Corticosteroid Receptors

Publication Type:

Book Chapter


Encyclopedia of Stress, Academic Press, Volume 1st, New York, p.557-569 (2000)


Brain; Cognition; corticosteroid; corticosteroid receptor; corticosteroid receptors; Corticosterone; cortisol; EXPRESSION; GENE; Genes; glucocorticoid; GLUCOCORTICOID HORMONES; GLUCOCORTICOID RECEPTOR; glucocorticoid receptors; GLUCOCORTICOID-RECEPTOR; GL


The effects of cortisol and corticosterone (here: CORT), the main glucocorticoid hormones in primates and rodents respectively, are mediated by two types of intracellular receptor molecules: glucocorticoid receptors (GRs or [`]type II receptors'), and mineralocorticoid receptors (MRs or [`]type I'). In the brain, both MRs and GRs function as receptors for CORT to act either in synergy or antagonism. GRs and MRs are members of the steroid hormone receptor superfamily, and accordingly act as transcription factors to change the expression levels of target genes. Also rapid nongenomic effects occur, although these are at present less well studied. Different molecular mechanisms of action are responsible for a variety of transcriptional effects, which have a relatively slow onset and long duration, and that underlie the function of CORT as a neuromodulator. The coordinate actions of CORT via the corticosteroid receptor types in the brain and pituitary play a crucial role in the regulation of the stress response and in mediating the effects of CORT on mood and cognition