Effects of hydrocortisone on brain 5-HT function and sleep.
Young AH., Sharpley AL., Campling GM., Hockney RA., Cowen PJ.
The effects of hydrocortisone administration (20 mg, orally, twice daily) on the sensitivity of brain 5-HT1A receptors in healthy volunteers were studied using a buspirone challenge paradigm. The effects of hydrocortisone administration on sleep architecture were also studied. Hydrocortisone treatment significantly attenuated the hypothermic and cortisol responses to buspirone; however, the prolactin and growth hormone responses were unchanged. Hydrocortisone also decreased the amount of rapid eye movement sleep (REM). The ability of hydrocortisone to attenuate 5-HT1A receptor mediated hypothermia and decrease REM sleep is shared by certain antidepressant treatments and may be related to the effects of corticosteroids on mood.