In laboratory mice, suppression of growth hormone (GH) signaling by spontaneous mutations or targeted disruption of GH- or IGF1-related genes can lead to an impressive increase of longevity. Hypopituitary Ames dwarf (Prop1 df) and GH receptor knockout (GHRKO) mice live 35-70% longer than their normal littermates. Many phenotypic characteristics of these long-lived mutants resemble findings in genetically normal animals subjected to calorie restriction (CR).
Behavior is shaped by a variety of genetic and epigenetic mechanisms, including those underlying anxiety and fear. Neuropeptides are ideal candidates to be involved in the regulation of emotional facets as they are released within the brain and act as neuromodulators/neurotransmitters; furthermore, their large number is prone to direct changes by mutations.
The authors of this paper present a review of actual data on the neurobiological background of suicidal behaviour. The results of epidemiological studies suggest that suicidal behaviours have certain genetic background which do not depend on the presence of concomitant mental disorders. The estimated heritability rate of suicide is about 21-50%, while the heritability rate of suicidal ideation and behaviour is about 30-55%. The genes of serotonergic and noradrenergic systems, as well as the HPA axis genes, have been scrutinised in context of suicidal behaviour.
BACKGROUND: A history of early adverse experiences is an important risk factor for adult psychopathology. Changes in stress sensitivity and functioning of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis may underlie the association between stress and risk for psychiatric disorders. Preclinical work in rodents has linked low levels of maternal care to increased methylation of the promoter region of the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) gene, as well as to exaggerated hormonal and behavioral responses to stress.
Neurogastroenterology and Motility: The Official Journal of the European Gastrointestinal Motility Society
BACKGROUND: Chronic psychological stress is associated with enhanced abdominal pain and altered intestinal barrier function that may result from a perturbation in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. The glucocorticoid receptor (GR) exploits diverse mechanisms to activate or suppress congeneric gene expression, with regulatory variation associated with stress-related disorders in psychiatry and gastroenterology.
OBJECTIVE: Most research on the effects of severe psychological stress has focused on stress-related psychopathology. Here, the author develops psychobiological models of resilience to extreme stress. METHOD: An integrative model of resilience and vulnerability that encompasses the neurochemical response patterns to acute stress and the neural mechanisms mediating reward, fear conditioning and extinction, and social behavior is proposed.
Despite the generally held view that alcohol is an unspecific pharmacological agent, recent molecular pharmacology studies demonstrated that alcohol has only a few known primary targets. These are the NMDA, GABA(A), glycine, 5-hydroxytryptamine 3 (serotonin) and nicotinic ACh receptors as well as L-type Ca(2+) channels and G-protein-activated inwardly rectifying K(+) channels.
Intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) administration of L-aspartate (L-Asp) attenuates stress responses in neonatal chicks, but the mechanism has not been clarified. In the present study, three behavioral experiments were carried out under socially isolated stressful conditions exacerbated by the use of corticotrophin-releasing factor (CRF). In Experiment 1, i.c.v. injection of L-Asp attenuated behavioral stress responses (distress vocalization and active wakefulness) in a dose-dependent manner.
Neuropsychopharmacology: Official Publication of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology
Previous studies have identified stress system dysregulation in fibromyalgia (FM) patients; such dysregulation may be involved in the generation and/or maintenance of pain and other symptoms. Corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) is the principal known central nervous system mediator of the stress response; however, to date no studies have examined cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) CRF levels in patients with FM. The relationship between CSF CRF level, heart rate variability (HRV), and pain, fatigue, and depressive symptoms was examined in patients with FM.
American Journal of Physiology. Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology
Visceral hypersensitivity has been implicated as an important pathophysiological mechanism in functional gastrointestinal disorders. In this study, we investigated whether the sustained visceral hyperalgesia induced by repeated psychological stress in rats involves the activation of CRF(1) signaling system using two different antagonists. Male Wistar rats were exposed to 10 consecutive days of water avoidance stress (WAS) or sham stress for 1 h/day, and the visceromotor response to phasic colorectal distension (CRD) was assessed before and after the stress period.