Clinical anxiety, cortisol and interleukin-6: evidence for specificity in emotion-biology relationships. Brain Behav Immun

Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health Research, St. Vincent's University Hospital, University College Dublin, Ireland.
Brain Behavior and Immunity (Impact Factor: 5.89). 03/2010; 24(7):1074-7. DOI: 10.1016/j.bbi.2010.03.003
Source: PubMed


Anxiety confers increased risk for inflammatory diseases, and elevated inflammatory activity in anxious individuals may contribute to this increased risk. One complication, however, is that anxiety could be associated with inflammatory activity either through a specific anxiety pathway or through a more general negative emotionality pathway. To investigate, we measured levels of the stress hormone cortisol, the pro-inflammatory cytokine interleukin-6 (IL-6), and the systemic inflammatory marker C-reactive protein (CRP), as well as depression and neuroticism, in clinically anxious and non-anxious adults. Compared with non-anxious participants, clinically anxious participants exhibited significantly lower levels of morning cortisol and significantly higher levels of IL-6, independent of age, sex, and depressive symptoms. These group differences were robust when controlling for neuroticism. Conversely, the groups had equivalent levels of CRP in all analyses. Results are indicative of anxiety-specific effects on inflammatory activity, and highlight a pathway by which anxiety may increase risk for inflammatory diseases.

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    • "In humans, the experience of chronic stress is associated with proinflammatory leukocytic phenotypes that are unresponsive to the anti-inflammatory actions of glucocorticoids (GCs) (Cohen et al., 2012) and a transcriptional profile that is consistent with the expansion and priming of myeloid-derived cells (Miller et al., 2008; Powell et al., 2013). The mechanistic association between inflammation and depression is particularly well-established (Raison et al., 2006; Dantzer et al., 2008; Miller et al., 2009; Norman et al., 2010; Capuron and Miller, 2011), while the case continues to build for the mechanistic association between inflammation and anxiety (Maes et al., 1998; Pitsavos et al., 2006; O'Donovan et al., 2010; Pace and Heim, 2012). The murine repeated social defeat (RSD) paradigm recapitulates many key immunological and behavioral features associated with psychosocial stress in humans. "
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    ABSTRACT: The development and exacerbation of depression and anxiety are associated with exposure to repeated psychosocial stress. Stress is known to affect the bidirectional communication between the nervous and immune systems leading to elevated levels of stress mediators including glucocorticoids (GCs) and catecholamines and increased trafficking of proinflammatory immune cells. Animal models, like the repeated social defeat (RSD) paradigm, were developed to explore this connection between stress and affective disorders. RSD induces activation of the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) and hypothalamic-pituitary (HPA) axis activation, increases bone marrow production and egress of primed, GC-insensitive monocytes, and stimulates the trafficking of these cells to tissues including the spleen, lung, and brain. Recently, the observation that these monocytes have the ability to traffic to the brain perivascular spaces and parenchyma have provided mechanisms by which these peripheral cells may contribute to the prolonged anxiety-like behavior associated with RSD. The data that have been amassed from the RSD paradigm and others recapitulate many of the behavioral and immunological phenotypes associated with human anxiety disorders and may serve to elucidate potential avenues of treatment for these disorders. Here, we will discuss novel and key data that will present an overview of the neuroendocrine, immunological and behavioral responses to social stressors. Copyright © 2015 IBRO. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Neuroscience 01/2015; 289. DOI:10.1016/j.neuroscience.2015.01.001 · 3.36 Impact Factor
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    • "CDC42, IL6 and AChE are all causally involved with anxiety (25,26,30,31). Specifically, AChE up-regulation in anxiety (32,33) could suppress ACh levels, intercepting ACh blockade of inflammation (30), whereas the miR-608 target CDC42 interacts with collybistin in GABAergic neurons and is actively involved in the formation of the anxiolytic GABAA receptor synapse (25,34). Therefore, we predicted that rs17228616 causes additive cholinergic and GABAergic pathway-mediated increases in anxiety and parasympathetic signaling. "
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    ABSTRACT: MicroRNAs (miRNAs) can repress multiple targets, but how a single de-balanced interaction affects others remained unclear. We found that changing a single miRNA–target interaction can simultaneously affect multiple other miRNA–target interactions and modify physiological phenotype. We show that miR-608 targets acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and demonstrate weakened miR-608 interaction with the rs17228616 AChE allele having a single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) in the 3′-untranslated region (3′UTR). In cultured cells, this weakened interaction potentiated miR-608-mediated suppression of other targets, including CDC42 and interleukin-6 (IL6). Postmortem human cortices homozygote for the minor rs17228616 allele showed AChE elevation and CDC42/IL6 decreases compared with major allele homozygotes. Additionally, minor allele heterozygote and homozygote subjects showed reduced cortisol and elevated blood pressure, predicting risk of anxiety and hypertension. Parallel suppression of the conserved brain CDC42 activity by intracerebroventricular ML141 injection caused acute anxiety in mice. We demonstrate that SNPs in miRNA-binding regions could cause expanded downstream effects changing important biological pathways.
    Human Molecular Genetics 04/2014; 23(17). DOI:10.1093/hmg/ddu170 · 6.39 Impact Factor
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    • "Oxidative stress is one possible mechanism that may be related to inflammation and development of anxious behavior. Studies showed that inflammatory cytokines may be increased after oxidative stress [104] [105] [106] [107], and may induce anxiety [108]. In addition, quercetin, which has antiinflammatory properties [109], also has a role as an antioxidant agent [109] [110] and reverses stress-induced anxiety-like effects [110]. "
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    ABSTRACT: The oxidative imbalance appears to have an important role in anxiety development. Studies in both humans and animals have shown a strong correlation between anxiety and oxidative stress. In humans, for example, the increased malondialdehyde levels and discrepancies in antioxidant enzymes in erythrocytes have been observed. In animals, several studies also show that anxiety-like behavior is related to the oxidative imbalance. Moreover, anxiety-like behavior can be caused by pharmacological-induced oxidative stress. Studies using knockout or overexpression of antioxidant enzymes have shown a relationship between anxiety-like behavior and oxidative stress. Related factors of oxidative stress that could influence anxious behavior are revised, including impaired function of different mitochondrial proteins, inflammatory cytokines, and neurotrophic factors. It has been suggested that a therapy specifically focus in reducing reactive species production may have a beneficial effect in reducing anxiety. However, the neurobiological pathways underlying the effect of oxidative stress on anxiety symptoms are not fully comprehended. The challenge now is to identify the oxidative stress mechanisms likely to be involved in the induction of anxiety symptoms. Understanding these pathways could help to clarify the neurobiology of the anxiety disorder and provide tools for new discovery in therapies and preventive strategies.
    Current Neuropharmacology 03/2014; 12(2):193-204. DOI:10.2174/1570159X11666131120223530 · 3.05 Impact Factor
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