New study finds mice may need infection-fighting molecules to socialize.
Molecules that protect the body from infection may be needed for mice to socialize with their peers, according to a study published today in Nature. This double duty could help safeguard the health of animals that live in close quarters.
The findings bolster an emerging link between the immune system and conditions such as autism, says lead researcher Jonathan Kipnis, professor of neuroscience at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville. “Whether we like it or not, there is a piling up of evidence that the immune system has a major impact on brain function: The brain is not isolated from the rest of the body,” he says.