Immunomodulation by classical conditioning in NZB/W (F1) mice: Lifespan and diurnal variation

Mario André Leocadio Miguel*, Luiz Menna-Barreto

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Systemic Lupus Eritematosus (SLE) is a systemic inflammatory disease often treated with the agent cyclophosphamide (CY), known by provoking important adverse reactions to the organism. Ader and Cohen have demonstrated an alternative way of administrating this agent based on pavlovian conditioning, in order to reduce the aggression caused by CY. Considering the influence of the temporal organization on learning and memory processes, the purpose of this study was to understand the temporal aspects involved in the conditioned immunomodulation. In a search for circadian modulation, we selected NZB/W (F1) female mice, a strain that spontaneously develop SLE. Divided into two major groups, the animals were submitted, in different phases of day, to a classical conditioning immunomodulation protocol, consisting in weekly parings of saccharin solution and CY injections. The success of the paradigm was evaluated by comparing lifespan among the groups. Simultaneously, it was monitored the water intake behavior, in order to correlate the stability of two rhythmic parameters, amplitude and spectral power density of the 24-h rhythm, with the progression of SLE. Our results indicate that mice could benefit from the conditioning task performed either in the light phase or in the dark phase of the LD cycle, as expressed by an increased lifespan. Concerning the rhythmic parameters, there was evidence of association between the rhythmic stability and the evolution of SLE, demonstrated by the maintenance of healthy levels of amplitude and spectral potency of the 24-h rhythm in animals exposed to the conditioning paradigm.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-46
Number of pages7
JournalSleep Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2016
Externally publishedYes

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