From the stalk to down under about brain glucocorticoid receptors, stress and development

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Neurochem Res, Volume 33, Number 4, p.637-642 (2008)


0364-3190 (Print)0364-31

DOI Name (links to online publication)



Animals; Behavior/physiology; Brain/*growth; &; development; Brain Chemistry/*physiology; Hippocampus/metabolism/physiology; Humans; Neuronal Plasticity/physiology; Pituitary Gland/growth; &; development/*physiology; Receptors; Glucocorticoid/metaboli


George Fink witnessed the birth of modern neuroendocrinology while examining with Geoffrey Harris the secrets of the pituitary stalk secretagogs. From thereon neuroendocrine systems were identified that linked experience and behavior with hormone secretion and action. A prime example of this integration of body and mind with the environment is provided by the corticosteroid hormones released from the adrenals in one hour pulses and after stress. Corticosteroids coordinate cell and organ function with membrane properties and gene transcription over time spans from milliseconds to hours, days, weeks and even a life time. Here we report that also the receptors display a remarkable plasticity in determining the fate of an organism.