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Chronic stress precipitates pronounced enhancement of central stress excitability, marked by sensitization of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis responses and increased adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) secretagogue biosynthesis in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus (PVN). Chronic stress-induced enhancement of HPA axis(More)
Adolescent development is proposed to represent a time of increased susceptibility to stress. During adolescence, the brain demonstrates a high level of plasticity and can be positively or negatively affected by the environment. This study tests the hypothesis that adolescent development is a stage of enhanced vulnerability to chronic stress. Male(More)
Life stress frequently occurs within the context of homeostatic challenge, requiring integration of physiological and psychological need into appropriate hormonal, cardiovascular, and behavioral responses. To test neural mechanisms underlying stress integration within the context of homeostatic adversity, we evaluated the impact of a pronounced(More)
Chronic stress is associated with dysregulation of energy homeostasis, but the link between the two is largely unknown. For most rodents, periods of chronic stress reduce weight gain. We hypothesized that these reductions in weight are an additional homeostatic challenge, contributing to the chronic stress syndrome. Experiment #1 examined cardiovascular(More)
BACKGROUND Stress-related disorders (e.g., depression) are associated with hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical axis dysregulation and prefrontal cortex (PFC) dysfunction, suggesting a functional link between aberrant prefrontal corticosteroid signaling and mood regulation. METHODS We used a virally mediated knockdown strategy (short hairpin RNA(More)
An emerging literature attests to the ability of psychological stress to alter the inflammatory cytokine environment of the body. While the ability of stress to cause cytokine release is well established, the neural pathways involved in this control have yet to be identified. This study tests the hypothesis that IL-6 neurons of the(More)
Proper integration and execution of the physiological stress response is essential for maintaining homoeostasis. Stress responses are controlled in large part by the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) of the hypothalamus, which contains three functionally distinct neural populations that modulate multiple stress effectors: (1) hypophysiotrophic PVN neurons that(More)
The nucleus of the solitary tract (NTS) is a critical integrative site for coordination of autonomic and endocrine stress responses. Stress-excitatory signals from the NTS are communicated by both catecholaminergic [norepinephrine (NE), epinephrine (E)] and noncatecholaminergic [e.g., glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1)] neurons. Recent studies suggest that(More)
Chronic stress produces numerous adaptations within the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis that persist well after cessation of chronic stress. We previously demonstrated profound attenuation of HPA axis responses to novel environment 4-7 days following chronic stress. The present study tests the hypothesis that this HPA axis hyporesponsivity is(More)
Chronic stress induces presynaptic and postsynaptic modifications in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus that are consistent with enhanced excitatory hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis drive. The brain regions mediating these molecular modifications are not known. We hypothesized that chronic variable stress (CVS) tonically(More)