Neurobiological links between stress and anxiety

Nuria Daviu, Michael R. Bruchas, Bita Moghaddam, Carmen Sandi, Anna Beyeler
Neurobiology of Stress. 2019-11-01; 11: 100191
DOI: 10.1016/j.ynstr.2019.100191

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Nuria Daviu(1), Michael R. Bruchas(2), Bita Moghaddam(3), Carmen Sandi(4), Anna Beyeler(5)

Author information:
(1) Hotchkiss Brain Institute. Department of Physiology & Pharmacology, Cumming School of Medicine, University of Calgary, 3330 Hospital Drive NW, Calgary, AB, T2N 4N1, Canada.
(2) Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine. Center for Neurobiology of Addiction, Pain, and Emotion. University of Washington. 1959 NE Pacific Street, J-wing Health Sciences. Seattle, WA 98195, USA.
(3) Department of Behavioral Neuroscience, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland, OR, 97239, USA.
(4) Laboratory of Behavioral Genetics, Brain Mind Institute, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Station 19, CH, 1015, Lausanne, Switzerland.
(5) Neurocentre Magendie, INSERM 1215, Université de Bordeaux, 146 Rue Léo Saignat, 33000 Bordeaux, France.

Stress and anxiety have intertwined behavioral and neural underpinnings. These commonalities are critical for understanding each state, as well as their mutual interactions. Grasping the mechanisms underlying this bidirectional relationship will have major clinical implications for managing a wide range of psychopathologies. After briefly defining key concepts for the study of stress and anxiety in pre-clinical models, we present circuit, as well as cellular and molecular mechanisms involved in either or both stress and anxiety. First, we review studies on divergent circuits of the basolateral amygdala (BLA) underlying emotional valence processing and anxiety-like behaviors, and how norepinephrine inputs from the locus coeruleus (LC) to the BLA are responsible for acute-stress induced anxiety. We then describe recent studies revealing a new role for mitochondrial function within the nucleus accumbens (NAc), defining individual trait anxiety in rodents, and participating in the link between stress and anxiety. Next, we report findings on the impact of anxiety on reward encoding through alteration of circuit dynamic synchronicity. Finally, we present work unravelling a new role for hypothalamic corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) neurons in controlling anxiety-like and stress-induce behaviors. Altogether, the research reviewed here reveals circuits sharing subcortical nodes and underlying the processing of both stress and anxiety. Understanding the neural overlap between these two psychobiological states, might provide alternative strategies to manage disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).


Auteurs Bordeaux Neurocampus