The Effect of Acute and Chronic Social Stress on the Hippocampal Transcriptome in Mice

PLoS One. 2015 Nov 10;10(11):e0142195. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0142195. eCollection 2015.


Psychogenic stress contributes to the formation of brain pathology. Using gene expression microarrays, we analyzed the hippocampal transcriptome of mice subjected to acute and chronic social stress of different duration. The longest period of social stress altered the expression of the highest number of genes and most of the stress-induced changes in transcription were reversible after 5 days of rest. Chronic stress affected genes involved in the functioning of the vascular system (Alas2, Hbb-b1, Hba-a2, Hba-a1), injury response (Vwf, Mgp, Cfh, Fbln5, Col3a1, Ctgf) and inflammation (S100a8, S100a9, Ctla2a, Ctla2b, Lcn2, Lrg1, Rsad2, Isg20). The results suggest that stress may affect brain functions through the stress-induced dysfunction of the vascular system. An important issue raised in our work is also the risk of the contamination of brain tissue samples with choroid plexus. Such contamination would result in a consistent up- or down-regulation of genes, such as Ttr, Igf2, Igfbp2, Prlr, Enpp2, Sostdc1, 1500015O10RIK (Ecrg4), Kl, Clic6, Kcne2, F5, Slc4a5, and Aqp1. Our study suggests that some of the previously reported, supposedly specific changes in hippocampal gene expression, may be a result of the inclusion of choroid plexus in the hippocampal samples.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Animals
  • Choroid Plexus / metabolism
  • Chronic Disease
  • Hippocampus / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Multigene Family
  • Organ Size / genetics
  • Social Behavior
  • Spleen / anatomy & histology
  • Stress, Psychological / genetics*
  • Thymus Gland / anatomy & histology
  • Time Factors
  • Transcriptome*

Grant support

This work was supported by the following grants: Grant N N311 604938, Ministerstwo Nauki i Szkolnictwa Wyzszego (PL; to GRJ; Grant 2011/03 N/NZ29/05222, Narodowe Centrum Nauki ( to AMS; and Grant N N519 657940, Ministerstwo Nauki i Szkolnictwa Wyzszego (PL; to JG. Funders of the study were not involved in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.