Biomedical Research Foundation Academy Of AthensAcademy Of Athens
Research Highlights :Hippocampal neural stem cells and microglia response to experimental inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)

Katia Catherine Karalis and colleagues recently published a study in Molecular Psychiatry

Patients with colitis often present with psychiatric disorders and cognitive impairment. Hippocampus is a key brain region implicated in cognitive processes, mood regulation and the pathophysiology of mood disorders. In addition, hippocampus is one of the brain regions with demonstrated active neurogenesis throughout life. It has been shown that dysregulation of hippocampal neurogenesis leads to memory and learning deficits and has been associated with the onset of depression and anxiety disorders.

In this study, Dr. Karalis and colleagues characterized the effects of experimental colitis on adult neurogenesis and innate immune response in the brain region of hippocampus. Their results showed that during colitis adult hippocampal neurogenesis is induced but with deficits in the functional integration of newborn neurons in the hippocampal circuitry. Moreover, the innate immune system of the brain is activated while peripheral innate immune cells infiltrate the hippocampus, suggesting the reciprocal communication between the brain and periphery. These findings highlight potential underlying mechanisms that could exploited for the design of novel treatment modalities for better management of the off-site brain symptomatology found in colitis.


Ioannis-Alexandros Gampierakis, Yassemi Koutmani, Maria Semitekolou, Ioannis Morianos, Ioannis Charalampopoulos, Georgina Xanthou, Achille Gravanis & Katia P. Karalis. Hippocampal neural stem cells and microglia response to experimental inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Mol Psychiatry (2020).