Interleukin 6 deficiency affects spontaneous activity of mice in age- and sex-dependent manner

Abstract

We analyzed the role of interleukin 6 (IL-6) in modulation of the pattern of mice spontaneous activity. Wild type (WT) and IL-6 deficient mice of both sexes, young and aging, were housed individually and various types of their activity were recorded and analyzed with the Phenorack system in their home cages during 72 hours-long sessions. All investigated groups of mice were active mainly during the dark phase of the 24-hours cycle. Generally, the IL-6 deficient animals were more active than their WT controls and females of both genotypes more active than males. Aging mice were less active than the sex and genotype-matched young animals. The independent variables (age, sex and genotype) strongly interacted, which suggests that the modulatory influence of IL-6 on mice behavior may be different in males and females and that it changes during aging. We conclude that under normal physiological conditions signaling of IL-6 via its receptor participates in modulation of the basic pattern of activity. This modulation differs in males and females and changes with aging.