A01 A02 A03 A04 A05 A06 A07 A09 A10 A11 A12 A13 A14 A18 A19 A21 F01 F02 INF

A12 –The impact of chronic inflammation on fear extinction

Harald Engler, Sigrid Elsenbruch

Systemic inflammation interferes with learning and memory processes and may contribute to the pathophysiology of chronic pain by impairing the extinction of pain-related fear. This project aims to analyze the effects of acute and chronic inflammation on different aspects of extinction learning. We will test in healthy volunteers if acute inflammation, experimentally induced by intravenous administration of endotoxin, impairs extinction and facilitates reinstatement of conditioned pain-related fear. Effects of chronic inflammation on extinction learning will be addressed in patients with chronic inflammatory bowel disease.

Guiding questions of A12:

  • Does inflammation result in enhanced acquisition of pain-related fear?
  • Does inflammation impair extinction learning and facilitate the reinstatement of pain-related fear?
  • Are the effects of inflammation on excitatory and inhibitory learning specific to pain and what are the neural correlates?
  • Is extinction learning impaired in patients with inflammatory bowel disease?

Harald Engler

Projektleiter A12

Universität Duisburg-Essen

Sigrid Elsenbruch

Projektleiterin A10, A12

Ruhr-Universität Bochum

Franziska Labrenz

Postdoc A10, A12

Ruhr-Universität Bochum / Universität Duisburg-Essen

Hanna Öhlmann

Postdoc A12

Ruhr-Universität Bochum

Lena Nonnweiler

Doktorandin A12

Universität Duisburg-Essen

10 project-relevant publications

Benson S, Rebernik L, Pastoors D, Brinkhoff A, Wegner A, Elsenbruch S, Engler H (2020) Impact of acute inflammation on the extinction of aversive gut memories. Brain Behav Immun. 88: 294–301.

Benson S, Siebert C, Koenen LR, Engler H, Kleine-Borgmann J, Bingel U, Icenhour A, Elsenbruch S (2019) Cortisol affects pain sensitivity and pain-related emotional learning in experimental visceral but not somatic pain: a randomized controlled study in healthy men and women. Pain. 160(8): 1719–1728.

Engler H, Brendt P, Wischermann J, Wegner A, Röhling R, Schoemberg T, Meyer U, Gold R, Peters J, Benson S, Schedlowski M (2017) Selective increase of cerebrospinal fluid IL-6 during experimental systemic inflammation inhumans: association with depressive symptoms. Mol Psychiatry. 22(10): 1448–1454.

Engler H, Doenlen R, Engler A, Riether C, Prager G, Niemi M-B, Pacheco-López G, Krügel U, Schedlowski M (2011) Acute amygdaloid response to systemic inflammation. Brain Behav Immun. 25(7): 1384–1392.

Engler H, Elsenbruch S, Rebernik L, Köcke J, Cramer H, Schöls M, Langhorst J (2018) Stress burden and neuroendocrine regulation of cytokine production in patients with ulcerative colitis in remission. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 98: 101–107.

Icenhour A, Kattoor J, Benson S, Boekstegers A, Schlamann M, Merz CJ, Forsting M, Elsenbruch S (2015) Neural circuitry underlying effects of context on human pain-related fear extinction in a renewal paradigm. Hum Brain Mapp. 36(8): 3179–3193.

Labanski A, Langhorst J, Engler H, Elsenbruch S (2020) Stress and the brain-gut axis in functional and chronic-inflammatory gastrointestinal diseases: A transdisciplinary challenge. Psychoneuroendocrinology. 111:104501.

Lasselin J, Lekander M, Benson S, Schedlowski M, Engler H (2020) Sick for science: experimental endotoxemia as a translational tool to develop and test new therapies for inflammation-associated depression. Mol Psychiatry.

Prager G, Hadamitzky M, Engler A, Doenlen R, Wirth T, Pacheco-López G, Krügel U, Schedlowski M, Engler H (2013) Amygdaloid signature of peripheral immune activation by bacterial lipopolysaccharide or staphylococcal enterotoxin B. J Neuroimmune Pharmacol. 8(1): 42–50.

Schmid J, Langhorst J, Gaß F, Theysohn N, Benson S, Engler H, Gizewski ER, Forsting M, Elsenbruch S (2015) Placebo analgesia in patients with functional and organic abdominal pain: a fMRI study in IBS, UC and healthy volunteers. Gut. 64(3): 418–427.