Mar 8, 2016

Onset, timing, and exposure therapy of stress disorders: mechanistic insight from a mathematical model of oscillating neuroendocrine dynamics

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Lae Un KimTom Chou


The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis is a neuroendocrine system that regulates numerous physiological processes. Disruptions in the activity of the HPA axis are correlated with many stress-related diseases such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and major depressive disorder. In this paper, we characterize "normal" and "diseased" states of the HPA axis as basins of attraction of a dynamical system describing the inhibition of peptide hormones such as corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) by circulating glucocorticoids such as cortisol (CORT). In addition to including key physiological features such as ultradian oscillations in cortisol levels and self-upregulation of CRH neuron activity, our model distinguishes the relatively slow process of cortisol-mediated CRH biosynthesis from rapid trans-synaptic effects that regulate the CRH secretion process. Crucially, we find that the slow regulation mechanism mediates external stress-driven transitions between the stable states in novel, intensity, duration, and timing-dependent ways. These results indicate that the timing of traumatic events may be an important factor in determining if and how patients will exhibit hallmarks of st...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Human Platelet Antigens
Neuroendocrine Tumors
Glucocorticoid inhalants for obstructive airway disease
Regulation of Biological Process
Stress Related Disorder
Pituitary Diseases
Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Neurosecretory Systems
Glucocorticoids, Systemic

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