Review: Behaviour of MRL Mice: An Animal Model of Disturbed Behaviour in Systemic Autoimmune Disease
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Evidence is reviewed indicating that development of lupus-like disease in the MRL-lpr substrain of mice coincides with a change in behaviour, suggestive of altered emotional reactivity and cognitive performance. The altered behaviour, termed 'autoimmunity-associated behavioural syndrome', is related to abnormal autoantibody and cytokine production. Moreover, immunosuppressive treatment with cyclophosphamide prevents the appearance of some behavioural deficits. It is argued that the MRL strain of mice constitute an animal model of behavioural dysfunction in autoimmune disease, and can be used to investigate the mechanisms by which an insidious autoimmune/inflammatory process alters mood and behaviour and may result in some forms of mental disorders.
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