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Double stranded RNA is generated during viral replication. The synthetic analogue poly I:C is frequently used to mimic anti-viral innate immune responses in models of psychiatric and neurodegenerative disorders including schizophrenia, autism, Parkinson's disease and Alzheimer's disease. Many studies perform limited analysis of innate immunity despite these responses potentially differing as a function of dsRNA molecular weight and age. Therefore fundamental questions relevant to impacts of systemic viral infection on brain function and integrity remain. Here, we studied innate immune-inducing properties of poly I:C preparations of different lengths and responses in adult and aged mice. High molecular weight (HMW) poly I:C (1-6 kb, 12 mg/kg) produced more robust sickness behavior and more robust IL-6, IFN-I and TNF-α responses than poly I:C of 

Original publication




Journal article


Brain Behav Immun

Publication Date





413 - 428


Age, CNS, COVID19, Cytokines, IL-6, Neuroinflammation, Poly I:C, SARS-CoV-2, Sickness behaviour, Systemic inflammation, TNF-α, dsRNA, type I interferon, Animals, COVID-19, Cognitive Dysfunction, Humans, Illness Behavior, Immunity, Innate, Mice, Poly I-C, RNA, Double-Stranded, Receptor, Interferon alpha-beta, SARS-CoV-2