ISSN 2051-8315
Psychopathology Review
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 Volume 3, Issue 1, 64-76, 2015
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The HPA axis in the pathogenesis and treatment of depressive disorders: Integrating clinical and molecular findings

  Carmine M. Pariante -
  David Baumeister - Stress, Psychiatry and Immunology Lab, Institute o
  Stafford L. Lightman - Henry Wellcome Laboratories for Integrative Neuros

Volume 3, Issue 1, 2015, Pages 64-76


Studies over the last forty years have demonstrated that hyperactivity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis is one of the most consistent biological findings in major depression, but much of the mechanisms underlying this abnormality are still unclear. This review will elaborate on both the clinical and molecular role of the neuroendocrine stress system in depressive disorder and present some of the most recent findings that have shed light on the complex interface between environmental stressors, molecular mechanisms and clinical presentation. Further, psychopharmacological development have demonstrated both effects of conventional treatments on HPA functioning as well as of novel treatments targeting HPA functioning on clinical outcome.

Table of Contents
Functioning of the HPA axis
The role of early life events
Salivary and hair cortisol as measures of HPA activity
Molecular findings
Relationship with inflammatory processes
The role of HPA research in depression treatment
Conclusion & future directions

Correspondence to
Professor Carmine M. Pariante

HPA, cortisol, glucocorticoid, GR resistance, childhood trauma, inflammation, biomarker, depression, antidepressants

Received 14 Oct 2013; Revised 12 May 2014; Accepted 12 May 2014; In Press 21 Feb 2016

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