Differential stress response in rats subjected to chronic mild stress is accompanied by changes in CRH-family gene expression at the pituitary level
Authors: Kolasa, Magdalena; Faron-Gorecka, Agata; Kusmider, Maciej; Szafran-Pilch, Kinga; Solich, Joanna; Zurawek, Dariusz; Gruca, Piotr; Papp, Mariusz
The purpose of this study was to examine molecular markers of the stress response at the pituitary and peripheral levels in animals that responded differently to chronic mild stress (CMS). Rats were subjected to 2-weeks CMS and symptoms of anhedonia was measured by the consumption of 1% sucrose solution. mRNA levels of CRH-family neuropeptides (Crh-corticotropin-releasing hormone, Ucn1-urocortin 1, Ucn2-urocortin 2, Ucn3-urocortin 3), CRH receptors (Crhr1-corticotropin-releasing hormone receptor 1, Crhr2-corticotropin-releasing hormone receptor 2) and Crhbp (corticotropin-releasing factor binding protein) in the pituitaries of rats were determined with real-time PCR. Plasma levels of ACTH ( adrenocorticotropin), CRH and urocortins were measured with ELISA assays. CMS procedure led to the development of anhedonia manifested by the decreased sucrose consumption (stress-reactive, SR, stress-susceptible group). Additionally, the group of animals not exhibiting any signs of anhedonia (stress non-reactive, SNR, stress-resilient group) and the group characterized by the increased sucrose consumption (stress invert-reactive group SIR) were selected. The significant increases in ACTH plasma level accompanied by the decreases in the pituitary gene expression of the Crh, Ucn2 and Ucn3 in both stress non-reactive and stress invert-reactive groups were observed. The only molecular change observed in stress-reactive group was the increase in UCN2 plasma level. The differentiated behavioral stress responses were reflected by gene expression changes in the pituitary. Alterations in the mRNA levels of Crh, Ucn2 and Ucn3 in the pituitary might confirm the paracrine and/or autocrine effects of these peptides in stress response. The opposite behavioral effect between SNR vs. SIR groups and the surprising similarity at gene expression and plasma ACTH levels in these two groups may suggest the discrepancy between molecular and behavioral stress responses; however, there results might indicate to similarity underlying different ways to cope with stress conditions. (C) 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Fetal DNA Methylation Associates with Early Spontaneous Preterm Birth and Gestational Age
Authors: Parets, Sasha E.; Conneely, Karen N.; Kilaru, Varun; Fortunato, Stephen J.; Syed, Tariq Ali; Saade, George; Smith, Alicia K.; Menon, Ramkumar
Spontaneous preterm birth (PTB, <37 weeks gestation) is a major public health concern, and children born preterm have a higher risk of morbidity and mortality throughout their lives. Recent studies suggest that fetal DNA methylation of several genes varies across a range of gestational ages (GA), but it is not yet clear if fetal epigenetic changes associate with PTB. The objective of this study is to interrogate methylation patterns across the genome in fetal leukocyte DNA from African Americans with early PTB (24(1/7)-34(0/7) weeks; N = 22) or term births (39(0/7)-40(6/7) weeks; N = 28) and to evaluate the association of each CpG site with PTB and GA. DNA methylation was assessed across the genome with the HumanMethylation450 BeadChip. For each individual sample and CpG site, the proportion of DNA methylation was estimated. The associations between methylation and PTB or GA were evaluated by fitting a separate linear model for each CpG site, adjusting for relevant covariates. Overall, 29 CpG sites associated with PTB (FDR<.05; 5.7x10(-10)