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. 2019 Jul 1;242(1):T121-T133.
doi: 10.1530/JOE-18-0672.

Glucocorticoids and Programming of the Microenvironment in Heart

Free PMC article

Glucocorticoids and Programming of the Microenvironment in Heart

Rui Song et al. J Endocrinol. .
Free PMC article


Glucocorticoids are primary stress hormones and can improve neonatal survival when given to pregnant women threatened by preterm birth or to preterm infants. It has become increasingly apparent that glucocorticoids, primarily by interacting with glucocorticoid receptors, play a critical role in late gestational cardiac maturation. Altered glucocorticoid actions contribute to the development and progression of heart disease. The knowledge gained from studies in the mature heart or cardiac damage is insufficient but a necessary starting point for understanding cardiac programming including programming of the cardiac microenvironment by glucocorticoids in the fetal heart. This review aims to highlight the potential roles of glucocorticoids in programming of the cardiac microenvironment, especially the supporting cells including endothelial cells, immune cells and fibroblasts. The molecular mechanisms by which glucocorticoids regulate the various cellular and extracellular components and the clinical relevance of glucocorticoid functions in the heart are also discussed.

Keywords: cardiac development; glucocorticoid; microenvironment; programming.

Conflict of interest statement

Declaration of interest

The authors declare no conflict of interest that could be perceived as prejudicing the impartiality of this review.

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