Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

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

Version 1 : Received: 21 June 2020 / Approved: 21 June 2020 / Online: 21 June 2020 (16:30:08 CEST)

How to cite: Martinez, C.A.; Marteinsdottir, I.; Josefsson, A.; Sydsjo, 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. Preprints 2020, 2020060280 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202006.0280.v1). Martinez, C.A.; Marteinsdottir, I.; Josefsson, A.; Sydsjo, 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. Preprints 2020, 2020060280 (doi: 10.20944/preprints202006.0280.v1).

Abstract

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.

Subject Areas

antenatal stress; hair cortisol; term-placentae; RT-qPCR; human

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