Exogenous Transforming Growth Factor-β in Brain-Induced Symptoms of Central Fatigue and Suppressed Dopamine Production in Mice
Laboratory of Molecular Medicine, College of Korean Medicine, Daejeon University, Daejeon 34520, Korea
Published: 4 March 2021
(This article belongs to the Section Molecular Biology)
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Myalgic encephalomyelitis (ME)/chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is one of the most refractory diseases in humans and is characterized by severe central fatigue accompanied with various symptoms that affect daily life, such as impaired memory, depression, and somatic pain.
However, the etiology and pathophysiological mechanisms of CFS remain unknown.
To investigate the pathophysiological role of transforming growth factor (TGF)-β1, we injected a cytokine into the lateral ventricle of a C57BL/6 mouse.
The intracranial injection of TGF-β1 increased the immobility duration in a forced swimming test (FST) and time spent at the closed arm in elevated plus maze (EPM) analysis.
The mice injected with TGF-β1 into their brain showed increased sensitivity to pain in a von Frey test, and had a decreased retention time on rotarod and latency time in a bright box in a passive avoidance test.
In addition, the serum levels of muscle fatigue biomarkers, lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) and creatine kinase (CK), were significantly increased after administration of TGF-β1.
Intracranial injection of TGF-β1 significantly reduced the production of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) in the ventral tegmental area, accompanied by a decreased level of dopamine in the striatum.
The suppression of TH expression by TGF-β1 was confirmed in the human neuroblastoma cell line, SH-SY5Y.
These results, which show that TGF-β1 induced fatigue-like behaviors by suppressing dopamine production, suggest that TGF-β1 plays a critical role in the development of central fatigue and is, therefore, a potential therapeutic target of the disease.