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Vitam Horm. 2010;82:367-89. doi: 10.1016/S0083-6729(10)82019-9.

Postnatal ontogeny of the glucocorticoid receptor in the hippocampus.

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Pavlov Institute of Physiology, Russian Academy of Science, Makarova 6, Saint-Petersburg, Russia.


Corticosteroid hormones are important intrinsic factors that not only mediate the response to stress but also largely contribute to the main physiological processes. The biological actions of these steroids involve, first of all, the activation of specific receptors, namely mineralocorticoid (MR) and glucocorticoid (GR) receptors. These two receptor types govern a flexible and well-balanced mechanism that leads to the often opposing changes in the cell. The hippocampus is the central part of the extrahypothalamic feedback loop in the control of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activity. The coexpression of both MR and GR in the hippocampus serves a coordinated response to corticosteroids in the hippocampal neurons, thereby mediating the neuronal excitability, stress response, and behavioral adaptation. Each receptor type reveals distinct ontogenetic pattern over the postnatal period. This review addresses the issues relating to postnatal development of the HPA axis and especially the hippocampal expression of the GR proteins in intact and prenatally stressed rats.

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