Stress hormones have potent growth-inhibiting effects on a variety of peripheral tissues. Consistent with this general function, stress has been shown to inhibit cell proliferation and, ultimately, neurogenesis in the hippocampus. This effect appears to be common across mammalian species, life stages, and most types of stressors. Although some evidence points to a role for glucocorticoids in mediating this effect, contradictory data exist. This review considers the growing literature on this subject with specific emphasis on paradoxical findings and the role of glucocorticoids in modulating adult neurogenesis.
(c) 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.