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Tissue-Specific Actions of Glucocorticoids on Apoptosis: A Double-Edged Sword

Authors
Publisher
Multidisciplinary Digital Publishing Institute
Publication Date
Keywords
  • Glucocorticoids
  • Glucocorticoid Receptors
  • Apoptosis
Disciplines
  • Medicine

Abstract

First described for their metabolic and immunosuppressive effects, glucocorticoids are widely prescribed in clinical settings of inflammation. However, glucocorticoids are also potent inducers of apoptosis in many cell types and tissues. This review will focus on the established mechanisms of glucocorticoid-induced apoptosis and outline what is known about the apoptotic response in cells and tissues of the body after exposure to glucocorticoids. Glucocorticoid-induced apoptosis affects the skeletal system, muscular system, circulatory system, nervous system, endocrine system, reproductive system, and the immune system. Interestingly, several cell types have an anti-apoptotic response to glucocorticoids that is cytoprotective. Lastly, we will discuss the pro- and anti-apoptotic effects of glucocorticoids in cancers and their clinical implications.

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