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Real-world stress resilience is associated with the responsivity of the locus coeruleus


Grueschow, Marcus; Stenz, Nico; Thörn, Hanna; Ehlert, Ulrike; Breckwoldt, Jan; Brodmann Maeder, Monika; Exadaktylos, Aristomenis K; Bingisser, Roland; Ruff, Christian C; Kleim, Birgit (2021). Real-world stress resilience is associated with the responsivity of the locus coeruleus. Nature Communications, 12(1):2275.

Abstract

Individuals may show different responses to stressful events. Here, we investigate the neurobiological basis of stress resilience, by showing that neural responsitivity of the noradrenergic locus coeruleus (LC-NE) and associated pupil responses are related to the subsequent change in measures of anxiety and depression in response to prolonged real-life stress. We acquired fMRI and pupillometry data during an emotional-conflict task in medical residents before they underwent stressful emergency-room internships known to be a risk factor for anxiety and depression. The LC-NE conflict response and its functional coupling with the amygdala was associated with stress-related symptom changes in response to the internship. A similar relationship was found for pupil-dilation, a potential marker of LC-NE firing. Our results provide insights into the noradrenergic basis of conflict generation, adaptation and stress resilience.

Abstract

Individuals may show different responses to stressful events. Here, we investigate the neurobiological basis of stress resilience, by showing that neural responsitivity of the noradrenergic locus coeruleus (LC-NE) and associated pupil responses are related to the subsequent change in measures of anxiety and depression in response to prolonged real-life stress. We acquired fMRI and pupillometry data during an emotional-conflict task in medical residents before they underwent stressful emergency-room internships known to be a risk factor for anxiety and depression. The LC-NE conflict response and its functional coupling with the amygdala was associated with stress-related symptom changes in response to the internship. A similar relationship was found for pupil-dilation, a potential marker of LC-NE firing. Our results provide insights into the noradrenergic basis of conflict generation, adaptation and stress resilience.

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Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:03 Faculty of Economics > Department of Economics
04 Faculty of Medicine > Psychiatric University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Psychiatry, Psychotherapy, and Psychosomatics
06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Scopus Subject Areas:Physical Sciences > General Chemistry
Life Sciences > General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
Physical Sciences > General Physics and Astronomy
Language:English
Date:15 April 2021
Deposited On:18 May 2021 11:48
Last Modified:01 Jul 2021 18:11
Publisher:Nature Publishing Group
ISSN:2041-1723
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-22509-1
PubMed ID:33859187

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