Mitochondria can shape the major stress-response pathways, thereby recalibrating the multi-systemic response to psychological stress.
In order to be successfully adaptive, organisms mount integrated stress responses across multiple organ systems. The ability to mount appropriate responses to psychological stress is critical for survival, and is thus considered a driver of species evolution. Maladaptive stress response in humans results in chronic stress characterized by specific symptoms, and which ultimately contributes to disease.
“Stressful experiences, on their own, do not cause damage or disease,” the authors write. “Rather, it is the organism’s responses to stress that have the potential to result in physiological dysregulation and dysfunction, culminating in allostatic load and disease. Our study demonstrates how mitochondria can shape the major stress-response pathways, thereby recalibrating the multisystemic response to psychological stress.”