Thursday, March 9, 2017

Endocrine cells in the brain influence the optimization of behavior - NEUROSCIENCE

A person exposed to stress can usually rapidly adapt the own behavior to the specific situation. Biochemical messenger substances in the brain or so-called neurotransmitters play a central role in this rapid transformation process. We know that hormones also have a stress-regulating function, but that their effects are more slowly apparent.

However, recent findings reported by the team under Professor Soojin Ryu, leading researcher at the German Resilience Center of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in Germany, indicate that this may not actually be the case. Using a combination of genetic and optical techniques, the research team has been able to demonstrate that corticotrophs, the cell populations that stimulate the adrenal cortex and produce the stress hormones of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, can rapidly influence avoidance behavior immediately after the onset of a stress situation.

This insight may contribute to the development of effective treatments that can facilitate the management of acute stress-induced reactions or might even be able to alleviate acute stress-related conditions. The findings have recently been published in the journal Nature Communications.

Source and further reading:

Corina Marinescu

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