Impact of Stress on the Ischemic Heart

People who are exposed to life-threatening trauma are at risk of developing posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). We are using a predator-based rodent model of PTSD to investigate the effects of this form of stress on the heart.  Our work has demonstrated that male rats (but not females) exposed to this model develop myocardial hypersensitivity to ischemic injury.  They also develop myocardial fibrosis, cardiac inflammation, and changes in gene expression that are indicative of endothelial to mesenchymal transition, endothelial migration, and extracellular matrix remodeling in the heart.  These changes may underlie the increased risk of myocardial infarction, arrhythmias, and other cardiac disorders in people who have PTSD.

Relevant Publications:

Rorabaugh BR, Mabe NW, Seeley SL, Stoops TS, Mucher KE, Ney CP, Goodman CS, Hertenstein BJ, Rush AE, Kasler CD, Sargeant AM, Zoladz PR. (2020) Myocardial fibrosis, inflammation, and altered cardiac gene expression profiles in rats exposed to a predator-based model of posttraumatic stress disorder. Stress. 23:125-135.

Rorabaugh BR, Bui AD, Seeley SL, Eisenmann ED, Rose RM, Johnson BL, Huntley MR, Heikkila ME, Zoladz PR (2019). Myocardial hypersensitivity to ischemic injury is not reversed by clonidine or propranolol in a predator-based model of posttraumatic stress disorder. Progress in Neuropsychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry 89:117-124.

Eisenmann ED, Rorabaugh BR, Zoladz PR. (2016). Acute stress decreases but chronic stress increases myocardial sensitivity to ischemic injury in rodents. Frontiers in Psychiatry. 7:71.

Zoladz PR, D’Alessio PA, Seeley SL, Kasler CD, Goodman CS, Mucher KE, Allison AS, Smith IF, Dodson JL, Stoops TS, Rorabaugh BR (2019). A predator-based psychosocial stress animal model of PTSD in females: Influence of estrous phase and ovarian hormones. Hormones and Behavior 115:104564.

Rorabaugh BR, Krivenko A, Eisenmann ED, Bui AD, Seeley SL, Fry ME, Lawson JD, Stoner LE, Johnson BL, Zoladz PR. (2015). Sex-dependent effects of chronic psychosocial stress on myocardial sensitivity to ischemic injury. Stress 18:645-653.

Zoladz PR, Krivenko A, Eisenmann ED, Bui AD, Seeley S, Fry ME, Johnson BL, Rorabaugh BR. (2016) Sex-dependent effects of sleep deprivation on myocardial sensitivity to ischemic injury.  Stress 19:264-268.