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Although the fact that genetic predisposition and environmental exposures interact to shape development and function of the human brain and, ultimately, the risk of psychiatric disorders has drawn wide interest, the corresponding molecular mechanisms have not yet been elucidated. We found that a functional polymorphism altering chromatin interaction between(More)
Glucocorticoids play an essential role in the response to environmental stressors, serving initially to mobilize bodily responses to challenge and ultimately serving to restrain neuroendocrine and immune reactions. A number of diseases including autoimmune, infectious and inflammatory disorders as well as certain neuropsychiatric disorders such as major(More)
Meditation practices may impact physiological pathways that are modulated by stress and relevant to disease. While much attention has been paid to meditation practices that emphasize calming the mind, improving focused attention, or developing mindfulness, less is known about meditation practices that foster compassion. Accordingly, the current study(More)
OBJECTIVE The authors sought to determine innate immune system activation following psychosocial stress in patients with major depression and increased early life stress. METHOD Plasma interleukin (IL)-6, lymphocyte subsets, and DNA binding of nuclear factor (NF)-kB in peripheral blood mononuclear cells were compared in medically healthy male subjects(More)
Glucocorticoid negative feedback regulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis is mediated by corticosteroid receptors. It is widely thought that during stress, glucocorticoid receptors (GR) are essential for this negative feedback. In contrast, mineralocorticoid receptors (MR) are associated with HPA axis regulation in basal, nonstress(More)
Increasing data suggest that meditation impacts stress-related physiological processes relevant to health and disease. For example, our group recently reported that the practice of compassion meditation was associated with reduced innate immune (plasma interleukin [IL]-6) and subjective distress responses to a standardized laboratory psychosocial stressor(More)
Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a serious and debilitating condition with a prevalence rate of approximately 8% in the United States. Given the number of veterans returning from conflicts around the globe with PTSD, and the substantial number of civilians experiencing traumas, new perspectives on the biology of PTSD are needed. Based on the concept(More)
Rats repeatedly exposed to restraint show a reduced hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis response upon restraint re-exposure. This hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis response habituation to restraint does not generalize to other novel stressors and is associated with a decrease in stress-induced c-fos expression in a number of stress-reactive brain regions.(More)
The present study investigated the role of mineralocorticoid receptors (MR) and glucocorticoid receptors (GR) in the expression of habituation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis response to stress. Male rats were restrained for 1 h per day for six consecutive days. On day 6, 1 h prior to restraint stress, both restraint-naive and repeatedly(More)
Cytokine effects on behavior may be related to alterations in glutamate metabolism. We therefore measured glutamate concentrations in brain regions shown to be affected by inflammatory stimuli including the cytokine interferon (IFN)-alpha. IFN-alpha is known to alter neural activity in the dorsal anterior cingulate cortex (dACC) and basal ganglia in(More)