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Brain Behav Immun. 2007 Mar;21(3):259-72. Epub 2006 Dec 27.

An inflammatory review of glucocorticoid actions in the CNS.

Author information

  • 1Department of Biological Sciences, Stanford University, Gilbert Lab MC 5020, Stanford, CA 94305-5020, USA. sfs11@stanford.edu

Abstract

In recent years, the classic view that glucocorticoids, the adrenal steroids secreted during stress, are universally anti-inflammatory has been challenged at a variety of levels. It was first observed that under some circumstances, acute GC exposure could have pro-inflammatory effects on the peripheral immune response. More recently, chronic exposure to GCs has been found to have pro-inflammatory effects on the specialized immune response to injury in the central nervous system. Here we review the evidence that in some cases, glucocorticoids can increase pro-inflammatory cell migration, cytokine production, and even transcription factor activity in the brain. We consider how these unexpected effects of glucocorticoids can co-exist with their well-established anti-inflammatory properties, as well as the considerable clinical implications of these findings.

PMID:
17194565
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC1997278
Free PMC Article
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