Volume 1220, Issue 1 p. 127-136

Molecular genetics of hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis activity and function

Pierre Mormede

Pierre Mormede

Université de Bordeaux, PsyNuGen, Bordeaux, France.

INRA UMR1286, Bordeaux, France.

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Aline Foury

Aline Foury

Université de Bordeaux, PsyNuGen, Bordeaux, France.

INRA UMR1286, Bordeaux, France.

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Pascal Barat

Pascal Barat

Université de Bordeaux, PsyNuGen, Bordeaux, France.

Department of Pediatrics, CHU Bordeaux, Bordeaux, France.

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Jean-Benoit Corcuff

Jean-Benoit Corcuff

Université de Bordeaux, PsyNuGen, Bordeaux, France.

Department of Nuclear Medicine, CHU Bordeaux, Pessac, France

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Elena Terenina

Elena Terenina

Université de Bordeaux, PsyNuGen, Bordeaux, France.

INRA UMR1286, Bordeaux, France.

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Nathalie Marissal-Arvy

Nathalie Marissal-Arvy

Université de Bordeaux, PsyNuGen, Bordeaux, France.

INRA UMR1286, Bordeaux, France.

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Marie-Pierre Moisan

Marie-Pierre Moisan

Université de Bordeaux, PsyNuGen, Bordeaux, France.

INRA UMR1286, Bordeaux, France.

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First published: 09 March 2011
Citations: 39
Address for correspondence: Pierre Mormede, INRA-LGC, 31326 Castanet-Tolosan Cedex, France. [email protected]

Abstract

The hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenocortical (HPA) axis is a major neuroendocrine system involved in the regulation of numerous physiological processes and in adaptation to stress. A wide range of variability can be observed in all the components of the system, and the contribution of genetic factors has been shown in the central regulation of the axis, the production of glucocorticoid hormones by the adrenal cortex, their bioavailability, and the efficiency of their action at the level of receptor and postreceptor mechanisms. Numerous molecular polymorphisms have been described that contribute to physiological variation as well as to HPA axis-related pathological conditions. Although most studies focus on single gene polymorphisms, future studies should aim to integrate the different sources of variation into a systems genetic model to take into account the strong interdependence of the different components of the axis.