Stress-induced changes in hippocampal function

Marian Joels*, Harm Krugers, Henk Karst

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

75 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Exposure of an organism to stress leads to activation of the sympatho-adrenomedullary system and the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis. Consequently, levels of noradrenaline, peptides like vasopressin and CRH, and corticosteroid hormones in the brain rise. These hormones affect brain function at those sites where receptors are enriched, like the hippocampus, lateral septum, amygdala nuclei, and prefrontal cortex. During the initial phase of the stress response, when hormone levels are high, these compounds mostly enhance excitability and promote long-term potentiation. Later on, when hormone levels have subsided but gene-mediated effects of corticosteroids start to appear, the excitability is normalized to the pre-stress level, in the CA1 hippocampal area, but possibly less so in the dentate gyrus and amygdala. A disturbed balance between these early and late phases of the stress response as well as a shift toward the relative contribution of the dentate/amygdala pathways may explain why the normal restorative capacity fails in vulnerable people experiencing a life-threatening situation, which could contribute to the development of PTSD.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSTRESS HORMONES AND POST TRAUMATIC STRESS DISORDER: BASIC STUDIES AND CLINICAL PERSPECTIVES
EditorsER DeKloet, E Vermetten
PublisherELSEVIER SCIENCE BV
Pages3-5
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)978-0-444-53140-7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes
EventColloquium on Stress Hormones and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder - Basic Studies and Clinical Perspectives - Amsterdam, Netherlands
Duration: 28-Aug-200630-Aug-2006

Publication series

NameProgress in Brain Research
PublisherELSEVIER SCIENCE BV
Volume167
ISSN (Print)0079-6123

Conference

ConferenceColloquium on Stress Hormones and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder - Basic Studies and Clinical Perspectives
Country/TerritoryNetherlands
CityAmsterdam
Period28/08/200630/08/2006

Keywords

  • mineralocorticoid
  • glucocorticoid
  • CA1 area
  • dentate gyrus
  • electrophysiology
  • corticosterone
  • LONG-TERM POTENTIATION
  • CORTICOTROPIN-RELEASING-FACTOR
  • CALCIUM CURRENT AMPLITUDE
  • DENTATE GYRUS NEURONS
  • GLUCOCORTICOID-RECEPTOR
  • BASOLATERAL AMYGDALA
  • SYNAPTIC-TRANSMISSION
  • IN-VITRO
  • CORTICOSTEROID ACTIONS
  • MOUSE HIPPOCAMPUS

Cite this