Stress-related neuropsychiatric disorders, such as major depressive disorder and posttraumatic stress disorder, exact enormous socioeconomic and individual consequences. Resilience, the process of adaptation in the face of adversity, is an important concept that is enabling the field to understand individual differences in stress responses, with the hope of harnessing this information for the development of novel therapeutics that mimic the body's natural resilience mechanisms. This review provides an update on the current state of research of the neurobiological mechanisms of stress resilience. We focus on physiological and transcriptional adaptations of specific brain circuits, the role of cellular and humoral factors of the immune system, the gut microbiota, and changes at the interface between the brain and the periphery, the blood-brain barrier. We propose viewing resilience as a process that requires the integration of multiple central and peripheral systems and that elucidating the underlying neurobiological mechanisms will ultimately lead to novel therapeutic options.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)410-420
Number of pages11
JournalBiological Psychiatry
Issue number6
StatePublished - 15 Sep 2019


  • Blood-brain barrier
  • Gut microbiota
  • Inflammation
  • Major depressive disorder
  • Mesolimbic reward circuit
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder
  • Resilience
  • Stress


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