Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism

 Circadian and ultradian patterns of HPA-axis activity in rodents: significance for brain functionality
The hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis comprises interactions between the hypothalamus, the pituitary and the adrenal glands and its activation results in the release of corticosteroid hormones. Corticosteroids are secreted from the adrenal gland in a distinct 24-hour circadian rhythm overarching an ultradian rhythm, which consists of hourly corticosteroid pulses exposing target tissues to rapidly changing steroid levels. On top of these rhythms surges can take place after stress. HPA-axis rhythms promote adaptation to predictable (i.e.