It has been found recently that the immune system controls the social behavior of a person. Researchers have revealed after extensive studies that one kind of immune molecule can make the brains of mouse hyperactive. This may lead to abnormal behavior in them. Experts believe that the discovery has various implications in neurological conditions which include schizophrenia, autism, etc.
The discovery has lead to several fundamental questions on the behavior of human being. Experts from the University of Virginia School of Medicine have affirmed that the immune system affects the social behavior of a person directly. It aids in controlling the desire of a person in interacting with others.
Previously, the experts used to think that adaptive immune system and brain are isolated from each other. They used to perceive the immune activity of the brain as a pathology sign. The immune response of pathogens has also lead to evolving of behavioral traits. It is also claimed that the immune system may lead to the dictation of different parts of the personality.
Evolutionary forces at work
Recently, Kipnis who is the director of UVA’s Center for Brain Immunology and Glia along with his team found that the meningeal vessels are responsible for the linking of the brain to the lymphatic system directly. This is quite contrary to the existing belief that the brain lacks a direct connection with the immune system of the body.
This discovery leads to new ways of thinking which include the interaction between the immune system and the brain. The discovery and the follow-up have shredded light on the evolution and brain as well. The researchers recommended that the relationship between pathogens and people may lead to the development of social behavior.
This may allow for engagement of the social interactions which are required for the survival of human beings. During the process, the immune system also develops measures for the protection of the human being from diseases that occur along with these interactions. Social media allows the spreading of pathogens.
Interferon gamma, a special immune molecule is critical for social behavior. Thus, several creatures such as rats, zebrafish, mice, flies, aids in the activation of interferon gamma responses. Normally, the immune system produces this molecule in response to parasites, virus, and bacteria.
Results of experiments
Experts blocked the molecule in mice by the use of genetic modification which made the parts of brain hyperactive. The results show that the mice were much less social. As the experts restored the molecule in the brain, it leads to storage of the connectivity of the brain.
The behavior of the mice became normal after this. Thus, the researchers outlined that the immune molecule played an integral role in the maintenance of social functioning properly.
An organism cannot have a proper social behavior for the smooth survival of species. A scientist outlined that proper socialism is paramount for hunting, foraging, gathering and other purposes. Hence, in accordance with the hypothesis, there is an increased risk of infections after the organisms are together.
Thus, though you should be social, there are higher chances of spreading of pathogens. Experts have used interferon gamma effectively for boosting the social behavior and anti-pathogen response.
Understanding the Implications
Researchers also revealed that a malfunctioning immune system may lead to social deficits. Thus, an improper immune system may lead to several psychiatric as well as neurological disorders. It is not likely, that one molecule is the primary cause of the diseases.
In a similar way, one molecule cannot help in curing diseases as well. The researchers believe that the reasons should be more complex. However, the research that immune system can aid in controlling the interactions has conferred the root causes to the scientists to discover more facts.
It has to lead the scientists to study human behavior and neurological disorders in a comprehensive manner. Immune molecules aid in defining the functions of the brain.
The publication of research
Kipnis who did Ph.D., along with his team has worked with a group of Vladimir Litvak, at the University of Massachusetts Medical School and the UVA’s Department of Pharmacology. The team leads to the development of a computational approach for investigating the complexity of the functions of the brain in healthy and disease and immune signaling.
With the use of this approach, experts have predicted the functions of interferon gamma. Interferon gamma is a cytokine that aids in the promoting the functions of the brain. Litvak stated that his findings have lead to a wide perceptive of social malfunctioning in neurological abnormalities including schizophrenia, autism.
It also has opened different channels for therapeutic approach.You can find the findings of Kipnis in an online journal named Nature. Thus, the research has concluded that the level of immunity is connected to the social behavior of a person in an intimate way. The functions of immune system affect the personality of a human being deep.