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Trends Neurosci. 2011 Apr;34(4):165-76. doi: 10.1016/j.tins.2011.01.006. Epub 2011 Mar 4.

Glucocorticoids act on glutamatergic pathways to affect memory processes.

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Laboratory of Behavioral Genetics, Brain Mind Institute, École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Lausanne, Switzerland.


Glucocorticoids can acutely affect memory processes, with both facilitating and impairing effects having been described. Recent work has revealed that glucocorticoids may affect learning and memory processes by interacting with glutamatergic mechanisms. In this opinion article I describe different glutamatergic pathways that glucocorticoids can affect to modulate memory processes. Furthermore, glucocorticoid-glutamatergic interactions during information processing are proposed as a potential model to explain many of the diverse actions of glucocorticoids on cognition. The model suggests that direct modulation of glutamatergic pathways by glucocorticoids could serve as an important mechanism for these hormones to directly alter cognitive functions.

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