Exposure to workplace bullying, microRNAs and pain. Evidence of a moderating effect of miR-30c rs928508 and miR-223 rs3848900
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Prolonged exposure to bullying behaviors may give rise to symptoms such as anxiety, depression and chronic pain. Earlier data suggest that these symptoms often are associated with stress-induced low-grade systemic inflammation. Here, using data from both animals and humans, we examined the moderating role of microRNAs (miRNAs, miRs) in this process. In the present study, a resident-intruder paradigm, blood samples, tissue harvesting and subsequent qPCR analyses were used to screen for stress-induced changes in circulating miRNAs in rats. The negative acts questionnaire (NAQ), TaqMan assays and a numeric rating scale (NRS) for pain intensity were then used to examine the associations among bullying behaviors, relevant miRNA polymorphisms and pain in a probability sample of 996 Norwegian employees. In rats, inhibited weight gain, reduced pituitary POMC expression, adrenal Nr3c1 mRNA downregulation, as well as increased miR-146a, miR-30c and miR-223 in plasma were observed following 1 week of repeated exposure to social stress. When following up the miRNA findings from the animal study in the human working population, a stronger relationship between NAQ and NRS scores was observed in subjects with the miR-30c GG genotype (rs928508) compared to other subjects. A stronger relationship between NAQ and NRS scores was also seen in men with the miR-223 G genotype (rs3848900) as compared to other men. Our findings show that social stress may induce many physiological changes including changed expression of miRNAs. We conclude that the miR-30c GG genotype in men and women, and the miR-223 G genotype in men, amplify the association between exposure to bullying behaviors and pain.
CitationJacobsen DP, Eriksen MB, Rajalingam D, Nymoen I, Nielsen MB, Einarsen S, Gjerstad J. Exposure to workplace bullying, microRNAs and pain. Evidence of a moderating effect of miR-30c rs928508 and miR-223 rs3848900. Stress. 2019
PublisherTaylor & Francis
Copyright 2019 The Author(s)