Immuno-moodulin: a new anxiogenic factor produced by Annexin- A1 transgenic autoimmune-prone T cells: A new anxiogenic factor produced by Annexin-A1 transgenic autoimmune-prone T cells

Giuseppa Piras, Lorenza Rattazzi, Nikolaos Paschalidis, Silvia Oggero, Giulio Berti, Masahiro Ono, Fabio Bellia, Claudio D'Addario, Bernardo Dell'Osso, Carmine Maria Pariante, Mauro Perretti, Fulvio D'Acquisto

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Patients suffering from autoimmune diseases are more susceptible to mental disorders yet, the existence of specific cellular and molecular mechanisms behind the co-morbidity of these pathologies is far from being fully elucidated. By generating transgenic mice overexpressing Annexin-A1 exclusively in T cells to study its impact in models of autoimmune diseases, we made the unpredicted observation of an increased level of anxiety. Gene microarray of Annexin-A1 CD4+ T cells identified a novel anxiogenic factor, a small protein of approximately 21 kDa encoded by the gene 2610019F03Rik which we named Immuno-moodulin. Neutralizing antibodies against Immuno-moodulin reverted the behavioral phenotype of Annexin-A1 transgenic mice and lowered the basal levels of anxiety in wild type mice; moreover, we also found that patients suffering from obsessive compulsive disorders show high levels of Imood in their peripheral mononuclear cells. We thus identify this protein as a novel peripheral determinant that modulates anxiety behavior. Therapies targeting Immuno-moodulin may lead to a new type of treatment for mental disorders through regulation of the functions of the immune system, rather than directly acting on the nervous system.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBrain Behav. Immun.
Early online date29 Feb 2020
Publication statusPublished - 29 Feb 2020
Externally publishedYes

Cite this