Dexamethasone Therapy in Patients With Brain Tumors - A Focus on Tapering

Ann E. Nahaczewski; Susan B. Fowler; S. Hariharan


J Neurosci Nurs. 2004;36(6):340-343. 

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Mechanism of Action

Glucocorticoid receptors are found intracellularly in almost all tissues. Glucocorticoids enter cells through passive diffusion and form a complex with a receptor protein. This complex then undergoes an irreversible activation and enters the cell nucleus, where it binds to DNA, leading to biological effects induced by these hormones, including increased hepatic gluconeogenesis, increased lipolysis, muscle catabolism, and inhibition of peripheral glucose uptake in muscle and adipose tissue (Gans & Smith, 1999; Greenspan & Stewler, 1997). The exact mechanism of action of corticosteroids remains unknown despite more than 40 years of research.


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