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Dose Response. 2006 Jun 20;4(1):38-54. doi: 10.2203/dose-response.004.01.004.Abraham.

Concentration dependent actions of glucocorticoids on neuronal viability and survival.

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Neurobiology Research Group, Hungarian Academy of Sciences at Eötvös Loránd University, Budapest, Hungary.


A growing body of evidence based on experimental data demonstrates that glucocorticoids (GCs) can play a potent role in the survival and death of neurons. However, these observations reflect paradoxical features of GCs, since these adrenal stress hormones are heavily involved in both neurodegenerative and neuroprotective processes. The actual level of GCs appears to have an essential impact in this bimodal action. In the present short review we aim to show the importance of concentration dependent action of GCs on neuronal cell viability and cell survival in the brain. Additionally, we will summarize the possible GC-induced cellular mechanisms at different GC concentrations providing a background for their effect on the fate of nerve cells in conditions that are a challenge to their survival.


Cell death; Cell survival; Glucocorticoids

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