Respiratory infection perturbs oligodendrocyte homeostasis in adult mice
Abstract: Recent data suggest that myelin, the fatty substance produced by oligodendrocytes that surrounds neuronal axons, may be altered by physiological events occurring outside of the central nervous system, and that this may cause changes to cognition and behavior. Similarly, peripheral infection by non-neurotropic viruses can also cause changes to cognition and behavior. Previous research performed by members of our laboratory indicates that infection with influenza A virus can cause microglia activation and perturb oligodendrocyte homeostasis in otherwise healthy adult mice. We are currently investigating the association between microglia activation and respiratory infection-induced changes to oligodendrocytes as well as link between oligodendrocyte stress and cognitive dysfunction.
Bio: Dr. Steelman received a Ph.D. in in biomedical sciences in 2008 from Texas A&M University. After completing a postdoctoral fellowship at the same institution he joined the faculty in the Department of Animal Sciences at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 2014. His research is centered on understanding how systemic inflammation resulting from respiratory viral infection exacerbates symptoms of the demyelinating and neurodegenerative disease multiple sclerosis as well as understanding the contribution of adverse neuroinflammatory responses that occur during infection with neurotropic viruses.