Restoration of hippocampal growth hormone reverses stress-induced hippocampal impairment

Caitlin M. Vander Weele, Christopher Saenz, Junmei Yao, Susana S. Correia, Ki A. Goosens

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Though growth hormone (GH) is synthesized by hippocampal neurons, where its expression is influenced by stress exposure, its function is poorly characterized. Here, we show that a regimen of chronic stress that impairs hippocampal function in rats also leads to a profound decrease in hippocampal GH levels. Restoration of hippocampal GH in the dorsal hippocampus via viral-mediated gene transfer completely reversed stress-related impairment of two hippocampus-dependent behavioral tasks, auditory trace fear conditioning and contextual fear conditioning, without affecting hippocampal function in unstressed control rats. GH overexpression reversed stress-induced decrements in both fear acquisition and long-term fear memory. These results suggest that loss of hippocampal GH contributes to hippocampal dysfunction following prolonged stress and demonstrate that restoring hippocampal GH levels following stress can promote stress resilience.

Original languageEnglish
JournalFrontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience
Issue numberMAY
StatePublished - 26 May 2013
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Restoration of hippocampal growth hormone reverses stress-induced hippocampal impairment'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this