Depression, Stress and the Adrenal axis

  title={Depression, Stress and the Adrenal axis},
  author={Carmine Maria Pariante},
  journal={Journal of Neuroendocrinology},
  • C. Pariante
  • Published 1 August 2003
  • Biology, Psychology
  • Journal of Neuroendocrinology
Summary Depression is characterized by an over activity of the hypothalamic‐pituitary‐adrenal (HPA) axis that resembles the neuroendocrine response to stress. These HPA axis abnormalities participate in the development of depressive symptoms. Moreover, antidepressants directly regulate HPA axis function. These novel findings are reshaping our understanding of the causes and treatment of this disabling disorder. 

Glucocorticoids, cytokines and brain abnormalities in depression

Risk Factors for Development of Depression and Psychosis

  • C. Pariante
  • Biology, Psychology
    Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences
  • 2009
Clinical and experimental studies do not support the notion that “high levels of glucocorticoids” always have a depressogenic effect, nor that decreasing the effects of these hormones always has an antidepressant effects.

The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and serotonin abnormalities: a selective overview for the implications of suicide prevention

HPA over-activity may be a good predictor of mood disorders and perhaps suicidal behavior via abnormalities in the serotonergic system, and Corticosteroids may play an important role in the relationship between stress, mood changes and perhaps suicides by interacting with 5-HT1A receptors.

The glucocorticoid hypothesis of depression: History and prospects

The purpose of this review was to analyze the available published data on the effects of stress and glucocorticoids on the expression of GRs in the hippocampus, which is traditionally considered as the most sensitive to stress brain structure, and the implication of the interplay ofGRs and BDNF in the pathogenesis of stress-related disorders.

The glucocorticoid receptor: Pivot of depression and of antidepressant treatment?

Abnormalities of the HPA axis in affective disorders: clinical subtypes and potential treatments

Initial studies of mifepristone and other HPA-axis-targeting agents in psychotic depression and bipolar disorder are encouraging and confirmatory studies are awaited.

Inflammation and depression.

The evidence linking inflammation and MDD is discussed, looking at data from clinical and animal studies, the role of stress, possible mechanisms and the involvement of genetic polymorphisms.

Effects of stress and stress hormones on amyloid-beta protein and plaque deposition.

The potential mechanisms by which stress and stress-related components, especially corticotrophin-releasing factor and its receptors, influence the pathogenesis of AD are discussed.

The glucocorticoid receptor: part of the solution or part of the problem?

  • C. Pariante
  • Biology, Psychology
    Journal of psychopharmacology
  • 2006
It is concluded that a lack of the ‘positive’ effects of cortisol on the brain, because of glucocorticoid resistance, is likely to be involved in the pathogenesis of depression.