Cardiff University | Prifysgol Caerdydd ORCA
Online Research @ Cardiff 
WelshClear Cookie - decide language by browser settings

Interferon-alpha induced changes in NODDI predispose to the development of fatigue

Dowell, N. G., Bouyagoub, S., Tibble, J., Voon, V., Cercignani, M. ORCID: and Harrison, N. A. ORCID: 2019. Interferon-alpha induced changes in NODDI predispose to the development of fatigue. Neuroscience 403 , pp. 111-117. 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2017.12.040

[thumbnail of 1-s2.0-S0306452217309302-main.pdf]
PDF - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (506kB) | Preview


Interferon-alpha (IFN-α) is an important mediator of antiviral immune responses. It is also used clinically in the treatment of hepatitis-C infection. Though effective, IFN-α-based therapies can often impair mood, motivation and cognition, which when severe can appear indistinguishable from major depression. In susceptible patients, fatigue and motivational impairment emerge early and have been linked to changes in basal ganglia (striatal) metabolism, neurochemistry and microstructural integrity. Here we use neurite orientation dispersion and density imaging (NODDI) modeling of multi-shell diffusion MRI to investigate whether changes in orientation-dispersion index (ODI) or neurite density index (NDI) can predict the later emergence of IFN-α-induced fatigue. Eighteen patients initiating IFN-α-based treatment for hepatitis-C underwent diffusion MRI and blood sampling at baseline and 4 h after their first IFN-α injection. They were then followed up with regular psychological assessments for 12 weeks of treatment. IFN-α injection stimulated an acute inflammatory cytokine response and evoked acute fatigue that peaked between 4 and 12 weeks of treatment. Within the brain, IFN-α induced an acute increase in NDI in patients that experienced a simultaneous increase in IFN-α-induced fatigue but not in patients that did not. Acute changes in striatal microstructure additionally predicted the continued development of fatigue but not mood symptoms 4 and 8 weeks later into treatment. Our findings highlight the value of NODDI as a potential in vivo biomarker of the central effects of peripheral inflammation. We highlight the exquisite sensitivity of the striatum to IFN-α and further implicate striatal perturbation in IFN-α-induced fatigue.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Cardiff University Brain Research Imaging Centre (CUBRIC)
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0306-4522
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 14 May 2019
Date of Acceptance: 21 December 2017
Last Modified: 03 May 2023 19:40

Citation Data

Cited 18 times in Scopus. View in Scopus. Powered By Scopus® Data

Actions (repository staff only)

Edit Item Edit Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics