Neurobiological mechanisms underlying sex-related differences in stress-related disorders: effects of neuroactive steroids on the hippocampus

  • Men and women differ in their vulnerability to a variety of stress-related illnesses, but the underlying neurobiological mechanisms are not well understood. This is likely due to a comparative dearth of neurobiological studies that assess male and female rodents at the same time, while human neuroimaging studies often don’t model sex as a variable of interest. These sex differences are often attributed to the actions of sex hormones, i.e. estrogens, progestogens and androgens. In this review, we summarize the results on sex hormone actions in the hippocampus and seek to bridge the gap between animal models and findings in humans. However, while effects of sex hormones on the hippocampus are largely consistent in animals and humans, methodological differences challenge the comparability of animal and human studies on stress effects. We summarise our current understanding of the neurobiological mechanisms that underlie sex-related differences in behavior and discuss implications for stress-related illnesses.
Author:Katharina Hillerer, David A. Slattery, Belinda Pletzer
Pubmed Id:
Parent Title (English):Frontiers in neuroendocrinology
Publisher:Academic Press
Place of publication:Orlando, Fla.
Document Type:Article
Year of Completion:2019
Date of first Publication:2019/09/30
Publishing Institution:Universitätsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2019/11/13
Tag:Cognition; Sex differences; Stress; Translational
Issue:Art. 100796
Page Number:29
First Page:1
Last Page:29
© 2019 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (
Institutes:Medizin / Medizin
Dewey Decimal Classification:6 Technik, Medizin, angewandte Wissenschaften / 61 Medizin und Gesundheit / 610 Medizin und Gesundheit
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung-Nicht kommerziell - Keine Bearbeitung 4.0