Volumetric MRI analysis of hippocampal subregions in Cushing's disease: a model for glucocorticoid neural modulation

Eur Psychiatry. 2011 Jan;26(1):64-7. doi: 10.1016/j.eurpsy.2010.09.003. Epub 2010 Nov 9.


Several preclinical studies have demonstrated neuronal effects of glucocorticoids on the hippocampus (HC), a limbic structure with anterior-posterior anatomical and functional segmentation. We propose a volumetric magnetic resonance imaging analysis of hippocampus head (HH), body (HB) and tail (HT) using Cushing's disease (CD) as model, to investigate whether there is a differential sensitivity to glucocorticoid neuronal damage in these segments. We found a significant difference in the HH bilaterally after 12 months from trans-sphenoidal surgical selective resection of the adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH)-secreting pituitary micro-adenomas. This pre-post surgery difference could contribute to better understand the pathopysiology of CD as an in vivo model for stress-related hypercortisolemic neuropsychiatric disorders.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brain / pathology
  • Female
  • Glucocorticoids / physiology*
  • Hippocampus / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Models, Biological
  • Organ Size
  • Pituitary ACTH Hypersecretion / pathology*
  • Pituitary ACTH Hypersecretion / physiopathology


  • Glucocorticoids