Glucocorticoids and neural development: relevant to anxiety and mood disorders Yoshifumi Watanabe 1 1Department of Neuroscience, Yamaguchi University School of Medicine Keyword: グルココルチコイドホルモン , glucocorticoids , 胎生期 , prenatal , 新生児期 , neonatal , ストレス , stress , 視床下部―下垂体―副腎(HPA)系 , HPA axis , 養育行動 , maternal care , 気分障害 , mood disorders , 不安障害 , anxiety disorders pp.842-843
Published Date 2006/12/10
DOI https://doi.org/10.11477/mf.1431100404
  • Abstract

 Glucocorticoids regulate the HPA axis, and play important roles for cell survival, neural plasticity, and brain functions such as learning, memory and emotion. Furthermore, glucocorticoids also have been reported to play important roles for the neural development by human and animal studies. Human studies suggest the association between severe prenatal stress and early adversity, and the vulnerability for anxiety and mood disorders in adult life. Animal studies have reported that stress and glucocorticoids treatment in the prenatal and neonatal periods induce the decrease in neural cells and in glucocorticoid receptors in the hippocampus, the increased anxiety and the suppressed negative-feedback function of the HPA axis. However, prenatal and neonatal stress and also prenatal glucocorticoids commonly induce the increased stress response of the HPA axis and the increased CRH in the hypothalamus, whereas neonatal glucocorticoids induces the suppressed stress response of the HPA axis, and does not induce any change of CRH in the hypothalamus. These discrepancy may be partially explained by an alteration of the maternal care. In fact, poor maternal care reveals similar alterations induced by prenatal and neonatal stress and also prenatal glucocorticoids as described above. As mood disorders also show similar alterations, stress and increased glucocorticoids in prenatal and neonatal periods are suggested to have some crucial role in the vulnerability for mood disorders.

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