Stress disorders are leading causes of disease burden in the U.S. and worldwide, yet available therapies are fully effective in less than half of all individuals with these disorders. Although to date, much of the focus has been on neuron-intrinsic mechanisms, emerging evidence suggests that chronic stress can affect a wide range of cell types in the brain and periphery, which are linked to maladaptive behavioral outcomes. Here, we synthesize emerging literature and discuss mechanisms of how non-neuronal cells in limbic regions of brain interface at synapses, the neurovascular unit, and other sites of intercellular communication to mediate the deleterious, or adaptive (i.e., pro-resilient), effects of chronic stress in rodent models and in human stress-related disorders. We believe that such an approach may one day allow us to adopt a holistic “whole body” approach to stress disorder research, which could lead to more precise diagnostic tests and personalized treatment strategies. Stress is a major risk factor for many psychiatric disorders. Cathomas et al. review new insight into how non-neuronal cells mediate the deleterious effects, as well as the adaptive, protective effects, of stress in rodent models and human stress-related disorders.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1116-1138
Number of pages23
Issue number7
StatePublished - 6 Apr 2022


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