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Interactions between perceived stress and microbial-host immune components: two demographically and geographically distinct pregnancy cohorts
Univ Illinois, Coll Engn & Med, Dept Biomed Engn, Chicago, IL 60607 USA.;Univ Illinois, Ctr Bioinformat & Quantitat Biol, Chicago, IL 60607 USA..
Univ Illinois, Coll Med, Dept Psychol, Chicago, IL USA.;Univ Illinois, Coll Med, Dept Psychiat, Chicago, IL USA.;Univ Illinois, Coll Med, Dept Obstet & Gynecol, Chicago, IL 60612 USA..
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Medical Sciences, Psychiatry.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-7876-7779
Univ Illinois, Coll Med, Dept Psychol, Chicago, IL USA.;Univ Illinois, Coll Med, Dept Psychiat, Chicago, IL USA..ORCID iD: 0000-0002-9231-3105
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2023 (English)In: Translational Psychiatry, E-ISSN 2158-3188, Vol. 13, article id 3Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Higher stress during pregnancy associates with negative outcomes and elevated inflammation. The gut microbiota, reflecting environment and social interactions, alongside host immune responses have the potential to better understand perceived stress and identify when stress is excessive in pregnancy. Two U.S. cohorts of 84 pregnant individuals, composed of urban women of color and suburban white women, completed the Perceived Stress Scale-10 (PSS-10) and provided fecal and blood samples at two time points. Confirmatory Factor Analysis assessed the robustness of a two-factor PSS-10 model (Emotional Distress/ED and Self-Efficacy/SE). Gut microbiota composition was measured by 16 S rRNA amplicon sequencing and the immune system activity was assessed with a panel of 21 T-cell related cytokines and chemokines. ED levels were higher in the suburban compared to the urban cohort, but levels of SE were similar. ED and SE levels were associated with distinct taxonomical signatures and the gut microbiota data improved the prediction of SE levels compared with models based on socio-demographic characteristics alone. Integration of self-reported symptoms, microbial and immune information revealed a possible mediation effect of Bacteroides uniformis between the immune system (through CXCL11) and SE. The study identified links between distinct taxonomical and immunological signatures with perceived stress. The data are congruent with a model where gut microbiome and immune factors, both impacting and reflecting factors such as close social relationships and dietary fiber, may modulate neural plasticity resulting in increased SE during pregnancy. The predictive value of these peripheral markers merit further study.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Springer Nature, 2023. Vol. 13, article id 3
National Category
Psychiatry
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-495870DOI: 10.1038/s41398-022-02276-3ISI: 000910168500001PubMedID: 36609477OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-495870DiVA, id: diva2:1735285
Available from: 2023-02-08 Created: 2023-02-08 Last updated: 2024-01-17Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Pregnancy—A Critical Time for Mental Health: Interrogating Psychiatry with Microbiota-Gut-Brain Axis and Autonomic Nervous System Biomarkers
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Pregnancy—A Critical Time for Mental Health: Interrogating Psychiatry with Microbiota-Gut-Brain Axis and Autonomic Nervous System Biomarkers
2023 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMADs) are common and impact the parent and child beyond the perinatal period of pregnancy and postpartum. The aim of this thesis was to study biomarkers that might reflect perinatal mental health. This work focused on multiple methods of mental health characterization and the autonomic nervous system as reflected by heart rate variability (HRV), the immune system, and the gut microbiome.

Three observational longitudinal cohorts of pregnant individuals from three geographic regions were studied: 1) the Biology, Affect, Stress, Imaging and Cognition (BASIC) and the follow-up study U-BIRTH from Uppsala University Hospital; 2) the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) MoMent cohort; and 3) the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC) cohort.

The first paper assessed HRV before and after a mental task and in relation to psychiatric diagnoses, exposure to trauma, and self-report of mental distress. The second paper studied the Perceived Stress Scale (PSS-10) in relation to microbial composition and T-cell related cytokines and chemokines. The third paper studied the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EPDS) in relation to whole genome sequencing and Gut Brain Modules for functioning. The fourth paper assessed trajectories of infant temperament in relation to depression and anxiety from the EPDS.

The PSS-10 and the EPDS factored differently in the cohorts. HRV patterns differed based on anxiety disorder type, greater trait anxiety, and greater exposure to childhood traumatic eventsut microbiome data improved the prediction of PSS-10 self-efficacy; and self-efficacy was associated with a bacteria type more beneficial in the presence of dietary fiber that also associated with an immune factor important in immune tolerance. Greatest variation in microbial community functioning was due to cortisol degradation and synthesis of inositol, menaquinone, and the short chain fatty acid (SCFA) acetate. nxiety in pregnancy was associated with children who had higher levels of sensitivity and greater negative affectivity that increased over early life.

These four papers highlight: 1) the course of mental health in pregnancy is critical to the development of parent and child; 2) the characterization of perinatal mental health requires a mix of methods that recognize there may be differences in the use of the methods based on the population; and 3) biomarkers of perinatal mental health need to reflect dynamic systems, and the components may not be as important as the patterns and interactions.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Acta Universitatis Upsaliensis, 2023. p. 75
Series
Digital Comprehensive Summaries of Uppsala Dissertations from the Faculty of Medicine, ISSN 1651-6206 ; 1978
Keywords
pregnancy, heart rate variability (HRV), microbiome, depression, anxiety, self-efficacy, cytokines, biomarkers
National Category
Medical and Health Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-512959 (URN)978-91-513-1909-4 (ISBN)
Public defence
2023-11-22, Humanistiska teatern, Engelska parken, Thunbergsvägen 3C, Uppsala, 13:15 (English)
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Supervisors
Available from: 2023-11-01 Created: 2023-10-02 Last updated: 2023-11-01

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