Life threatening trauma and the development of PTSD during childhood, may each associate with transcriptional perturbation of immune cell glucocorticoid reactivity, yet their separable longer term contributions are less clear. The current study compared resting mononuclear cell gene expression levels of the nuclear receptor, subfamily 3, member 1 (NR3C1) coding the glucocorticoid receptor, its trans-activator spindle and kinetochore-associated protein 2 (SKA2), and its co-chaperon FKBP prolyl isomerase 5 (FKBP5), between a cohort of young adults first seen at the Hadassah Emergency Department (ED) after surviving a suicide bombing terror attack during childhood, and followed longitudinally over the years, and matched healthy controls not exposed to life threatening trauma. While significant reductions in mononuclear cell gene expression levels were observed among young adults for all three transcripts following early trauma exposure, the development of subsequent PTSD beyond trauma exposure, accounted for a small but significant portion of the variance in each of the three transcripts. Long-term perturbation in the expression of immune cell glucocorticoid response transcripts persists among young adults who develop PTSD following life threatening trauma exposure in childhood, denoting chronic dysregulation of immune stress reactivity.
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