bourne, La Dara Godbolt, Michael J. Caruso, Christine Hohmann, Sonia A. Cavigelli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Stable behavioral traits (temperament, personality) often predict health outcomes. Temperament-specific differences in immune function could explain temperament-specific health outcomes, however, we have limited information on whether immune function varies by personality. In the present study, we examined the relationship between a basic behavioral trait (behavioral-inhibition vs. non-inhibition) and two immune responses (innate inflammation and delayed-type hypersensitivity, DTH) in a rodent model. In humans, behavioral inhibition (fearful temperament) is associated with altered stress physiology and allergies. In laboratory rats, the trait is associated with elevated glucocorticoid production. We hypothesized that behavioral inhibition is associated with glucocorticoid resistance and dampened T-helper 1 cell responses often associated with chronic stress and allergies. Further, this immune profile would predict poorly-regulated innate inflammation and dampened DTH. In male Sprague-Dawley rats, we quantified consistent behavioral phenotypes by measuring latency to contact two kinds of novelty (object vs. social), then measured lipopolysaccharide(LPS)-induced innate inflammation or keyhole limpet hemocyanin(KLH)-induced DTH. Behaviorally-inhibited rats had heightened glucocorticoid and interleukin-6 responses to a low/moderate dose of LPS and reduced DTH swelling to KLH re-exposure compared to non-inhibited rats. These results suggest that behavioral inhibition is associated with a glucocorticoid resistant state with poorly regulated innate inflammation and dampened cell-mediated immune responses. This immune profile may be associated with exaggerated T-helper 2 responses, which could set the stage for an allergic/asthmatic/atopic predisposition in inhibited individuals. Human and animal models of temperament-specific immune responses represent an area for further exploration of mechanisms involved in individual differences in health.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number112693
JournalPhysiology and Behavior
Volume213
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020

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Temperament
Delayed Hypersensitivity
Glucocorticoids
Inflammation
Lipopolysaccharides
Personality
Health
Hypersensitivity
Th1 Cells
Innate Immunity
Individuality
Sprague Dawley Rats
Rodentia
Interleukin-6
Animal Models
Phenotype
Inhibition (Psychology)

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

Cite this

Michael, K. C., Bonneau, R. H., Bourne, R. A., Godbolt, L. D., Caruso, M. J., Hohmann, C., & Cavigelli, S. A. (2020). Divergent immune responses in behaviorally-inhibited vs. non-inhibited male rats. Physiology and Behavior, 213, [112693]. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.physbeh.2019.112693
Michael, Kerry C. ; Bonneau, Robert H. ; Bourne, Rebecca A. ; Godbolt, La Dara ; Caruso, Michael J. ; Hohmann, Christine ; Cavigelli, Sonia A. / Divergent immune responses in behaviorally-inhibited vs. non-inhibited male rats. In: Physiology and Behavior. 2020 ; Vol. 213.
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Divergent immune responses in behaviorally-inhibited vs. non-inhibited male rats. / Michael, Kerry C.; Bonneau, Robert H.; Bourne, Rebecca A.; Godbolt, La Dara; Caruso, Michael J.; Hohmann, Christine; Cavigelli, Sonia A.

In: Physiology and Behavior, Vol. 213, 112693, 01.01.2020.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Michael KC, Bonneau RH, Bourne RA, Godbolt LD, Caruso MJ, Hohmann C et al. Divergent immune responses in behaviorally-inhibited vs. non-inhibited male rats. Physiology and Behavior. 2020 Jan 1;213. 112693. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.physbeh.2019.112693