Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai NEW YORK United States
Approximately one third of Veterans who served in the Gulf War later developed a chronic multi-symptom illness known as Gulf War Illness GWI. While the exact cause is unknown, it is believed that persistent exposure to environmental toxins such as pesticides and chemical warfare agents may have interacted with combat-related stress to produce lasting neurological and psychiatric complications among this Veteran population. Neuroinflammation has been increasingly linked with psychiatric and neurological disorders and may play a role in GWI pathology. Microglia are a key mediator of neuroinflammation and the underlying goal of this project is to test the hypothesis that microglial activation acts as a causal factor to produce cognitive and psychiatric disturbances in a mouse model of GWI. In particular, this project will utilized novel Designer Receptors Exclusively Activated by Designer Drugs DREADD technology to inactivate microglia in our mouse model of GWI.