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Neurobiol Dis. 2009 Jun;34(3):457-61. doi: 10.1016/j.nbd.2009.02.018. Epub 2009 Mar 11.

Elevated plasma corticosterone level and depressive behavior in experimental temporal lobe epilepsy.

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Department of Pediatrics, Neurology Division, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California Los Angeles, BOX 951752, 22-474 MDCC, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1752, USA.


Depression is frequently reported in epilepsy patients; however, mechanisms of co-morbidity between epilepsy and depression are poorly understood. An important mechanism of depression is disinhibition within the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis. We examined the functional state of the HPA axis in a rat model of co-morbidity between temporal lobe epilepsy and depression. Epilepsy was accompanied by the interictal elevation of plasma corticosterone, and by the positively combined dexamethasone/corticotropin releasing hormone test. The extent of the HPA hyperactivity was independent of recurrent seizures, but positively correlated with the severity of depressive behavior. We suggest that the observed hyperactivity of the HPA axis may underlie co-morbidity between epilepsy and depression.

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