Navigation Links
Stress hormones: Good or bad for posttraumatic stress disorder risk?
Date:9/12/2012

Philadelphia, PA, September 12, 2012 Glucocorticoids, a group of hormones that includes cortisol, are considered stress hormones because their levels increase following stress. When their relationship to stress was first identified, it was shown that the release of cortisol prepared the body to cope with the physical demands of stress. Subsequently, high levels of cortisol were linked to depression and other stress-related disorders, giving rise to the hypothesis that high levels of cortisol on a long-term basis may impair the psychological capacity to cope with stress.

For this reason, drugs such as mifepristone that block glucocorticoid activity, called glucocorticoid receptor antagonists, have been tested as treatments for depression. But other recent data suggest that, in animal models and in humans, elevating glucocorticoid levels may reduce the development of posttraumatic stress disorder or PTSD.

This hypothesis is now supported by a new study in Biological Psychiatry. Using an animal model of PTSD, Rajnish Rao and colleagues demonstrate that elevated levels of glucocorticoids at the time of acute stress confers protection against anxiety-like behavior and the delayed enhancing effect of stress on synaptic connectivity in the basolateral amygdala.

"It seems, increasingly, that the 'trauma' in posttraumatic stress disorder is the impact of stress on brain structure and function," commented Dr. John Krystal, Editor of Biological Psychiatry. "The study by Rao and colleagues provides evidence that glucocorticoids may have protective effects in their animal model that prevent from these changes in synaptic connectivity, potentially shedding light on protective effects of glucocorticoids described in relation to PTSD."

Senior author Prof. Sumantra Chattarji from the National Centre for Biological Sciences in Bangalore, India, explained the reasoning behind their work: "First, this work was inspired by a puzzle - counterintuitive clinical reports - that individuals having lower levels of cortisol are more susceptible to developing PTSD and that cortisol treatment in turn reduces the cardinal symptoms of PTSD. Second, using a rodent model of acute stress, we were not only able to capture the essence of these clinical reports, but also identify a possible cellular mechanism in the amygdala, the emotional hub of the brain."

Their results are consistent with clinical reports on the protective effects of glucocorticoids against the development of PTSD symptoms triggered by traumatic stress.

Two successive manipulations, both of which elevate corticosterone levels by themselves, together reset the number of synapses in the amygdala and restored anxiety behavior to normal levels in rats. Strikingly, these high and low numbers of synapses in the amygdala appear to be reliable predictors of high and low anxiety states respectively.

"With the increasing costs and suffering associated with PTSD victims, it is our hope that basic research of the kind reported in this study will help in developing new therapeutic strategies against this debilitating disorder," concluded Chattarji.


'/>"/>
Contact: Rhiannon Bugno
Biol.Psych@utsouthwestern.edu
214-648-0880
Elsevier
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Ecosystems cope with stress more effectively the greater the biodiversity
2. New method: Research team analyzes stress biology in babies
3. Acute stress alters control of gene activity
4. For young birds, getting stressed out can be a good thing
5. A diet high in choline during pregnancy may mean less stress for baby
6. Sick from stress? Blame your mom… and epigenetics
7. Long-distance distress signal from periphery of injured nerve cells begins with locally made protein
8. Researchers study knee stress at tissue, cellular levels
9. Bend or stretch? How stressful is hyperflexion of horses necks?
10. Red hair is a sign of oxidative stress in wild boars, but gray is a-ok
11. LSUHSC research finds treating stress prevented new MS brain lesions
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:4/26/2016)... 27, 2016 Research and ... Biometrics Market 2016-2020"  report to their offering.  , ... The analysts forecast the global multimodal biometrics ... during the period 2016-2020.  Multimodal biometrics ... such as the healthcare, BFSI, transportation, automotive, and ...
(Date:4/14/2016)... , April 14, 2016 ... and Malware Detection, today announced the appointment of ... the new role. Goldwerger,s leadership appointment comes ... the heels of the deployment of its platform at ... behavioral biometric technology, which discerns unique cognitive and physiological ...
(Date:3/29/2016)... , March 29, 2016 LegacyXChange, ... LegacyXChange "LEGX" and SelectaDNA/CSI Protect are pleased to announce ... used in a variety of writing instruments, ensuring athletes ... originally created collectibles from athletes on LegacyXChange will be ... of the DNA. Bill Bollander , ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/27/2016)... --  Ginkgo Bioworks , a leading organism design ... awarded as one of the World Economic Forum,s ... innovative companies. Ginkgo Bioworks is engineering biology to ... in the nutrition, health and consumer goods sectors. ... including Fortune 500 companies to design microbes for ...
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... While the majority of ... the Cary 5000 and the 6000i models are higher end machines that use the ... of the spectrophotometer’s light beam from the bottom of the cuvette holder. , ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... 2016 , ... UAS LifeSciences, one of the leading manufacturers ... Probiotics, into Target stores nationwide. The company, which has been manufacturing high quality ... list of well-respected retailers. This list includes such fine stores as Whole Foods, ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... A person commits a crime, and the detective ... the criminal down. An outbreak of foodborne illness ... (FDA) uses DNA evidence to track down the bacteria that ... It,s not. The FDA has increasingly used a complex, cutting-edge ... illnesses. Put as simply as possible, whole genome sequencing is ...
Breaking Biology Technology: