Brain, behavior, and immunity

A(H1N1) vaccination recruits T lymphocytes to the choroid plexus for the promotion of hippocampal neurogenesis and working memory in pregnant mice.

PMID 26576725


We previously demonstrated that A(H1N1) influenza vaccine (AIV) promoted hippocampal neurogenesis and working memory in pregnant mice. However, the underlying mechanism of flu vaccination in neurogenesis and memory has remained unclear. In this study, we found that T lymphocytes were recruited from the periphery to the choroid plexus (CP) of the lateral and third (3rd) ventricles in pregnant mice vaccinated with AIV (Pre+AIV). Intracerebroventricular delivery of anti-TCR antibodies markedly decreased neurogenesis and the working memory of the Pre+AIV mice. Similarly, intravenous delivery of anti-CD4 antibodies to the periphery also down-regulated neurogenesis. Furthermore, AIV vaccination caused microglia to skew toward an M2-like phenotype (increased Arginase-1 and Ym1 mRNA levels), and elevated levels of brain-derived growth factor (BDNF) and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) were found in the hippocampus, whereas these effects were offset by anti-TCR antibody treatment. Additionally, in the CP, the expression level of adhesion molecules and chemokines, which assist leukocytes in permeating into the brain, were also elevated after AIV vaccination of pregnant mice. Collectively, the results suggested that the infiltrative T lymphocytes in the CP contribute to the increase in hippocampal neurogenesis and working memory caused by flu vaccination, involving activation of the brain's CP, M2 microglial polarization and neurotrophic factor expression.