NIEHS researchers theorize that changes in the surface proteins of cells called receptors may predispose people to diseases, such as heart disease, arthritis, and diabetes. The volunteers of this study underwent tests to determine how these changes or variants lead to illness.
Glucocorticoids are primary stress response hormones released from the adrenal gland when an individual is under stress. Chronic or ongoing elevation of these hormones due to prolonged stress or medical treatments can have numerous harmful effects. Researchers are interested in learning more about how these hormones affect cell growth, development, and death. To study glucocorticoid hormones, researchers plan to use the medication dexamethasone, which affects the parts of cells that respond to glucocorticoid hormones.