Differentially conserved transcriptomic response to adversity related to self-rated health in the multi-ethnic study of atherosclerosis.
Self-rated health (SRH) is considered a strong indicator of well-being and clinical health status and has been linked to inflammatory markers. The objective of this work was to examine how self-rated physical health (SRPH) and mental health (SRMH) influence the immune system through the regulation of a stress-related gene expression profile known as the 'conserved transcriptional response to adversity' (CTRA), which involves the up-regulation of pro-inflammatory genes and down-regulation of genes involved in type I interferon (IFN) response and antibody synthesis. CTRA expression data were derived from genome-wide transcriptional data on purified monocytes in 1264 adult participants from the multi-ethnic study of atherosclerosis. SRPH and SRMH were assessed through the SF-12 questionnaire. Multiple linear regression models were used to determine the association between the composite score of the CTRA subsets and SRPH and SRMH. Higher scores of SRPH and SRMH were associated with an increased expression of the overall CTRA profile. The individual gene subsets analysis did not reveal an increased expression of pro-inflammatory genes in persons with lower scores of SRH. However, we observed that higher scores of SRPH positively modulate the immune response through the up-regulation of both type I interferon response and antibody synthesis-related genes, while better scores of SRMH were associated with a down-regulation of genes involved in antibody synthesis. The significant association between SRH and a gene expression profile related to type I IFN response and antibody synthesis suggests that SRH may be linked to the immunocompetence status. Impact statement In this work, we evaluated for the first time how self-rated mental (SRMH) and physical health (SRPH) influence the immune response at the molecular level in a large multi-ethnic cohort. We observed that both SRMH and SRPH are related to immunocompetence status. These findings indicated that the link between how we perceive our health and poorer health outcomes could be explained by alterations in the immune response by shifting the expression of genes related to the type I IFN response and antibody synthesis.
Riestra, P; Gebreab, SY; Liu, Y; Diez Roux, AV; Khan, RR; Gaye, A; Xu, R; Davis, SK
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