Thursday, January 26, 2006

Females More Sensitive To Chronic Stress

Researchers at the University of Cincinnati have found that in the study of rats, females might be more sensitive to chronic stress tan males. During a 15 day period, researchers studied stress response in male and female rats. They noticed markedly increased levels of the stress hormone corticosterone in the female rats compared with the males. The major steroid hormone in rats, corticosterone, is produced by the adrenal glands in response to stress. In humans it’s cortisol.
The adrenal glands, along with the pituitary and hypothalamus, make up the stress axis. When an organism experiences stress, higher levels of glucocorticoids are produced to aid in survival and recovery. But prolonged high levels of this hormone can have negative effects, such as increased abdominal obesity, and decreased immune response. The study findings were presented during the annual meeting of the society of Neuroscience in Washington D.C.

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