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Epidemiological evidence suggests that an adverse prenatal environment permanently 'programs' physiology and increases the risk of cardiovascular, metabolic, neuroendocrine and psychiatric disorders in adulthood. Prenatal stress or exposure to excess glucocorticoids might provide the link between fetal maturation and adult pathophysiology. In a variety of(More)
Human epidemiological data show a strong association between low birth weight and hypertension in adulthood, an effect that has been ascribed to 'fetal programming'. In rats fetoplacental exposure to maternally administered dexamethasone throughout gestation reduces birth weight and produces hypertensive adult offspring, though the mechanism is unclear.(More)
Glucocorticoids may underlie the association between low birth weight and adult disorders such as hypertension, type 2 diabetes and affective dysfunction. We investigated the behavioural and molecular consequences of two paradigms of prenatal dexamethasone administration in rats. Rats received dexamethasone (100 microg/kg per day) throughout pregnancy(More)
The nuclear mineralocorticoid receptor (MR), a high-affinity receptor for glucocorticoids, is highly expressed in the hippocampus where it underpins cognitive, behavioural and neuroendocrine regulation. Increased neuronal MR expression occurs early in the response to cellular injury in vivo and in vitro and is associated with enhanced neuronal survival. To(More)
11beta-Hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 2 is a glucocorticoid metabolizing enzyme that catalyzes rapid inactivation of corticosterone and cortisol to inert 11-keto derivatives. As 11beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 2 is highly expressed in the developing brain, but not in the adult CNS, we hypothesized that it may represent a protective barrier to(More)
11beta-Hydroxysteroid dehydrogenases (11beta-HSDs) catalyze interconversion of active corticosterone and inert 11-dehydrocorticosterone, thus regulating glucocorticoid access to intracellular receptors in vivo. 11beta-HSD type 1 is a reductase, locally regenerating active glucocorticoids. To explore the role of this isozyme in the brain, we examined(More)
Low birth weight associates with increased susceptibility to adult cardiometabolic and affective disorders spawning the notion of fetal "programming." Prenatal exposure to excess glucocorticoids may be causal. In support, maternal stress or treatment during pregnancy with dexamethasone (which crosses the placenta) or inhibitors of fetoplacental(More)
Glucocorticoid hormones, acting via nuclear receptors, regulate many metabolic processes, including hepatic gluconeogenesis. It recently has been recognized that intracellular glucocorticoid concentrations are determined not only by plasma hormone levels, but also by intracellular 11beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenases (11beta-HSDs), which interconvert active(More)
The metabolic syndrome (visceral obesity, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, and dyslipidemia) resembles Cushing's Syndrome, but without elevated circulating glucocorticoid levels. An emerging concept suggests that the aberrantly elevated levels of the intracellular glucocorticoid reamplifying enzyme 11 beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (11(More)
Both serotonergic dysfunction and glucocorticoid hypersecretion are implicated in affective and eating disorders. The adverse effects of serotonergic (5-HT)2C receptor activation on mood and food intake, the antidepressant efficacy of 5-HT2 receptor antagonists, and the hyperphagia observed in 5-HT2C receptor knockout mice all suggest a key role for(More)