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Toxins 2010, 2(6), 1357-1380; doi:10.3390/toxins2061357

The Glucocorticoid Receptor: A Revisited Target for Toxins

Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Pulmonary, Allergy, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine, 201 DHLRI, 473 W. 12th Avenue, Columbus, OH 43210, USA
Institute for Behavioral Medicine Research, The Ohio State University Medical Center, 460 Medical Center Drive, Columbus, OH 43210, USA
Department of Health and Human Services, Section on Neuroendocrine Immunology and Behavior, National Institute of Mental Health, National Institutes of Health, 5625 Fishers Lane, Rm. 4N13 (MSC 9401), Bethesda, MD 20892-9401, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 15 May 2010 / Accepted: 7 June 2010 / Published: 9 June 2010
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Novel Properties of Well-Characterized Toxins)
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The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activation and glucocorticoid responses are critical for survival from a number of bacterial, viral and toxic insults, demonstrated by the fact that removal of the HPA axis or GR blockade enhances mortality rates. Replacement with synthetic glucocorticoids reverses these effects by providing protection against lethal effects. Glucocorticoid resistance/insensitivity is a common problem in the treatment of many diseases. Much research has focused on the molecular mechanism behind this resistance, but an area that has been neglected is the role of infectious agents and toxins. We have recently shown that the anthrax lethal toxin is able to repress glucocorticoid receptor function. Data suggesting that the glucocorticoid receptor may be a target for a variety of toxins is reviewed here. These studies have important implications for glucocorticoid therapy.
Keywords: glucocorticoid receptor; toxins; anthrax lethal toxin; bacterial toxins; environmental toxins glucocorticoid receptor; toxins; anthrax lethal toxin; bacterial toxins; environmental toxins
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Webster Marketon, J.I.; Sternberg, E.M. The Glucocorticoid Receptor: A Revisited Target for Toxins. Toxins 2010, 2, 1357-1380.

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