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Author Notes:

Corresponding Author: Gretchen N. Neigh, Associate Professor, Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, Virginia Commonwealth University, 1101 E. Marshall St, Voice: (804) 628-5152, Fax: (804) 828-9477, gretchen.mccandless@vcuhealth.org

The authors have no conflicting interests.

Subjects:

Research Funding:

The authors receive funding from NIH: NR014886 and MH110364.

Keywords:

  • Science & Technology
  • Life Sciences & Biomedicine
  • Immunology
  • Neurosciences
  • Psychiatry
  • Neurosciences & Neurology
  • Sex differences
  • Neuroinflammation
  • Stress
  • Female
  • PITUITARY-ADRENAL AXIS
  • C-REACTIVE PROTEIN
  • ADULT MALE-MICE
  • INFLAMMATORY RESPONSES
  • PSYCHOLOGICAL STRESS
  • ADOLESCENT STRESS
  • BONE-MARROW
  • ANTIINFLAMMATORY TREATMENT
  • LEUKOCYTE TRAFFICKING
  • MICROGLIAL ACTIVATION

Sex differences in the neuro-immune consequences of stress: Focus on depression and anxiety

Tools:

Journal Title:

Brain, Behavior, and Immunity

Volume:

Volume 67

Publisher:

, Pages 1-12

Type of Work:

Article | Post-print: After Peer Review

Abstract:

Women appear to be more vulnerable to the depressogenic effects of inflammation than men. Chronic stress, one of the most pertinent risk factors of depression and anxiety, is known to induce behavioral and affective-like deficits via neuroimmune alterations including activation of the brain's immune cells, pro-inflammatory cytokine expression, and subsequent changes in neurotransmission and synaptic plasticity within stress-related neural circuitry. Despite well-established sexual dimorphisms in the stress response, immunity, and prevalence of stress-linked psychiatric illnesses, much of current research investigating the neuroimmune impact of stress remains exclusively focused on male subjects. We summarize and evaluate here the available data regarding sex differences in the neuro-immune consequences of stress, and some of the physiological factors contributing to these differences. Furthermore, we discuss the extent to which sex differences in stress-related neuroinflammation can account for the overall female bias in stress-linked psychiatric disorders including major depressive disorder and anxiety disorders. The currently available evidence from rodent studies does not unequivocally support the peripheral inflammatory changes seen in women following stress. Replication of many recent findings in stress-related neuroinflammation in female subjects is necessary in order to build a framework in which we can assess the extent to which sex differences in stress-related inflammation contribute to the overall female bias in stress-related affective disorders.

Copyright information:

© 2017 Elsevier Inc.

This is an Open Access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

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