Two competing proteins affect the chronic inflammation of the nervous system following viral infection

Fatigue and depression are common during and after viral infection, and
in some cases can become chronic long-term ailments. Fever and
inflammation associated with viral infections are triggered by the
release of proinflammatory proteins called cytokines. These proteins can
also trigger persistent inflammation of the central nervous system, or
neuroinflammation, which is thought to be a key factor in the onset of
viral-related depression and fatigue. The exact molecular mechanisms
involved, however, are not fully understood.

Yosky Kataoka, Masanori Yamato and colleagues from the RIKEN Center for
Life Science Technologies have now uncovered the roles of two cytokines,
interleukin 1 beta (IL-1β) and its receptor antagonist IL-1ra, in
triggering and controlling neuroinflammation in rats.

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