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Author Ferland, Chantelle L. ♦ Harris, Erin P. ♦ Lam, Mai ♦ Schrader, Laura A.
Source Paperity
Content type Text
Publisher Oxford University Press
File Format PDF ♦ HTM / HTML
Copyright Year ©2014
Abstract Evidence suggests that when presented with novel acute stress, animals previously exposed to chronic homotypic or heterotypic stressors exhibit normal or enhanced hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) response compared with animals exposed solely to that acute stressor. The molecular mechanisms involved in this effect remain unknown. The extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) is one of the key pathways regulated in the hippocampus in both acute and chronic stress. The aim of this study was to examine the interaction of prior chronic stress, using the chronic variable stress model (CVS), with exposure to a novel acute stressor (2,5-dihydro-2,4,5-trimethyl thiazoline; TMT) on ERK activation, expression of the downstream protein BCL-2, and the glucocorticoid receptor co-chaperone BAG-1 in control and chronically stressed male rats. TMT exposure after chronic stress resulted in a significant interaction of chronic and acute stress in all 3 hippocampus subregions on ERK activation and BCL-2 expression. Significantly, acute stress increased ERK activation, BCL-2 and BAG-1 protein expression in the dentate gyrus (DG) of CVS-treated rats compared with control, CVS-treated alone, and TMT-only animals. Furthermore, CVS significantly increased ERK activation in medial prefrontal cortex, but acute stress had no significant effect. Inhibition of corticosterone synthesis with metyrapone had no significant effect on ERK activation in the hippocampus; therefore, glucocorticoids alone do not mediate the molecular effects. Finally, because post-translational modifications of histones are believed to play an important role in the stress response, we examined changes in histone acetylation. We found that, in general, chronic stress decreased K12H4 acetylation, whereas acute stress increased acetylation. These results indicate a molecular mechanism by which chronic stress-induced HPA axis plasticity can lead to neurochemical alterations in the hippocampus that influence reactivity to subsequent stress exposure. This may represent an important site of dysfunction that contributes to stress-induced pathology such as depression, anxiety disorders, and posttraumatic stress disorder.
Learning Resource Type Article
Publisher Date 2014-08-01
Journal Endocrinology
Volume Number 155
Issue Number 8