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Journal Title

Brain, Behavior, and Immunity - Health

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Psychosocial stress has been shown to prime peripheral innate immune cells, which take on hyper-inflammatory phenotypes and are implicated in depressive-like behavior in mouse models. However, the impact of stress on cellular metabolic states that are thought to fuel inflammatory phenotypes in immune cells are unknown. Using single cell RNA-sequencing, we investigated mRNA enrichment of immunometabolic pathways in innate immune cells of the spleen in mice subjected to repeated social defeat stress (RSDS) or no stress (NS). RSDS mice displayed a significant increase in the number of splenic macrophages and granulocytes (p < 0.05) compared to NS littermates. RSDS-upregulated genes in macrophages, monocytes, and granulocytes significantly enriched immunometabolic pathways thought to play a role in myeloid-driven inflammation (glycolysis, HIF-1 signaling, MTORC1 signaling) as well as pathways related to oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) and oxidative stress (p < 0.05 and FDR<0.1). These results suggest that the metabolic enhancement reflected by upregulation of glycolytic and OXPHOS pathways may be important for cellular proliferation of splenic macrophages and granulocytes following repeated stress exposure. A better understanding of these intracellular metabolic mechanisms may ultimately help develop novel strategies to reverse the impact of stress and associated peripheral immune changes on the brain and behavior.