2020 Volume 43 Issue 1 Pages 110-115
The diagnosis of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is mainly symptom-based, and the etiology is still unclear. Here, we evaluated the pathological changes in the brain of a mouse model of CFS and studied the effects of Kampo medicine. A mouse model of CFS was established through six repeated injections of Brucella abortus (BA) every two weeks for a period of 12 weeks. Neuroinflammation was measured by estimating interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, and interferon-gamma (IFN-γ), and oxidative stress by nitrotyrosine (3-NT) and 4-hydroxynonenal (4-HNE) 6 weeks after the last injection. Hippocampal neurogenesis was evaluated through Ki-67, doublecortin (DCX), and 5-bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) assays. The effects of Kampo medicines (Hochuekkito (TJ-41) and Hachimijiogan (TJ-7)) on neuroinflammation during CFS were studied. The wheel-running activity of mice was decreased by about 50% compared to baseline at 6 weeks after the last BA injection. The levels of IL-1β, IL-6, 3-NT, and 4-HNE were increased in both the cortex and the hippocampus of CFS mice at 6 weeks after the last BA injection. Hippocampal neurogenesis was unchanged in CFS mice. Treatment with TJ-41 and TJ-7 reduced the expressions of IL-1β, IL-6, and IFN-γ in the hippocampus but not in the cortex. The results of the present study indicate that neuroinflammation and oxidative stress play important roles in the pathogenesis of CFS. The data further suggest that treatment with TJ-41 and TJ-7 could help reduce the inflammation associated with CFS in the hippocampus, but failed to improve the symptoms in CFS mice.