Integrated microRNA and mRNA gene expression in peripheral blood mononuclear cells in response to acute psychosocial stress: a repeated-measures within-subject pilot study

Jurkiewicz, Magdalena M.; Mueller-Alcazar, Anett; Moser,
Dirk A.
; Jayatilaka, Indralatha; Mikhailik, Anatoly; Ferri, Jamie; Fogelman, Nia; Canli, Turhan

The impact of psychosocial stress on a variety of negative health outcomes is well documented, with current research efforts directed at possible mechanisms. Here, we focused on a potential mechanism involving differential expression of mRNA and microRNA in response to acute psychosocial stress. We utilized a validated behavioral paradigm, the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST), to induce acute psychosocial stress in a cohort of volunteers. Stress reactivity was assessed repeatedly during the TSST using saliva samples that were analyzed for levels of cortisol. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells were extracted from blood drawn at baseline and at two time points following the stress paradigm. Total RNA was extracted, and mRNA and microRNA microarrays were utilized to assess within-subject changes in gene expression between baseline and the two post-stressor time points.

For microarray gene expression analysis, we focused on 12 participants who showed a robust cortisol response to the task, as an indicator of robust HPA-axis activation. We discovered a set of mRNAs and miRNAs that exhibited dynamic expression change in response to the TSST in peripheral blood mononuclear cells, further characterizing the link between psychosocial stress and cellular response mechanisms.


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BMC Research Notes

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Published Here
September 22, 2023


Psychosocial stress, Gene expression, microRNA, mRNA, Stress, Inflammation