Exposure to hostile conditions initiates responses organized to enhance the probability of survival. These coordinated responses, known as stress responses, are composed of alterations in behavior, autonomic function and the secretion of multiple hormones. The activation of the renin–angiotensin system and the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenocortical axis plays a pivotal role in the stress response. Neuroendocrine components activated by stressors include the increased secretion of epinephrine and norepinephrine from the sympathetic nervous system and adrenal medulla, the release of corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) and vasopressin from parvicellular neurons into the portal circulation, and seconds later, the secretion of pituitary adrenocorticotropin (ACTH), leading to secretion of glucocorticoids by the adrenal gland. Corticotropin-releasing factor coordinates the endocrine, autonomic, behavioral and immune responses to stress and also acts as a neurotransmitter or neuromodulator in the amygdala, dorsal raphe nucleus, hippocampus and locus coeruleus, to integrate brain multi-system responses to stress. This review discussed the role of classical mediators of the stress response, such as corticotropin-releasing factor, vasopressin, serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine or 5-HT) and catecholamines. Also discussed are the roles of other neuropeptides/neuromodulators involved in the stress response that have previously received little attention, such as substance P, vasoactive intestinal polypeptide, neuropeptide Y and cholecystokinin. Anxiolytic drugs of the benzodiazepine class and other drugs that affect catecholamine, GABA A , histamine and serotonin receptors have been used to attenuate the neuroendocrine response to stressors. The neuroendocrine information for these drugs is still incomplete; however, they are a new class of potential antidepressant and anxiolytic drugs that offer new therapeutic approaches to treating anxiety disorders. The studies described in this review suggest that multiple brain mechanisms are responsible for the regulation of each hormone and that not all hormones are regulated by the same neural circuits. In particular, the renin–angiotensin system seems to be regulated by different brain mechanisms than the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal system. This could be an important survival mechanism to ensure that dysfunction of one neurotransmitter system will not endanger the appropriate secretion of hormones during exposure to adverse conditions. The measurement of several hormones to examine the mechanisms underlying the stress response and the effects of drugs and lesions on these responses can provide insight into the nature and location of brain circuits and neurotransmitter receptors involved in anxiety and stress.
European Journal of Pharmacology – Elsevier
Published: Feb 28, 2003
It’s your single place to instantly
discover and read the research
that matters to you.
Enjoy affordable access to
over 18 million articles from more than
15,000 peer-reviewed journals.
All for just $49/month
Query the DeepDyve database, plus search all of PubMed and Google Scholar seamlessly
Save any article or search result from DeepDyve, PubMed, and Google Scholar... all in one place.
Get unlimited, online access to over 18 million full-text articles from more than 15,000 scientific journals.
Read from thousands of the leading scholarly journals from SpringerNature, Elsevier, Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford University Press and more.
All the latest content is available, no embargo periods.
“Hi guys, I cannot tell you how much I love this resource. Incredible. I really believe you've hit the nail on the head with this site in regards to solving the research-purchase issue.”Daniel C.
“Whoa! It’s like Spotify but for academic articles.”@Phil_Robichaud
“I must say, @deepdyve is a fabulous solution to the independent researcher's problem of #access to #information.”@deepthiw
“My last article couldn't be possible without the platform @deepdyve that makes journal papers cheaper.”@JoseServera
Read and print from thousands of top scholarly journals.
Already have an account? Log in
Bookmark this article. You can see your Bookmarks on your DeepDyve Library.
Copy and paste the desired citation format or use the link below to download a file formatted for EndNote
EndNoteExport to EndNote
ok to continue