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Papers of the Week

Papers: 26 Aug 2023 - 1 Sep 2023

Basic Science, Psychology

Animal Studies, Neurobiology, Neuroimaging

Inflammation/Inflammatory, Itch, Psychological/Comorbidities

2023 Aug 25

Exp Dermatol


Resting-state fMRI reveals changes within the anxiety and social avoidance circuitry of the brain in mice with psoriasis-like skin lesions.


Chen T, Zhu SJ, Xu S, Wang YQ, Aji A, Zhang C, Wang H, Li FL, Chu YX


Psoriasis is an autoimmune skin disease that often co-occurs with psychological morbidities such as anxiety and depression, and psychosocial issues also lead psoriasis patients to avoid other people. However, the precise mechanism underlying the comorbidity of psoriasis and anxiety is unknown. Also, whether the social avoidance phenomenon seen in human patients also exists in psoriasis-like animal models remains unknown. In the present study, anxiety-like behaviours and social avoidance-like behaviours were observed in an imiquimod-induced psoriasis-like C57-BL6 mouse model along with typical psoriasis-like dermatitis and itch-like behaviours. The 11.7T resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging showed differences in brain regions between the model and control group, and voxel-based morphometry showed that the grey matter volume changed in the basal forebrain region, anterior commissure intrabulbar and striatum in the psoriasis-like mice. Seed-based resting state functional connectivity analysis revealed connectivity changes in the amygdala, periaqueductal gray, raphe nuclei and lateral septum. We conclude that the imiquimod-induced psoriasis-like C57-BL6 mouse model is well suited for mechanistic studies and for performing preclinical therapeutic trials for treating anxiety and pathological social avoidance in psoriasis patients.