Social Stress-Induced Changes in Gene Expression Profiles in Primate Prefrontal Cortex

David M. Lyons; Adriaan M. Karssen; Jun Z.Li; Song Her; Paresh D. Patel; William E. Bunney, Jr; Edward G. Jones; Stanley J. Watson; Huda Akil; Richard M. Myers; Alan F. Schatzberg
Society of Biological Psychiatry. 2006; 59(8):194S.


Background: Social stress alters the development of prefrontal corticolimbic systems that mediate emotion regulation in humans and nonhuman primates. To identify candidate mechanisms for this aspect of emotional development, we compared gene expression profiles in monkeys exposed to social stress as juvenile or adults.
Methods: Total RNA from dorsolateral cortex, ventromedial cortex, and prefrontal white matter was extract, amplified, reverse transcribed, labeled, and hybridized to Affymetrix U133A2.0 arrays. Probe set signal intensities were analyzed with ANOVAs.
Results: After exposure to adult social stress, 208 more genes than expected by chance were detected as differentially expressed in ventromedial cortex. In monkeys exposed to early-life stress and subsequently examined in adulthood, 45-50 more genes than expected by chance were affected in ventromedial or dorsolateral cortex. Stress effects were not discerned in prefrontal white matter.
Conclusions: The immediate impact of adult social stress is greatest in ventromedial cortex. Early-life stress has enduring effects on a smaller, non-overlapping profile of genes in prefrontal cortex.
Funding: Public Health Service grant MH47573 and the Pritzker Neuropsychiatric Disorders Research Fund.
Acknowledgements: The authors are members of the Pritzker Neuropsychiatric Disorders Research Consortium, which is supported by the Pritzker Neuropsychiatric Disorders Research Fund L.L.C. A shared intellectual property agreement exists between the Pritzker Neuropsychiatric Disorders Research Fund L.L.C. and the University of Michigan, the University of California, and Stanford University to encourage the development of appropriate findings for research and clinical applications.