Glucocorticoids are involved in several responses triggered by a variety of environmental and physiological stimuli. These hormones have a wide-range of regulatory effects in organisms. Synthetic glucocorticoids are extensively used to suppress allergic, inflammatory, and immune disorders. Although glucocorticoids are highly effective for therapeutic purposes, some patients chronically treated with glucocorticoids can develop reduced glucocorticoid sensitivity or even resistance, increasing patient vulnerability to exaggerated inflammatory responses. Glucocorticoid resistance can occur in several chronic diseases, including asthma, major depression, and cardiovascular conditions. In this review, we discuss the complexity of the glucocorticoid receptor and the potential role of glucocorticoid resistance in the development of chronic diseases.
This work was supported by the Comision Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnologia (CONICYT), Chile [FONDECYT 11130285 to R.T, 1130106 to M.LL., and FONDAP 15130011 to R.T.].