IMR Press / FBL / Volume 11 / Issue 3 / DOI: 10.2741/2004

Frontiers in Bioscience-Landmark (FBL) is published by IMR Press from Volume 26 Issue 5 (2021). Previous articles were published by another publisher on a subscription basis, and they are hosted by IMR Press on as a courtesy and upon agreement with Frontiers in Bioscience.

Open Access Article
Remodeling of neuronal networks by stress
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1 Clinical Neurobiology Laboratory, German Primate Center, Gottingen, Germany
2 Department of Neurology, Medical School, University of Gottingen, Gottingen, Germany
3 DFG Research Center for the Molecular Physiology of the Brain (CMPB), Gottingen, Germany
Academic Editor:Tatsuo Watanabe
Front. Biosci. (Landmark Ed) 2006, 11(3), 2746–2758;
Published: 1 September 2006
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Stress responses: from molecular to integrative bioscience)

Stress can be a threat to the physiological and psychological integrity of an individual and may result in psychic and behavioral changes. The stress response is mediated through in-concert activity of many brain areas and there is experimental evidence that stress induces structural changes in neuronal networks, in particular in the hippocampus, the prefrontal cortex and the amygdala. Within the hippocampal formation, stress exposure results in remodeling of dendrites of the CA3 pyramidal neurons and in reduced numbers of synapses on these neurons. Furthermore, stress inhibits adult neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus and appears to modulate the GABAergic system. In the prefrontal cortex, repeated exposure to stress causes dendritic retraction and loss of spines in pyramidal neurons whereas in the amygdala stress can elicit dendritic hypertrophy. These microscopically detectable changes in neuronal structures indicate the reorganization of neuronal networks. Moreover, molecular studies show that stress modulates expression of genes involved in neuronal differentiation and/or structural remodeling. Since a wealth of data documents the adverse effects of stress on emotions and cognition these alterations are commonly interpreted as the deleterious effect of chronic stress on the central nervous system. However, it is also possible that at least part of these changes reflect adaptive responses, as the network system rearranges its connections in order to cope with the changing requirements from the internal or external environment.

GABAergic System
Chronic Stress
CDC-like kinase
HPA axis
Animal Models
Pyramidal Neurons
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