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Anna Fodor, Ottó Pintér, Ágnes Domokos, Kristina Langnaese, István Barna, Mario Engelmann and Dóra Zelena

Introduction Adaptation to stress is a basic phenomenon in mammalian life that is mandatorily associated with the activity of the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis. Extracellular signaling molecules that stimulate the HPA axis at the brain

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Yolanda Diz-Chaves, Manuel Gil-Lozano, Laura Toba, Juan Fandiño, Hugo Ogando, Lucas C González-Matías and Federico Mallo

). Hyperactivity of the HPA axis is positively correlated with the metabolic syndrome, suggesting a causative role for GCs in the obese phenotype ( Vegiopoulos & Herzig 2007 ). Indeed, Cushing’s patients are characterized by a redistribution of body fat from the

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C E Koch, M S Bartlang, J T Kiehn, L Lucke, N Naujokat, C Helfrich-Förster, S O Reber and H Oster

stress induces release of glucocorticoids (GCs) (mainly cortisol in humans and corticosterone in rodents) from the adrenal gland to adapt energy metabolism to a perceived fight-or-flight situation. HPA axis activation is initiated by an increase in

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Stephen G Matthews and Patrick O McGowan

pose a threat to health in later life. The HPA axis is highly responsive to the environment, impacts both central and peripheral systems and is critical to health in a wide variety of contexts ( Reynolds 2013 ). Mechanistic studies in animals are

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Rosiane A Miranda, Rosana Torrezan, Júlio C de Oliveira, Luiz F Barella, Claudinéia C da Silva Franco, Patrícia C Lisboa, Egberto G Moura and Paulo C F Mathias

expressed in the pancreatic islets from MSG-obese rats ( Miranda et al . 2014 ). However, in addition to PNS hyperactivity, dysfunction in the hypothalamus–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis is an important factor that contributes to metabolic syndrome ( Wang

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Nicole Uschold-Schmidt, Daniel Peterlik, Andrea M Füchsl and Stefan O Reber

Introduction Exposure to acute stressful stimuli leads to the activation of both the sympathetic nervous system and the hypothalamo-pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis and, consequently, to the systemic release of catecholamines and glucocorticoids (GCs

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Jodi F Evans, Shahidul Islam, Yoshihiro Urade, Naomi Eguchi and Louis Ragolia

Introduction Obesity and diabetes are closely associated with a hyperactive hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis. There is evidence that chronic stress can trigger obesity through the increased activity of the HPA axis. Chronic stress

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Saadia Basharat, Jennifer A Parker, Kevin G Murphy, Stephen R Bloom, Julia C Buckingham and Christopher D John

sepsis in patients, allowing differentiation between patients with systemic inflammatory response syndrome and patients with sepsis ( Yousef et al . 2010 ). The hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis plays an important protective role in the body

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Nathalie Marissal-Arvy, Alexandra Gaumont, Allan Langlois, Fabrice Dabertrand, Marion Bouchecareilh, Claudine Tridon and Pierre Mormede

in animals ( Levin et al . 1997 ). A key process involved in this variability lies in the responsivity of the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenocortical (HPA) axis. Indeed, corticosteroid hormones are implicated in nutritional regulations 1) by their