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Review

Stress and the HPA Axis: Balancing Homeostasis and Fertility

Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences, Yale School of Medicine, P.O. Box 208063, New Haven, CT 06520, USA
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Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18(10), 2224; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18102224
Received: 21 September 2017 / Revised: 17 October 2017 / Accepted: 21 October 2017 / Published: 24 October 2017
An organism’s reproductive fitness is sensitive to the environment, integrating cues of resource availability, ecological factors, and hazards within its habitat. Events that challenge the environment of an organism activate the central stress response system, which is primarily mediated by the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis. The regulatory functions of the HPA axis govern the cardiovascular and metabolic system, immune functions, behavior, and reproduction. Activation of the HPA axis by various stressors primarily inhibits reproductive function and is able to alter fetal development, imparting a biological record of stress experienced in utero. Clinical studies and experimental data indicate that stress signaling can mediate these effects through direct actions in the brain, gonads, and embryonic tissues. This review focuses on the mechanisms by which stress activation of the HPA axis impacts fertility and fetal development. View Full-Text
Keywords: stress; fertility; reproduction; hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis; programming; glucocorticoids stress; fertility; reproduction; hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis; programming; glucocorticoids
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MDPI and ACS Style

Joseph, D.N.; Whirledge, S. Stress and the HPA Axis: Balancing Homeostasis and Fertility. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2017, 18, 2224. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18102224

AMA Style

Joseph DN, Whirledge S. Stress and the HPA Axis: Balancing Homeostasis and Fertility. International Journal of Molecular Sciences. 2017; 18(10):2224. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18102224

Chicago/Turabian Style

Joseph, Dana N., and Shannon Whirledge. 2017. "Stress and the HPA Axis: Balancing Homeostasis and Fertility" International Journal of Molecular Sciences 18, no. 10: 2224. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijms18102224

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