Loss of T cells influences sex differences in stress-related gene expression

J Neuroimmunol. 2020 Jun 15;343:577213. doi: 10.1016/j.jneuroim.2020.577213. Epub 2020 Mar 7.


Deficiencies in the adaptive immune system have been linked to anxiety-like behaviours and stress reactivity. Mice lacking T lymphocytes through knockout of the T cell receptor (TCR) β and δ chains were compared to wild type C57Bl/6 mice. Central stress circuitry gene expression was assessed following repeated restraint stress. TCRβ-/-δ-/- mice showed an increased baseline plasma corticosterone and exaggerated changes in stress-related gene expression after repeated restraint stress. Sexual dimorphic stress responses were observed in wild-type C57Bl/6 mice but not in TCRβ-/-δ-/- mice. These data suggest that T cell-brain interactions influence sex-differences in CNS stress circuitry and stress reactivity.

Keywords: Immune-brain; Sex difference; Stress reactivity; T lymphocyte.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptive Immunity / immunology*
  • Animals
  • Brain / metabolism
  • Female
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Knockout
  • Neuroimmunomodulation / physiology*
  • Psychological Distress*
  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell / deficiency
  • Restraint, Physical
  • Sex Characteristics*
  • T-Lymphocytes*
  • Transcriptome / immunology


  • Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell