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Cortisol decreases prefrontal glutamine concentrations Open Access
- Other title
- Type of item
- Degree grantor
University of Alberta
- Author or creator
Bhardwaj, Paramjit Paul
- Supervisor and department
Coupland, Nicholas (Psychiatry)
- Examining committee member and department
Baker, Glen (Psychiatry)
Hegadoren, Kathleen (Nursing)
Department of Psychiatry
- Date accepted
- Graduation date
Master of Science
- Degree level
In rodents, stress and corticosteroids rapidly increase excitatory neurotransmission. During excitatory neurotransmission, glutamate concentrations are maintained by conversion of glutamine to glutamate. The hypothesis was that cortisol would alter human prefrontal glutamine or glutamate concentrations.
Glutamine and glutamate were measured in prefrontal cortex (n = 12) using 3.0 Tesla proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1H-MRS) before and after intravenous cortisol (hydrocortisone 35mg), in a randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled, within-subjects design.
Glutamine decreased following cortisol compared with placebo (session by time, F(2,22) = 5.51; p = 0.012), whereas glutamate did not change (F(4,44) = 0.71; p = 0.59).
Glutamine may be utilized to maintain glutamate concentrations during increased excitatory neurotransmission following cortisol. A limitation is that 1H-MRS does not measure metabolic flux rates directly. The effects of cortisol on glutamine could be a useful measure of altered central glucocorticoid responses in psychiatric disorders.
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