CONTROL OF STRESS CAN HELP THE CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM IN INFLAMMATORY RESPONSE

CONTROL OF STRESS CAN HELP THE CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM IN INFLAMMATORY RESPONSE

Several studies have suggested a pro-inflammatory effect of glucocorticoids (GCs) instead of the classical anti-inflammatory action of these hormones in both peripheral organs and the central nervous system (CNS). This article aims to discuss these aspects relating unpredictable chronic stress, a type of stress that requires continuous and widespread surveillance, leading the individual to always keep on guard – even in the absence of the stressor. Our studies showed an interesting relationship between exposure to such stress and inflammatory response, since animals subjected to chronic unpredictable stress, and exhibit high GCs levels, and received an inflammatory stimulus with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) from Escherichia colli (E. colli), the main constituent of the membrane of gram-negative bacteria, intravenously, have enhanced expression of proinflammatory genes in the CNS. These effects are associated with pro-inflammatory actions of GCs occurring by activation of NFKB, a transcription factor that, once activated by agents such as LPS, has the ability to modulate the expression of certain genes involved in the inflammatory response. The pro-inflammatory effects of GCs are specific to certain regions of the CNS; in others, such as the hypothalamus and peripheral organs such as the heart, these hormones also act as anti-inflammatory, reducing the activation of the transcription factor NFKB. Understanding the deleterious effects caused by GCs and the stress in the CNS contributes to the development of therapeutic alternatives that could optimize the use of these drugs in various diseases without prejudice to its user.