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Chronic adolescent stress sex-specifically alters the hippocampal transcriptome in adulthood

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Binder,  Elisabeth B.
Dept. Translational Research in Psychiatry, Max Planck Institute of Psychiatry, Max Planck Society;

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Citation

Rowson, S. A., Bekhbat, M., Kelly, S. D., Binder, E. B., Hyer, M. M., Shaw, G., et al. (2019). Chronic adolescent stress sex-specifically alters the hippocampal transcriptome in adulthood. NEUROPSYCHOPHARMACOLOGY, 44(7), 1207-1215. doi:10.1038/s41386-019-0321-z.


Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0009-61DA-4
Abstract
Chronic adolescent stress alters behavior in a sex-specific manner at the end of adolescence and in adulthood. Although prolonged behavioral repercussions of chronic adolescent stress have been documented, the potential underlying mechanisms are incompletely understood. In this study we demonstrate that a history of chronic adolescent stress modified the adult stress response, as measured by corticosterone concentration, such that a history of chronic adolescent stress resulted in a blunted response to a novel acute stressor. In order to begin to address potential mechanistic underpinnings, we assessed the extent to which chronic adolescent stress impacted global DNA methylation. Reduced global hippocampal methylation was evident in females with a history of chronic adolescent stress; thus, it was possible that chronic adolescent stress altered global transcription in the whole hippocampi of adult male and female rats. In addition, because acute stress can stimulate a genomic response, we assessed the transcriptome following exposure to an acute novel stressor to determine the extent to which a history of chronic adolescent stress modifies the adult transcriptional response to an acute stressor in males and females. In addition to the reduction in global methylation, chronic adolescent stress resulted in distinct patterns of gene expression in the adult hippocampus that differentiated by sex. Furthermore, both sex and a history of chronic adolescent stress influenced the transcriptional response to an acute novel stressor in adulthood, suggesting both latent and functional effects of chronic adolescent stress at the level of gene transcription. Pathway analysis indicated that ESR1 and IFN-a may be particularly influential transcription factors mediating these transcriptional differences and suggest candidate mechanisms for future studies. Collectively, these studies demonstrate sexspecific and enduring effects of adolescent stress exposure that are more pronounced in females than in males.