Associations between peripheral inflammation and resting state functional connectivity in adolescents

Johnna R. Swartz, Angelica F. Carranza, Laura M. Tully, Annchen R. Knodt, Janina Jiang, Michael R. Irwin, Camelia E. Hostinar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Relatively little is known about associations between peripheral inflammation and neural function in humans. Neuroimaging studies in adults have suggested that elevated peripheral inflammatory markers are associated with altered resting state functional connectivity (rsFC) in several brain networks associated with mood and cognition. Few studies have examined these associations in adolescents, yet scarce data from adolescents point to different networks than adult studies. The current study examined the associations between peripheral inflammation and rsFC in a community sample of adolescents (n = 70; age, 12–15 years; 32 female, 36 male, 2 nonbinary). After blood sampling, an fMRI scan was performed to assess rsFC. Assay for serum inflammatory markers, including interleukin-6 (IL-6), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-α), and C-reactive protein (CRP), was performed. Results indicated that higher TNF-α was associated with altered rsFC between the right amygdala and left striatum and between the right inferior frontal gyrus and left parietal cortex (p < 0.05 whole-brain corrected). Associations with IL-6 and CRP were not significant. In contrast with findings in adults, inflammation may have unique links with the connectivity of the developing adolescent brain. Results have implications for understanding how peripheral inflammation may influence connectivity during adolescence, when neural networks are undergoing major developmental changes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalBrain, Behavior, and Immunity
StateAccepted/In press - 2021


  • Adolescence
  • Amygdala
  • Brain
  • fMRI
  • Inflammation
  • Resting state connectivity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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