Russian scientists have found the reason of intellectual degradation in the cold
The excess produced by the organism of substances that support inflammation, and lack of substances that reduce the intensity of inflammation, leads to a deterioration in the ability to remember even the most important information.
Researchers from the Institute of theoretical and experimental Biophysics (ITBF) Russian Academy of Sciences in Pushchino have discovered that the lack of anti-inflammatory cytokines prevents the rats to remember the dangerous places, where they electrocute. Thus, revealed another connection between the nervous and immune systems. A scientific paper published in the journal NeuroReport.
Earlier studies have shown that the memory of the body is affected including it inflammation. Their high intensity reduces the ability to remember new. Rather, it is one of the reasons why a person with the flu or SARS, the person feels poor talent for active mental activity.
In the reaction of inflammation play a great role small protein molecules secreted by cells of the immune system — cytokines. They bind to receptors on the surface of other cells and depending on their structure give them the signal of one of two types: either commanding amplify the inflammatory response by killing the source of the contamination and surrounding cells, or, conversely, forcing to weaken the inflammation. These cytokines are called proinflammatory and anti-inflammatory respectively.
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It is known that increased concentration of proinflammatory cytokines in the blood and interstitial fluid affects the ability of laboratory animals to study in standard experimental tasks. Biologists from Pushchino decided to check, does the memory of animals the change of signal level from anti-inflammatory cytokines — that is, molecules with opposite immune effects. For this purpose they used several groups of rats.
All the rats were divided into three experimental and one control group. Previously all rodents have developed the reflex of passive avoidance. Experimental animals were locked in a special chamber with two compartments — bright and dimly lit. Rats are nocturnal animals, so they tend to spend most of their time in a darkened compartment. But 30 seconds after the animal went into it on the slatted floor of the dimly lit compartment was fed an electric current.
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Rats in the control group, was not touched, and the rodents of the experimental groups one way or another changed the holding of their body signal from TGF-beta — transforming growth factor beta (TGF-beta). Animals from the first group blocked the receptors to one of anti-inflammatory cytokines. Others have introduced and transforming growth factor beta, and receptor blocker to them. The third were injected only TGF-beta.
As a rule, the reaction of passive avoidance in healthy animals, not subjected to the action of drugs and severe stress, occurs after a single repetition of the described training procedure. It refers to defensive conditioned reflexes, quick develop which often saves an animal’s life. However, in the rats with receptors to TGF-beta blocked, with the production of this conditioned reflex of a problem. They are after a few repetitions unpleasant procedures did not stop to go in a dimly lit part of the chamber. In animals that did not violate the holding signal from TGF-beta or injected receptor blocker to this cytokine, the ability to passive avoidance was not affected.
Based on these results the authors concluded that adequate signal transmission from the anti-inflammatory cytokines other cells of the body is of great importance to remember new information. Violation of this transmission reduces the ability to learn, but does not affect the recall of what has been learned previously.