Impact of Stress on Prefrontal Glutamatergic, Monoaminergic and Cannabinoid Systems

  • M. Danet Lapiz-BluhmEmail author
Part of the Current Topics in Behavioral Neurosciences book series (CTBN, volume 18)


Stress has been shown to have marked and divergent effects on learning and memory which involves specific brain regions, such as spatial and declarative memory involving the hippocampus, memory of emotional arousing experiences and fear involving the amygdala, and executive functions and fear extinction involving the prefrontal cortex or the PFC. Response to stress involves a coordinated activation of a constellation of physiological systems including the activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and other modulatory neurotransmitters and signaling systems. This paper presents a concise review of the effects of stress and glucocorticoids on the glutamatergic and monoaminergic (including noradrenergic, dopaminergic, and serotonergic systems) neurotransmitter systems as well as endocannabinoid signaling. Because of the breadth of the scope of this topic, the review is limited to the effects of stress on these brain systems on the prefrontal cortex, and where relevant, the hippocampus and the amygdala.


Stress Glucocorticoids Glutamatergic Noradrenergic Dopaminergic Serotonergic Endocannabinoid 



Dr. Lapiz-Bluhm receives funding from the Robert Wood Johnson Nurse Faculty Program. She sincerely thanks Dr. Carrie Jo Braden, Dr. James Michael Bluhm and Dr. Charles Marsden for taking the time to read the manuscript.


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© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Family and Community Health Systems, School of NursingUniversity of Texas Health Science Center at San AntonioSan AntonioUSA

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