Neurochemical Research

, Volume 44, Issue 6, pp 1306–1322 | Cite as

Functional Neurochemistry of the Ventral and Dorsal Hippocampus: Stress, Depression, Dementia and Remote Hippocampal Damage

  • Natalia V. GulyaevaEmail author
Original Paper


The hippocampus is not a homogeneous brain area, and the complex organization of this structure underlies its relevance and functional pleiotropism. The new data related to the involvement of the ventral hippocampus in the cognitive function, behavior, stress response and its association with brain pathology, in particular, depression, are analyzed with a focus on neuroplasticity, specializations of the intrinsic neuronal network, corticosteroid signaling through mineralocorticoid and glucocorticoid receptors and neuroinflammation in the hippocampus. The data on the septo-temporal hippicampal gradient are analyzed with particular emphasis on the ventral hippocampus, a region where most important alteration underlying depressive disorders occur. According to the recent data, the existing simple paradigm “learning (dorsal hippocampus) versus emotions (ventral hippocampus)” should be substantially revised and specified. A new hypothesis is suggested on the principal involvement of stress response mechanisms (including interaction of released glucocorticoids with hippocampal receptors and subsequent inflammatory events) in the remote hippocampal damage underlying delayed dementia and depression induced by focal brain damage (e.g. post-stroke and post-traumatic). The translational validity of this hypothesis comprising new approaches in preventing post-stroke and post-trauma depression and dementia can be confirmed in experimental and clinical studies.


Ventral hippocampus Dorsal hippocampus Stress Depression Stroke Head trauma 



This work was supported by Russian Science Foundation grant # 14‑25‑00136 (stress, depression) and Russian Academy of Sciences, Program Fundamental Bases of Physiological Adaptation Technologies (remote hippocampal damage).


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Functional Biochemistry of the Nervous System, Institute of Higher Nervous Activity and NeurophysiologyRussian Academy of SciencesMoscowRussia
  2. 2.Healthcare Department of MoscowMoscow Research and Clinical Center for NeuropsychiatryMoscowRussia

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