Autoantibodies reactive to adrenocorticotropic hormone can alter cortisol secretion in both aggressive and nonaggressive humans

Henning Værøy, Csaba Adori, Romain Legrand, Nicolas Lucas, Jonathan Breton, Caroline Cottard, Jean Claude Do Rego, Céline Duparc, Estelle Louiset, Hervé Lefebvre, Pierre Déchelotte, Elin Western, Stein Andersson, Tomas Hökfelt, Sergueï O. Fetissov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Violent aggression in humans may involve a modified response to stress, but the underlying mechanisms are not well understood. Here we show that naturally present autoantibodies reactive to adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) exhibit distinct epitope-binding profiles to ACTH peptide in subjects with a history of violent aggression compared with controls. Namely, while nonaggressive male controls displayed a preferential IgG binding to the ACTH central part (amino acids 11–24), subjects who had committed violent acts of aggression had IgG with increased affinity to ACTH, preferentially binding to its N terminus (amino acids 1–13). Purified IgGs from approximately half of the examined sera were able to block ACTH-induced cortisol secretion of human adrenal cells in vitro, irrespective of the source of sample (from a control subject or a violent aggressor). Nevertheless, in the resident–intruder test in mice, i.p. injection of residents with ACTH and IgG from aggressive subjects, but not from control subjects, shortened latency for the first attack against intruders. Immunohistochemical screening of violent aggressors’ sera on rat brain and pituitary sections did not show IgG binding to ACTH-producing cells, but 4 of 16 sera revealed selective binding to a nonidentified antigen in vasopressinergic neurons of the hypothalamic paraventricular and supraoptic nuclei. Thus, the data show that ACTH-reactive plasmatic IgGs exhibit differential epitope preference in control and violently aggressive subjects. These IgGs can modulate ACTH-induced cortisol secretion and, hence, are involved in the regulation of the stress response. However, the possible role of ACTH-reactive autoantibodies in aggressive behavior needs further investigation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E6576-E6584
JournalProceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Volume115
Issue number28
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 10 2018

Keywords

  • Autoantibodies
  • Corticotropin
  • HPA axis
  • Neuroimmunology
  • Psychoendocrinology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Autoantibodies reactive to adrenocorticotropic hormone can alter cortisol secretion in both aggressive and nonaggressive humans'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this

    Værøy, H., Adori, C., Legrand, R., Lucas, N., Breton, J., Cottard, C., Do Rego, J. C., Duparc, C., Louiset, E., Lefebvre, H., Déchelotte, P., Western, E., Andersson, S., Hökfelt, T., & Fetissov, S. O. (2018). Autoantibodies reactive to adrenocorticotropic hormone can alter cortisol secretion in both aggressive and nonaggressive humans. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 115(28), E6576-E6584. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1720008115