Cardiff University | Prifysgol Caerdydd ORCA
Online Research @ Cardiff 
WelshClear Cookie - decide language by browser settings

Social interaction following prepubertal stress alters prefrontal gene expression associated with cell signalling and oligodendrocytes

Moon, Anna L. ORCID:, Clifton, Nicholas E. ORCID:, Wellard, Natalie, Thomas, Kerrie L. ORCID:, Hall, Jeremy ORCID: and Brydges, Nichola M. 2022. Social interaction following prepubertal stress alters prefrontal gene expression associated with cell signalling and oligodendrocytes. Translational Psychiatry 12 (1) , 516. 10.1038/s41398-022-02280-7

[thumbnail of 41398_2022_Article_2280.pdf] PDF - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (1MB)
License URL:
License Start date: 16 December 2022


Early-life adversity is associated with an increased risk of psychopathology, including mood disorders, later in life. Early-life stress affects several physiological systems, however, the exact mechanisms underlying pathological risk are not fully understood. This knowledge is crucial in developing appropriate therapeutic interventions. The prepubertal period is documented as a key developmental period for the maturation of the prefrontal cortex (PFC), a brain region involved in higher cognitive functions, including social function. In this study, we performed RNA sequencing on the PFC of adult rats who had experienced prepubertal stress (PPS) and controls to investigate the genome-wide consequences of this stress. PPS alters social behaviour in adulthood, therefore we also performed RNA sequencing on PPS and control rats following a social interaction test to determine social activity-dependent gene changes. At a baseline state (1 week following a social interaction test), no genes were differentially expressed in the PPS group. However, 1603 genes were differentially expressed in PPS rats compared to controls following a social interaction. These genes were enriched in biological pathways associated with cell signalling and axon myelination dynamics. Cell enrichment analysis showed these genes were associated with oligodendrocytes, and a comparison with an existing early-life stress sequencing dataset showed that pathways linked to oligodendrocyte morphology are impacted in a range of models of early-life stress in rodents. In conclusion, we identify pathways, including those involved in axon myelination, that are differentially activated in the adult in response to social stimulation following PPS. These differential responses may contribute to vulnerability to psychiatric pathology.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Published Online
Status: Published
Schools: Medicine
Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute (NMHRI)
Additional Information: License information from Publisher: LICENSE 1: URL:, Type: open-access
Publisher: Springer Nature [academic journals on]
ISSN: 2158-3188
Funders: MRC
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 19 December 2022
Date of Acceptance: 2 December 2022
Last Modified: 28 Feb 2024 10:24

Actions (repository staff only)

Edit Item Edit Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics