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Ai-Tan La presented at The Sixth Polygence Symposium of Rising Scholars. Interested in the next Symposium? Fill out the interest form here for more information.

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Polygence Scholar2021
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Ai-Tan La

Foothill High SchoolClass of 2022

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Projects

  • What are the major regulators of the HPA axis and at what level do they alter HPA secretion? with mentor Shashwat (Mar. 13, 2022)

Project Portfolio

What are the major regulators of the HPA axis and at what level do they alter HPA secretion?

Started Nov. 24, 2021

Abstract or project description

The Hippocampus Pituitary Adrenal Gland (HPA) axis is one of the major hormonal pathways in the human body which secretes some of the most important hormones needed for survival such as corticotropin (CRH), adrenal corticotropin hormone (ACTH), Androgens (AND), Aldosterone (ALDO), and Cortisol (CORT). The HPA axis consists of the Hypothalamus, the pituitary, and the adrenal glands. The Hypothalamus and pituitary reside in the brain, and the adrenal glands reside on top of the kidneys. Just like everything in the human body, the levels of corticotropin and other hormones synthesized by the HPA axis fluctuate based on the time of day, internal and external stimuli, and the circadian rhythm of a person. 7 neutral inputs either directly or indirectly affect this axis. The Indirect inputs would be the medial prefrontal cortex, hippocampus (HC), Amygdala (Amyg), Septum Pellucidum and the direct inputs would be bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST), dorsomedial hypothalamus (DMH), ventromedial hypothalamus (VMH), Nucleus Tractus Solitarius (NTS), and Ventrolateral Medulla (VLM). Even though there are tangible aspects which can affect the HPA axis, there are other major regulators which are more abstract and are not tangible things. In particular, one of the greatest effectors of the HPA axis would be any type of stress exerted for an extended period of time. The HPA axis is one of the major hormonal pathways in the human body which secretes some of the most important hormones and here we will review the major regulators which affect the HPA axis and to what extent they alter HPA secretion, as well as examining how to counteract these effects.