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Chapter 4.11 Pathways and transmitter interactions mediating an integrated stress response

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Colin Ingram


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Stress evokes a number of coincident neuroendocrine, autonomic, and behavioral responses which serve to avoid the damaging effects of the threat and restore homeostasis. Various techniques, notably those using immediate-early gene expression (IEG), have helped to define the neural networks which are activated by different types of stress stimuli and which serve to coordinate the different elements of the response. Although different stress modalities utilize distinct neural pathways each can be generalized to comprise: (i) a cognitive or sensory system which responds to introceptive or exteroceptive signals and includes a "threshold detector mechanism" which, when exceeded, will activate, (ii) a "response activating network" which distributes a stress signal to the various output systems to generate an appropriate response. Diversity and integration within this network is achieved through a hierarchy of overlapping pathways, with some having the capacity for direct, rapid activation in response to an immediate threat to homeostasis, while higher order pathways provide a distributed signal to several output systems. Certain transmitters have a preeminent role in regulating diverse aspects of the stress response (notable corticotropin-releasing factor) and it is suggested that the organization of the response activating network enables these transmitters to fulfil important roles in integrating the stress response. © 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Ingram C

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Handbook of Behavioral Neuroscience

Year: 2005

Volume: 15

Issue: 1

Pages: 609-639

ISSN (print): 0921-0709

ISSN (electronic): 1569-7339

Publisher: Elsevier BV


DOI: 10.1016/S0921-0709(05)80033-1


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