The insula mediates the effects of glucocorticoids in anxiety

Tamara Bahamonde, Daisy Quintana-Donoso, Sergio Linsambarth, Juan Manuel Jerez-Baraona, Francisca Peña, Giovanni Tamburini, Daniel Antonio Verdugo, Yordan Lemunao-Inostroza, Francisco Ogaz, Raúl Díaz-Galarce, Sebastian Rojas, Jimmy Stehberg

Producción científica: Contribución a una revistaArtículorevisión exhaustiva


Increased activity in the insula has been consistently reported to be associated with anxiety and anxiety-related disorders. However, little is known on how the insula regulates anxiety. The present study aims at determining the role of the insula on the effects of glucocorticoids in anxiety. A combination of pharmacological manipulations, including blockade of adrenal GC synthesis by metyrapone and intra-insular microinjections of corticosterone, corticosterone-BSA, mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) antagonist spironolactone and glucocorticoid receptor (GR) antagonist mifepristone, were used to assess the short-term (5 min) effects of intra-insular corticosterone in two anxiety-like behaviors in male Sprague-Dawley rats. The elevated plus maze (EPM) and Novelty Suppressed Feeding (hyponeophagia) were utilized. We found that corticosterone in the insula is sufficient to prevent the anxiolytic effects corticosterone synthesis blockade in anxiety, and that intra-insular corticosterone has anxiolytic or anxiogenic effects depending on the amount of corticosterone microinjected and the arousal associated to the test, without affecting the HPA axis. Glucocorticoid anxiolytic effects in the insula are mediated by MRs, while its anxiogenic effects are dependent on a mifepristone-sensitive membrane-bound mechanism. Anxiety appears to be modulated at the insula through a competition between fast MR-dependent anxiolytic and membrane-associated anxiogenic signaling pathways that orchestrate the behavioral response to stress and determines the resulting level of anxiety.

Idioma originalInglés
Número de artículo109620
EstadoPublicada - 1 oct. 2023

Áreas temáticas de ASJC Scopus

  • Farmacología
  • Neurociencia celular y molecular


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