The antidepressant fluoxetine normalizes the nuclear glucocorticoid receptor evoked by psychosocial stress
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Dysregulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis has been implicated in the pathophysiology of depression and stress disorders. Glucocorticoids, key regulators of the stress response, exert diverse effects on cellular processes in the hippocampus. Beside non-genomic pathways, glucocorticoid effects are mediated through activation of the glucocorticoid receptor (GR), a ligand activated transcriptional factor that belongs to the nuclear hormone receptor superfamily. We analysed the GR protein levels both in the cytoplasmic and nuclear compartments of the hippocampus of Wistar rats exposed to chronic psychosocial isolation stress upon chronic fluoxetine (FLU) treatment. Under chronic stress, corticosterone levels (CORT) were decreased compared to the control, and treatment with FLU did not change its level in the stressed rats. At the molecular level, FLU normalized the level of nuclear GR protein in the hippocampus of the stressed rats. Discrepancy between normalization of ...nuclear GR in the hippocampus and lack of normalization of HPA axis activity judged by CORT, suggests that other brain structures such as the amygdale and prefrontal cortex that also regulate HPA axis activity, seem not to be normalized by the FLU treatment used in our study.