Date of Degree


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)




Dr. Carlos A. Garcia


Dr. Ana C. Vallor


Dr. Russell W. Raymond


Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is a chronic inflammatory joint disease, which can cause cartilage and bone damage, as well as disability. A reported symptom of RA includes tissue inflammation disease and cognitive dysfunction. This study aimed to compare the concentration of selected cytokines in the cerebral cortex, hippocampus, hypothalamus, amygdala, and cerebellum of Lewis rats. Age and sex-matched Lewis rats were separated into two groups: control and adjuvant-induced RA. Twenty-eight days after the adjuvant injection, groups were sacrificed and brains dissected using the stereotaxic atlas of Paximos and Watson as a guide. Pro-inflammatory cytokines IL-1β, IL-6, and IL-23, plus the anti-inflammatory IL-10 were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays (ELISA) in tissue homogenates. The results indicate that RA increased the concentration of pro-inflammatory cytokines and anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 in the amygdala and cerebellum, and IL-6 also increased in the cerebral cortex, hippocampus, and hypothalamus. This data provides evidence that adjuvant-induced RA alters the inflammation status of these brain regions. The results are useful in the development of novel drug therapies for the millions of RA patients at risk of developing mood changes, memory loss, and other cognitive deficits.