The Steroidogenesis Inhibitor Finasteride Reduces the Response to Both Stressful and Rewarding Stimuli

    November 2019 in “Biomolecules
    Sean C. Godar, Roberto Cadeddu, Gabriele Floris, Laura J. Mosher, Zhen Mi, David P. Jarmolowicz, Simona Scheggi, Alicia A. Walf, Carolyn J. Koonce, Cheryl A. Frye, Nancy A. Muma, Marco Bortolato
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    TLDR Finasteride reduces response to stress and rewards, affecting behavior and mental health.
    The steroidogenesis inhibitor finasteride, commonly used to treat hair loss and benign prostatic hyperplasia, has been found to reduce the response to both stressful and rewarding stimuli in rats. The drug was found to reduce exploratory, incentive, prosocial, and risk-taking behavior, as well as stress coping, in rats. The effects of finasteride on stress reactivity were associated with a decrease in corticotropin release hormone (CRH) mRNA and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) levels, suggesting that finasteride impairs stress reactivity and reduces behavioral activation and impulsive behavior by altering the function of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. The study suggests that finasteride may have effects beyond its intended use and highlights the potential impact of finasteride on mental health.
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