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Expression of Stress-Mediating Genes is Increased in Term Placentas of Women with Chronic Self-Perceived Anxiety and Depression

1
Department of Biomedical & Clinical Sciences (BKV), BKH/Obstetrics & Gynaecology, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Linköping University, SE-58185 Linköping, Sweden
2
Department of Medicine and Optometry, Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, Linnaeus University, Hus Vita, 43157 Kalmar, Sweden
3
Division of Clinical Chemistry, Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences, Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, Linköping University, SE-58185 Linköping, Sweden
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Genes 2020, 11(8), 869; https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11080869
Received: 21 June 2020 / Revised: 26 July 2020 / Accepted: 28 July 2020 / Published: 31 July 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Human Genomics and Genetic Diseases)
Anxiety, chronical stress, and depression during pregnancy are considered to affect the offspring, presumably through placental dysregulation. We have studied the term placentae of pregnancies clinically monitored with the Beck’s Anxiety Inventory (BAI) and Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS). A cutoff threshold for BAI/EPDS of 10 classed patients into an Index group (>10, n = 23) and a Control group (<10, n = 23). Cortisol concentrations in hair (HCC) were periodically monitored throughout pregnancy and delivery. Expression differences of main glucocorticoid pathway genes, i.e., corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (HSD11B2), glucocorticoid receptor (NR3C1), as well as other key stress biomarkers (Arginine Vasopressin, AVP and O-GlcNAc transferase, OGT) were explored in medial placentae using real-time qPCR and Western blotting. Moreover, gene expression changes were considered for their association with HCC, offspring, gender, and birthweight. A significant dysregulation of gene expression for CRH, AVP, and HSD11B2 genes was seen in the Index group, compared to controls, while OGT and NR3C1 expression remained similar between groups. Placental gene expression of the stress-modulating enzyme 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (HSD11B2) was related to both hair cortisol levels (Rho = 0.54; p < 0.01) and the sex of the newborn in pregnancies perceived as stressful (Index, p < 0.05). Gene expression of CRH correlated with both AVP (Rho = 0.79; p < 0.001) and HSD11B2 (Rho = 0.45; p < 0.03), and also between AVP with both HSD11B2 (Rho = 0.6; p < 0.005) and NR3C1 (Rho = 0.56; p < 0.03) in the Control group but not in the Index group; suggesting a possible loss of interaction in the mechanisms of action of these genes under stress circumstances during pregnancy. View Full-Text
Keywords: antenatal stress; hair cortisol; term-placentae; RT-qPCR; human antenatal stress; hair cortisol; term-placentae; RT-qPCR; human
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MDPI and ACS Style

Martinez, C.A.; Marteinsdottir, I.; Josefsson, A.; Sydsjö, G.; Theodorsson, E.; Rodriguez-Martinez, H. Expression of Stress-Mediating Genes is Increased in Term Placentas of Women with Chronic Self-Perceived Anxiety and Depression. Genes 2020, 11, 869. https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11080869

AMA Style

Martinez CA, Marteinsdottir I, Josefsson A, Sydsjö G, Theodorsson E, Rodriguez-Martinez H. Expression of Stress-Mediating Genes is Increased in Term Placentas of Women with Chronic Self-Perceived Anxiety and Depression. Genes. 2020; 11(8):869. https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11080869

Chicago/Turabian Style

Martinez, Cristina A., Ina Marteinsdottir, Ann Josefsson, Gunilla Sydsjö, Elvar Theodorsson, and Heriberto Rodriguez-Martinez. 2020. "Expression of Stress-Mediating Genes is Increased in Term Placentas of Women with Chronic Self-Perceived Anxiety and Depression" Genes 11, no. 8: 869. https://doi.org/10.3390/genes11080869

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