Brain, Behavior, and Immunity | 2021
Peripheral inflammation is associated with dysfunctional corticostriatal circuitry and executive dysfunction in bipolar disorder patients
Bipolar disorder (BD) has been linked to abnormal frontal and striatal function, and elevated inflammatory responses. However, the impact of peripheral inflammation on the corticostriatal functional connectivity (FC) remains obscure in BD. The current study aimed to explore the association between peripheral inflammation and corticostriatal connectivity in euthymic BD. We recruited 25 euthymic BD patients and 43 healthy controls (HCs) from the community. Resting state functional images were obtained using 3T magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), and striatal seed-based whole-brain functional connectivity analyses were performed, with the fasting plasma high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP) level entered as a regressor of interest. The participants also completed the Wisconsin Card-Sorting Test (WCST) and the Continuous Performance Test (CPT). The euthymic BD group had a similar hs-CRP level to the HC group, but a significantly poorer cognitive performance. Compared with the HC group, a higher connectivity between the right dorsal caudal putamen (dcP) and the ventral lateral prefrontal cortex (vlPFC) in the BD group was significantly correlated with a higher hs-CRP level. Stronger dcP-vlPFC connectivity was correlated with a lower CPT unmasked d in the BD group. BD patients might be particularly sensitive to the effects of inflammation on corticostriatal connectivity. The potentially greater sensitivity of BD patients to peripheral inflammation may differentially modulate the cognitive and reward related corticostriatal circuitry, which may contribute to the pathophysiology of cognitive-affective dysregulation in the euthymic state. Anti-inflammatory or other circuit-specific treatment is warranted for individualized treatment in BD.