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Hormones and Brain Plasticity$
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Luis Miguel García-Segura

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780195326611

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2009

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195326611.001.0001

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Hormonal Influences on Brain Plasticity: I. Melatonin, Thyroid Hormones, and Corticosteroids

Hormonal Influences on Brain Plasticity: I. Melatonin, Thyroid Hormones, and Corticosteroids

Chapter:
(p.43) Chapter 3 Hormonal Influences on Brain Plasticity: I. Melatonin, Thyroid Hormones, and Corticosteroids
Source:
Hormones and Brain Plasticity
Author(s):

Luis Miguel García-Segura

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195326611.003.0003

This chapter examines the impact of three nonpeptide hormones—melatonin, thyroid hormones, and glucocorticoids—on brain plasticity. Melatonin may modulate synaptic plasticity in the suprachiasmatic nucleus, affecting long-term synaptic potentiation. Melatonin and circadian rhythms may also influence synaptic plasticity in cognitive brain regions. Thyroid hormones maintain an adequate level of neurogenesis in the adult hippocampus by promoting cellular proliferation, neuronal survival, and differentiation of newly generated neurons. Their effect on hippocampal neurogenesis may be related to hormonal effects on spatial learning, memory, and depressive behavior. The action of corticosteroids in the brain is mediated by two different receptors: the type 1 or mineralocorticoid receptors, of high affinity, and the type 2 or glucocorticoid receptors, of lower affinity. Both receptor types are expressed in the limbic neuronal networks involved in the stress response. Stress and glucocorticoids generate plastic reorganization of these circuits, an effect that is linked to further modifications in neuroendocrine regulation.

Keywords:   hormones, nonpeptide hormones, hormonal signals

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