Hormones have a crucial part in the progress and manifestation of a wide variety of different behaviors. The main influence of the neuroendocrine system on behavior is its action on the neurobiology of neuropsychiatric disorders and its relationship with the pharmacodynamics of medicines. Of all the neuroendocrine axes, the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis has been the most extensively studied. There is evidence that disturbance in the HPA axis, the primary stress hormone system, could increase treatment resistance and relapse, worsen illness outcome, and cause cognitive deficits. Glucocorticoids mediate their actions in negative feedback binding in two different cytoplasmatic receptors described as mineralocorticoid receptors (MRs) and glucocorticoid receptors (GRs). Different psychopathologies underlying bipolar disorders are supposed to involve persistent dysfunctions in the expression and role of both MR and GR in the hippocampus. We review and analyze the evidence related to the correlation between bipolar disorders and the consequences and impact of stressful life events on the HPA axis, exploring the importance of these findings in bipolar disorders and as potential new targets for treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-171
Number of pages23
JournalCurrent topics in behavioral neurosciences
Early online date13 Feb 2021
Publication statusPublished - 2021


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