New mode of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical axis regulation: significance for stress-related disorders

J M Reul, A Bilang-Bleuel, S Droste, A C Linthorst, F Holsboer, A Gesing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)


Two types of corticosteroid receptors have been identified in the brain and pituitary that play an important role in the regulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis. These glucocorticoid hormone binding receptors are the mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) and the glucocorticoid receptor (GR). Evidently, a tight control of the concentration and function of these receptors is of prime importance for maintaining and regaining homeostasis after stressful challenges. Here, we describe a novel mechanism revealing a rapid upsurge in MR density in the hippocampus (a limbic structure highly involved in HPA axis regulation) after an acute psychologically stressful challenge. This rise in MR is accompanied by a stronger MR-mediated inhibitory control of the HPA axis. Thus, an acute stressful experience results in a reorganization of the HPA axis involving a principal role of the hippocampal MR. This novel mechanism may be of significance for increasing our understanding of the etiology of stress-related disorders.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)II/22-5
JournalZeitschrift für Rheumatologie
Volume59 Suppl 2
Publication statusPublished - 2000


  • Rats
  • Pituitary-Adrenal System
  • Animals
  • Brain Mapping
  • Hypothalamo-Hypophyseal System
  • Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone
  • Hippocampus
  • Humans
  • Receptors, Glucocorticoid
  • Up-Regulation
  • Receptors, Mineralocorticoid


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