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Acute psychological stress induces short-term variable immune response

Acute psychological stress induces short-term variable immune response
Acute psychological stress induces short-term variable immune response
In spite of advances in understanding the cross-talk between the peripheral immune system and the brain, the molecular mechanisms underlying the rapid adaptation of the immune system to an acute psychological stressor remain largely unknown. Conventional approaches to classify molecular factors mediating these responses have targeted relatively few biological measurements or explored cross-sectional study designs, and therefore have restricted characterization of stress-immune interactions. This exploratory study analyzed transcriptional profiles and flow cytometric data of peripheral blood leukocytes with physiological (endocrine, autonomic) measurements collected throughout the sequence of events leading up to, during, and after short-term exposure to physical danger in humans. Immediate immunomodulation to acute psychological stress was defined as a short-term selective up-regulation of Natural Killer (NK) cell-associated cytotoxic and IL-12 mediated signaling genes that correlated with increased cortisol, catecholamines and NK cells into the periphery. In parallel, we observed down-regulation of innate immune toll-like receptor genes and genes of the MyD88-dependent signaling pathway. Focusing analyses on discrete groups of coordinately expressed genes (modules) throughout the time-series revealed immune stress responses in modules associated to immune/defense response, response to wounding, cytokine production, TCR signaling and NK cell cytotoxicity which differed between males and females. These results offer a spring-board for future research towards improved treatment of stress-related disease including the impact of stress on cardiovascular and autoimmune disorders, and identifies an immune mechanism by which vulnerabilities to these diseases may be gender-specific.
immune system, periphery, leukocytes, skydive, brain, gene co-expression network
0889-1591
1-38
Breen, Michael S.
2a4241cd-4f16-4f7f-9165-1459ed2c8890
Beliakova-Bethell, Nadejda
72698b03-9c79-4ae8-89a8-2c64fe30e11e
Mujica-Parodi, Lilianne R.
2ff72233-a0fb-4ac2-8c0b-1cc9393c2f32
Carlson, Joshua M.
f9339184-8f44-4134-8a43-712b1b773ecc
Ensign, Wayne Y.
5366841a-98e5-40b6-9315-1186353c77c8
Woelk, Christopher H.
4d3af0fd-658f-4626-b3b5-49a6192bcf7d
Rana, Brinda K.
3b32c38c-6e12-4334-865a-85100661deb8
Breen, Michael S.
2a4241cd-4f16-4f7f-9165-1459ed2c8890
Beliakova-Bethell, Nadejda
72698b03-9c79-4ae8-89a8-2c64fe30e11e
Mujica-Parodi, Lilianne R.
2ff72233-a0fb-4ac2-8c0b-1cc9393c2f32
Carlson, Joshua M.
f9339184-8f44-4134-8a43-712b1b773ecc
Ensign, Wayne Y.
5366841a-98e5-40b6-9315-1186353c77c8
Woelk, Christopher H.
4d3af0fd-658f-4626-b3b5-49a6192bcf7d
Rana, Brinda K.
3b32c38c-6e12-4334-865a-85100661deb8

Breen, Michael S., Beliakova-Bethell, Nadejda, Mujica-Parodi, Lilianne R., Carlson, Joshua M., Ensign, Wayne Y., Woelk, Christopher H. and Rana, Brinda K. (2015) Acute psychological stress induces short-term variable immune response. Brain, Behavior and Immunity, 1-38. (doi:10.1016/j.bbi.2015.10.008).

Record type: Article

Abstract

In spite of advances in understanding the cross-talk between the peripheral immune system and the brain, the molecular mechanisms underlying the rapid adaptation of the immune system to an acute psychological stressor remain largely unknown. Conventional approaches to classify molecular factors mediating these responses have targeted relatively few biological measurements or explored cross-sectional study designs, and therefore have restricted characterization of stress-immune interactions. This exploratory study analyzed transcriptional profiles and flow cytometric data of peripheral blood leukocytes with physiological (endocrine, autonomic) measurements collected throughout the sequence of events leading up to, during, and after short-term exposure to physical danger in humans. Immediate immunomodulation to acute psychological stress was defined as a short-term selective up-regulation of Natural Killer (NK) cell-associated cytotoxic and IL-12 mediated signaling genes that correlated with increased cortisol, catecholamines and NK cells into the periphery. In parallel, we observed down-regulation of innate immune toll-like receptor genes and genes of the MyD88-dependent signaling pathway. Focusing analyses on discrete groups of coordinately expressed genes (modules) throughout the time-series revealed immune stress responses in modules associated to immune/defense response, response to wounding, cytokine production, TCR signaling and NK cell cytotoxicity which differed between males and females. These results offer a spring-board for future research towards improved treatment of stress-related disease including the impact of stress on cardiovascular and autoimmune disorders, and identifies an immune mechanism by which vulnerabilities to these diseases may be gender-specific.

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Accepted/In Press date: 13 October 2015
e-pub ahead of print date: 22 October 2015
Keywords: immune system, periphery, leukocytes, skydive, brain, gene co-expression network
Organisations: Clinical & Experimental Sciences

Identifiers

Local EPrints ID: 384953
URI: https://eprints.soton.ac.uk/id/eprint/384953
ISSN: 0889-1591
PURE UUID: 2bdafd21-12dc-4550-8ee0-0d120cbcc186

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Date deposited: 10 Dec 2015 15:18
Last modified: 17 Jul 2017 20:00

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Contributors

Author: Michael S. Breen
Author: Nadejda Beliakova-Bethell
Author: Lilianne R. Mujica-Parodi
Author: Joshua M. Carlson
Author: Wayne Y. Ensign
Author: Brinda K. Rana

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