CTA 1 Article

Buttheirearlyinfections hadlefttheirmark

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Unformatted text preview: are involved in synaptic pruning and programmed cell death. They also express cytokines, the signaling molecules that serve as messengers between cells and are a key component of the body's inflammatory response. Cytokines are important for the development of basic brain structures from blood vessels to axons. They are also involved in regulating cognition and mood, Bilbo says. She explored the brain's immune cells by infecting infant rats with the bacterium E. coli four days after birth, a developmental period comparable to the third trimester of pregnancy in humans. The young rats recovered fully from the infection, and as adults they performed as well as control rats on tests of memory and cognition. But their early infections had left their mark. The rats' microglia had been "primed," Bilbo says; in essence, the cells had been put on high alert for future infections. When the rats experienced a second infection—what she calls a "second hit"—around the time they were learning a new task, they showed profound memory impairments for that task. The p...
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This note was uploaded on 01/23/2014 for the course PY 352 taught by Professor Parker during the Spring '11 term at Alabama.

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