Circadian and Ultradian Glucocorticoid Rhythmicity: Implications for the Effects of Glucocorticoids on Neural Stem Cells and Adult Hippocampal Neurogenesis

Carlos P. Fitzsimons, Joe Herbert, Marijn Schouten, Onno C. Meijer, Paul J. Lucassen, Stafford Lightman

Research output: Contribution to journalSpecial issue (Academic Journal)

31 Citations (Scopus)
199 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Abstract Psychosocial stress, and within the neuroendocrine reaction to stress specifically the glucocorticoid hormones, are well-characterized inhibitors of neural stem/progenitor cell proliferation in the adult hippocampus, resulting in a marked reduction in the production of new neurons in this brain area relevant for learning and memory. However, the mechanisms by which stress, and particularly glucocorticoids, inhibit neural stem/progenitor cell proliferation remain unclear and under debate. Here we review the literature on the topic and discuss the evidence for direct and indirect effects of glucocorticoids on neural stem/progenitor cell proliferation and adult neurogenesis. Further, we discuss the hypothesis that glucocorticoid rhythmicity and oscillations originating from the activity of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis, may be crucial for the regulation of neural stem/progenitor cells in the hippocampus, as well as the implications of this hypothesis for pathophysiological conditions in which glucocorticoid oscillations are affected.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)44-58
Number of pages15
JournalFrontiers in Neuroendocrinology
Volume41
Early online date24 May 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Keywords

  • Adult hippocampal neurogenesis
  • Stress
  • Glucocorticoid oscillations
  • Neural stem cells
  • Ultradian

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