FKBP51 mediates resilience to inflammation-induced anxiety through regulation of glutamic acid decarboxylase 65 expression in mouse hippocampus

Yu Ling Gan, Chen Yu Wang, Rong Heng He, Pei Chien Hsu, Hsin Hsien Yeh, Tsung Han Hsieh, Hui Ching Lin, Ming Yen Cheng, Chung Jiuan Jeng, Ming Chyi Huang, Yi Hsuan Lee*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background: Inflammation is a potential risk factor of mental disturbance. FKBP5 that encodes FK506-binding protein 51 (FKBP51), a negative cochaperone of glucocorticoid receptor (GR), is a stress-inducible gene and has been linked to psychiatric disorders. Yet, the role of FKBP51 in the inflammatory stress-associated mental disturbance remained unclear. Methods: Fkbp5-deficient (Fkbp5-KO) mice were used to study inflammatory stress by a single intraperitoneal injection of lipopolysaccharide (LPS). The anxiety-like behaviors, neuroimaging, immunofluorescence staining, immunohistochemistry, protein and mRNA expression analysis of inflammation- and neurotransmission-related mediators were evaluated. A dexamethasone drinking model was also applied to examine the effect of Fkbp5-KO in glucocorticoid-induced stress. Results: LPS administration induced FKBP51 elevation in the liver and hippocampus accompanied with transient sickness. Notably, Fkbp5-KO but not wild-type (WT) mice showed anxiety-like behaviors 7 days after LPS injection (LPS-D7). LPS challenge rapidly increased peripheral and central immune responses and hippocampal microglial activation followed by a delayed GR upregulation on LPS-D7, and these effects were attenuated in Fkbp5-KO mice. Whole-brain [18F]-FEPPA neuroimaging, which target translocator protein (TSPO) to indicate neuroinflammation, showed that Fkbp5-KO reduced LPS-induced neuroinflammation in various brain regions including hippocampus. Interestingly, LPS elevated glutamic acid decarboxylase 65 (GAD65), the membrane-associated GABA-synthesizing enzyme, in the hippocampus of WT but not Fkbp5-KO mice on LPS-D7. This FKBP51-dependent GAD65 upregulation was observed in the ventral hippocampal CA1 accompanied by the reduction of c-Fos-indicated neuronal activity, whereas both GAD65 and neuronal activity were reduced in dorsal CA1 in a FKBP51-independent manner. GC-induced anxiety was also examined, which was attenuated in Fkbp5-KO and hippocampal GAD65 expression was unaffected. Conclusions: These results suggest that FKBP51/FKBP5 is involved in the systemic inflammation-induced neuroinflammation and hippocampal GR activation, which may contribute to the enhancement of GAD65 expression for GABA synthesis in the ventral hippocampus, thereby facilitating resilience to inflammation-induced anxiety.

Original languageEnglish
Article number152
JournalJournal of Neuroinflammation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • Anxiety
  • FK506-binding protein 51 (FKBP51)
  • GABA
  • Glucocorticoid receptor
  • Glutamic acid decarboxylase 65 (GAD65)
  • Inflammation
  • Resilience
  • Ventral hippocampus


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