Response of the nitrergic system to activation of the neuroendocrine stress axis Academic Article uri icon


  • Exposure to stressful stimuli causes activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis which rapidly releases high concentrations of glucocorticoid stress hormones, resulting in increased cellular metabolism and spontaneous oxygen and nitrogen radical formation. High concentrations of nitrogen radicals, including nitric oxide, cause damage to cellular proteins in addition to inhibiting components of the mitochondrial transport chain, leading to cellular energy deficiency. During stress exposure, pharmacological inhibition of nitric oxide production reduces indicators of anxiety- and depressive-like behavior in animal models. Therefore, the purpose of this review is to present an overview of the current literature on stress-evoked changes in the nitrergic system, particularly within neural tissue.


publication date

  • 2015