Cortisol is secreted under diverse conditions that impact both physiology and behavior. Short-term cortisol release is protective and facilitates normal physiological and behavioral adaptive processes, whereas high levels of cortisol have detrimental effects on various regulatory processes such as immune and neuroendocrine systems. The behavioral and physiological effects of CRH and cortisol are often independent of one another; however, cortisol can influence CRH neurons by inhibiting and affecting the responsiveness of CRH neurons. Cortisol can lead to increases in CRH production and expression in various regions of the brain. In fact, behavioral responses are influenced by cortisol, facilitating CRH expression.
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