Resilience to chronic stress is associated with specific neurobiological, neuroendocrine and immune responses

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Gururajan, Anand
van de Wouw, Marcel
Boehme, Marcus
Becker, Thorsten
O'Connor, Rory
Bastiaanssen, Thomaz F. S.
Moloney, Gerard M.
Lyte, Joshua M.
Ventura-Silva, Ana Paula
Merckx, Barbara
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Elsevier Inc.
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Research into the molecular basis of stress resilience is a novel strategy to identify potential therapeutic strategies to treat stress-induced psychopathologies such as anxiety and depression. Stress resilience is a phenomenon which is not solely driven by effects within the central nervous system (CNS) but involves multiple systems, central and peripheral, which interact with and influence each other. Accordingly, we used the chronic social defeat stress paradigm and investigated specific CNS, endocrine and immune responses to identify signatures of stress-resilience and stress susceptibility in mice. Our results showed that mice behaviourally susceptible to stress (indexed by a reduction in social interaction behaviour) had higher plasma corticosterone levels and adrenal hypertrophy. An increase in inflammatory circulating monocytes was another hallmark of stress susceptibility. Furthermore, prefrontal cortex mRNA expression of corticotrophin-releasing factor (Crf) was increased in susceptible mice relative to resilient mice. We also report differences in hippocampal synaptic plasticity between resilient and susceptible mice. Ongoing studies will interpret the functional relevance of these signatures which could potentially inform the development of novel psychotherapeutic strategies.
Stress resilience , Neuroendocrine , Corticotrophin-releasing factor , Prefrontal cortex , Synaptic plasticity , Inflammatory monocytes
Gururajan, A., van de Wouw, M., Boehme, M., Becker, T., O'Connor, R., Bastiaanssen, T. F. S., Moloney, G. M., Lyte, J. M., Ventura Silva, A. P., Merckx, B., Dinan, T. G. and Cryan, J. F. (2019) 'Resilience to chronic stress is associated with specific neurobiological, neuroendocrine and immune responses', Brain, Behavior, and Immunity. doi: 10.1016/j.bbi.2019.05.004