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The adrenal gland in stress – Adaptation on a cellular level

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Ilona Berger, Martin Werdermann, Stefan R. Bornstein, Charlotte Steenblock

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)198-206
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2019

King's Authors


Human individuals are constantly confronted to various kinds of stressors and the body's response and adaptation is essential for human health. The adrenal gland as the main producer of stress hormones plays a major role in the response to physiological challenges and is able to adapt to these physiological needs. Proper adaptation is of particular importance since dysregulation of the stress system is the cause of various human diseases including obesity, depression, Parkinson's disease, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Therefore, it is fundamental to understand the physiological, cellular, and molecular underpinnings of the stress adaptation in humans. Because of ethical reasons it is problematic to study the plasticity of the human gland in stress. Hence, various experimental models have been established for the analysis of the functional and cellular role of the adrenal gland adaptation on a translational approach. Here, we summarize the insights of stress-induced adrenal plasticity gained from these models and discuss their relevance to clinical observations.

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