The double-edged sword of the hippocampus-ventromedial prefrontal cortex resting-state connectivity in stress susceptibility and resilience: A prospective study

Jingjing Chang*, Di Song, Rongjun Yu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

Abstract

The hippocampus has long been considered a pivotal region implicated in both stress susceptibility and resilience. A wealth of evidence from animal and human studies underscores the significance of hippocampal functional connectivity with the ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC) in these stress-related processes. However, there remains a scarcity of research that explores and contrasts the roles of hippocampus-vmPFC connectivity in stress susceptibility and resilience when facing a real-life traumatic event from a prospective standpoint. In the present study, we investigated the contributions of undirected and directed connectivity between the hippocampus and vmPFC to stress susceptibility and resilience within the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our findings revealed that the left hippocampus-left vmPFC connectivity prior to the pandemic exhibited a negative correlation with both stress susceptibility and resilience. Specifically, individuals with stronger left hippocampus-left vmPFC connectivity reported experiencing fewer stress-related feelings during the outbreak period of the epidemic but displayed lower levels of stress resilience five months later. Our application of spectral dynamic causal modeling unveiled an additional inhibitory connectivity pathway from the left hippocampus to the left vmPFC in the context of stress susceptibility, which was notably absent in stress resilience. Furthermore, we observed a noteworthy positive association between self-inhibition of the vmPFC and stress susceptibility, with this effect proving substantial enough to predict an individual's susceptibility to stress; conversely, these patterns did not manifest in the realm of stress resilience. These findings enrich our comprehension of stress susceptibility and stress resilience and might have implications for innovative approaches to managing stress-related disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Article number100584
JournalNeurobiology of Stress
Volume27
Early online date27 Oct 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2023

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Physiology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience

User-Defined Keywords

  • Hippocampus
  • Stress resilience
  • Stress susceptibility
  • Ventromedial prefrontal cortex

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'The double-edged sword of the hippocampus-ventromedial prefrontal cortex resting-state connectivity in stress susceptibility and resilience: A prospective study'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this