Age-Dependent and Gender-Dependent Regulation of Hypothalamic-Adrenocorticotropic-Adrenal Axis

Johannes D. Veldhuis, Animesh Sharma, Ferdinand Roelfsema

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Tightly regulated output of glucocorticoids is critical to maintaining immune competence, the structure of neurons, muscle, and bone, blood pressure, glucose homeostasis, work capacity, and vitality in the human and experimental animal. Age, sex steroids, gender, stress, body composition, and disease govern glucocorticoid availability through incompletely understood mechanisms. According to an ensemble concept of neuroendocrine regulation, successful stress adaptations require repeated incremental signaling adjustments among hypothalamic corticotropin-releasing hormone and arginine vasopressin, pituitary adrenocorticotropic hormone, and adrenal corticosteroids. Signals are transduced via (positive) feedforward and (negative) feedback effects. Age and gonadal steroids strongly modulate stress-adaptive glucocorticoid secretion by such interlinked pathways.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)201-225
Number of pages25
JournalEndocrinology and Metabolism Clinics of North America
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2013


  • ACTH
  • Aging
  • Cortisol
  • Feedback
  • Human

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


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