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Special Issue "Neurobiological Mechanisms Implicated in Stress-Related Psychiatric Disorders"

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Molecular Neurobiology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 May 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Zoya Marinova
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute for Globally Distributed Open Research and Education (IGDORE) and Ronin Institute
Interests: neuroscience; epigenetics; molecular pharmacology

Special Issue Information

Dear colleagues,  

Stress has been implicated in the pathophysiology of a number of psychiatric conditions including mood disorders, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder. The mechanisms that underlie the effects of stress are diverse and may affect neuronal structures, the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis, neurotransmitters, inflammation, oxidation–reduction regulation, and synaptic function. Gene–environment interactions also play an important role in the interaction between stress and psychiatric disorders. The regulation of epigenetic modifications, including DNA methylation, histone modifications, miRNA signatures, and higher-order chromatin structure, has also been identified as a key mechanism underlying the effects of stress on psychiatric conditions.

This Special Issue, “Neurobiological Mechanisms Implicated in Stress-Related Psychiatric Disorders”, will cover a selection of original and review articles on the neurobiology of stress-related psychiatric disorders.

Dr. Zoya Marinova
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Molecular Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. There is an Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal. For details about the APC please see here. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • central nervous system
  • mood disorders
  • post-traumatic stress disorder
  • psychosocial stress
  • stress response

Published Papers (6 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle
Cobalt Regulates Activation of Camk2α in Neurons by Influencing Fructose 1,6-Bisphosphatase 2 Quaternary Structure and Subcellular Localization
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(9), 4800; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22094800 - 30 Apr 2021
Viewed by 273
Abstract
Fructose 1,6-bisphosphatase 2 (Fbp2) is a gluconeogenic enzyme and multifunctional protein modulating mitochondrial function and synaptic plasticity via protein-protein interactions. The ability of Fbp2 to bind to its cellular partners depends on a quaternary arrangement of the protein. NAD+ and AMP stabilize [...] Read more.
Fructose 1,6-bisphosphatase 2 (Fbp2) is a gluconeogenic enzyme and multifunctional protein modulating mitochondrial function and synaptic plasticity via protein-protein interactions. The ability of Fbp2 to bind to its cellular partners depends on a quaternary arrangement of the protein. NAD+ and AMP stabilize an inactive T-state of Fbp2 and thus, affect these interactions. However, more subtle structural changes evoked by the binding of catalytic cations may also change the affinity of Fbp2 to its cellular partners. In this report, we demonstrate that Fbp2 interacts with Co2+, a cation which in excessive concentrations, causes pathologies of the central nervous system and which has been shown to provoke the octal-like events in hippocampal slices. We describe for the first time the kinetics of Fbp2 in the presence of Co2+, and we provide a line of evidence that Co2+ blocks the AMP-induced transition of Fbp2 to the canonical T-state triggering instead of a new, non-canonical T-state. In such a state, Fbp2 is still partially active and may interact with its binding partners e.g., Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase 2α (Camk2α). The Fbp2-Camk2α complex seems to be restricted to mitochondria membrane and it facilitates the Camk2α autoactivation and thus, synaptic plasticity. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Serotonin/5-HT1A Signaling in the Neurovascular Unit Regulates Endothelial CLDN5 Expression
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(1), 254; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22010254 - 29 Dec 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 730
Abstract
We previously reported that site-selective claudin-5 (CLDN5) breakdown and protein kinase A (PKA) activation are observed in brain microvessels of schizophrenia, but the underlying molecular basis remains unknown. The 5-HT1 receptors decline the intracellular cAMP levels and inactivate the major downstream PKA, and [...] Read more.
We previously reported that site-selective claudin-5 (CLDN5) breakdown and protein kinase A (PKA) activation are observed in brain microvessels of schizophrenia, but the underlying molecular basis remains unknown. The 5-HT1 receptors decline the intracellular cAMP levels and inactivate the major downstream PKA, and the 5-HT1A receptor is a promising target for schizophrenia. Therefore, we elucidated the involvement of serotonin/5-HT1A signaling in the endothelial CLDN5 expression. We demonstrate, by immunohistochemistry using post-mortem human brain tissue, that the 5-HT1A receptor is expressed in brain microvascular endothelial cells (BMVECs) and mural cells of the normal prefrontal cortex (PFC) gray matter. We also show that PKA is aberrantly activated not only in BMVECs but also in mural cells of the schizophrenic PFC. We subsequently revealed that the endothelial cell–pericyte tube-like structure was formed in a novel two-dimensional co-culture of human primary BMVECs and a human brain-derived pericyte cell line, in both of which the 5-HT1A receptor was expressed. Furthermore, we disclose that the serotonin/5-HT1A signaling enhances endothelial CLDN5 expression in BMVECs under two-dimensional co-culture conditions. Our findings provide novel insights into the physiological and pathological significance of serotonin/5-HT1A signaling in the region-specific regulation of the blood-brain barrier. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
HIV-1 Tat Dysregulates the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Stress Axis and Potentiates Oxycodone-Mediated Psychomotor and Anxiety-Like Behavior of Male Mice
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(21), 8212; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms21218212 - 03 Nov 2020
Viewed by 486
Abstract
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is associated with co-morbid affective and stress-sensitive neuropsychiatric disorders that may be related to dysfunction of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) stress axis. The HPA axis is perturbed in up to 46% of HIV patients, but the mechanisms are not known. [...] Read more.
Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) is associated with co-morbid affective and stress-sensitive neuropsychiatric disorders that may be related to dysfunction of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) stress axis. The HPA axis is perturbed in up to 46% of HIV patients, but the mechanisms are not known. The neurotoxic HIV-1 regulatory protein, trans-activator of transcription (Tat), may contribute. We hypothesized that HPA dysregulation may contribute to Tat-mediated interactions with oxycodone, a clinically-used opioid often prescribed to HIV patients. In transgenic male mice, Tat expression produced significantly higher basal corticosterone levels with adrenal insufficiency in response to a natural stressor or pharmacological blockade of HPA feedback, recapitulating the clinical phenotype. On acute exposure, HIV-1 Tat interacted with oxycodone to potentiate psychomotor and anxiety like-behavior in an open field and light-dark transition tasks, whereas repeated exposure sensitized stress-related psychomotor behavior and the HPA stress response. Pharmacological blockade of glucocorticoid receptors (GR) partially-restored the stress response and decreased oxycodone-mediated psychomotor behavior in Tat-expressing mice, implicating GR in these effects. Blocking corticotrophin-releasing factor (CRF) receptors reduced anxiety-like behavior in mice that were exposed to oxycodone. Together, these effects support the notion that Tat exposure can dysregulate the HPA axis, potentially raising vulnerability to stress-related substance use and affective disorders. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of Early Life Stress on Bone Homeostasis in Mice and Humans
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2020, 21(18), 6634; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms21186634 - 10 Sep 2020
Viewed by 873
Abstract
Bone pathology is frequent in stressed individuals. A comprehensive examination of mechanisms linking life stress, depression and disturbed bone homeostasis is missing. In this translational study, mice exposed to early life stress (MSUS) were examined for bone microarchitecture (μCT), metabolism (qPCR/ELISA), and neuronal [...] Read more.
Bone pathology is frequent in stressed individuals. A comprehensive examination of mechanisms linking life stress, depression and disturbed bone homeostasis is missing. In this translational study, mice exposed to early life stress (MSUS) were examined for bone microarchitecture (μCT), metabolism (qPCR/ELISA), and neuronal stress mediator expression (qPCR) and compared with a sample of depressive patients with or without early life stress by analyzing bone mineral density (BMD) (DXA) and metabolic changes in serum (osteocalcin, PINP, CTX-I). MSUS mice showed a significant decrease in NGF, NPYR1, VIPR1 and TACR1 expression, higher innervation density in bone, and increased serum levels of CTX-I, suggesting a milieu in favor of catabolic bone turnover. MSUS mice had a significantly lower body weight compared to control mice, and this caused minor effects on bone microarchitecture. Depressive patients with experiences of childhood neglect also showed a catabolic pattern. A significant reduction in BMD was observed in depressive patients with childhood abuse and stressful life events during childhood. Therefore, future studies on prevention and treatment strategies for both mental and bone disease should consider early life stress as a risk factor for bone pathologies. Full article
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Review

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Open AccessReview
Altered Task-Evoked Corticolimbic Responsivity in Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(7), 3630; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22073630 - 31 Mar 2021
Viewed by 370
Abstract
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is marked by uncontrollable, persistent worry and exaggerated response to uncertainty. Here, we review and summarize the findings from the GAD literature that employs functional neuroimaging methods. In particular, the present review focuses on task-based blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) [...] Read more.
Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) is marked by uncontrollable, persistent worry and exaggerated response to uncertainty. Here, we review and summarize the findings from the GAD literature that employs functional neuroimaging methods. In particular, the present review focuses on task-based blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies. We find that select brain regions often regarded as a part of a corticolimbic circuit (e.g., amygdala, anterior cingulate cortex, prefrontal cortex) are consistently targeted for a priori hypothesis-driven analyses, which, in turn, shows varying degrees of abnormal BOLD responsivity in GAD. Data-driven whole-brain analyses show the insula and the hippocampus, among other regions, to be affected by GAD, depending on the task used in each individual study. Overall, while the heterogeneity of the tasks and sample size limits the generalizability of the findings thus far, some promising convergence can be observed in the form of the altered BOLD responsivity of the corticolimbic circuitry in GAD. Full article
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Open AccessReview
Inflammatory Depression—Mechanisms and Non-Pharmacological Interventions
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(4), 1640; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22041640 - 06 Feb 2021
Viewed by 689
Abstract
Treatment of depression is hampered by the failure to identify distinct symptom profiles with distinct pathophysiologies that differentially respond to distinct treatments. We posit that inflammatory depression is a meaningful depression subtype associated with specific symptoms and biological abnormalities. We review several upstream, [...] Read more.
Treatment of depression is hampered by the failure to identify distinct symptom profiles with distinct pathophysiologies that differentially respond to distinct treatments. We posit that inflammatory depression is a meaningful depression subtype associated with specific symptoms and biological abnormalities. We review several upstream, potentially causative, mechanisms driving low-grade inflammation in this subtype of depression. We also discuss downstream mechanisms mediating the link between inflammation and symptoms of depression, including alterations in dopaminergic neurotransmission and tryptophan metabolism. Finally, we review evidence for several non-pharmacological interventions for inflammatory depression, including probiotics, omega-3 fatty acids, and physical exercise interventions. While some evidence suggests that these interventions may be efficacious in inflammatory depression, future clinical trials should consider enriching patient populations for inflammatory markers, or stratify patients by inflammatory status, to confirm or refute this hypothesis. Full article
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