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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.


Journal article


J Affect Disord

Publication Date





139 - 146


Administration, Oral, Adult, Affect, Body Temperature Regulation, Brain, Buspirone, Dose-Response Relationship, Drug, Double-Blind Method, Drug Administration Schedule, Growth Hormone, Humans, Hydrocortisone, Male, Middle Aged, Prolactin, Receptors, Serotonin, Serotonin, Sleep Stages, Sleep, REM