The Journal of Medical Investigation
Online ISSN : 1349-6867
Print ISSN : 1343-1420
ISSN-L : 1343-1420
Gene expression profiling in peripheral blood leukocytes as a new approach for assessment of human stress response
Kazuhito RokutanKyoko MoritaKiyoshi MasudaKumiko TominagaMichiyo ShikishimaShigetada Teshima-KondoTetsuro OmoriAtsuo Sekiyama
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2005 Volume 52 Issue 3,4 Pages 137-144


Stress is the coordinated physiological processes to maintain a dynamic equilibrium under stressful conditions. The equilibrium is threatened by certain physiological and psychological stressors. Stressors trigger physiological, behavioural, and metabolic responses that are aimed at reinstating homeostasis. The hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and the sympathetic nervous system play an essential role in the stress response. Excessive, prolonged, or inadequate response that is termed as “allostasis” or “allostatic load” leads to pathological outcomes. Dysregulation of the HPA axis activity is involved in the pathogenesis of stress-related disorders including major depression. The complex brain-immune-endocrine network regulates the HPA axis, and hereditary predisposition as well as environmental factors such as traumatic experiences in early life also modifies the capacity of an individual to cope. Therefore, it is difficult to correctly assess the complex stress response. We have developed a microarray carrying 1,467 cDNAs that were selected to specifically measure stress response in peripheral blood leukocytes. Using this tool, we have succeeded to objectively assess individual response to acute psychological stress and to detect unique expression profiles in patients with depression. Gene expression profile in peripheral blood leukocytes may be a potentially useful for the detection of disease-associated, abnormal stress responses. J. Med. Invest. 52: 137-144, August, 2005

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© 2005 by The University of Tokushima Faculty of Medicine
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