Humans exhibit a remarkable degree of resilience in the face of extreme stress, with most resisting the development of neuropsychiatric disorders. Over the past 5 years, there has been increasing interest in the active, adaptive coping mechanisms of resilience; however, in humans, the majority of published work focuses on correlative neuroendocrine markers that are associated with a resilient phenotype. In this review, we highlight a growing literature in rodents that is starting to complement the human work by identifying the active behavioral, neural, molecular, and hormonal basis of resilience. The therapeutic implications of these findings are important and can pave the way for an innovative new approach to drug development for a range of stress–related syndromes.
Keywords: depression, anxiety, major depressive disorder (MDD), post–traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), stress disorders, sex differences, stress inoculation, stress mastery, mesolimbic dopamine system, synaptic plasticity, structural plasticity, glutamatergic neurotransmission, hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis, hypothalamic–pituitary–gonadal (HPG) axis, cortisol, corticosterone, estrogen, testosterone, progesterone, social defeat stress, chronic unpredictable stress, learned helplessness, early intermittent stress, neuroendocrine, glucocorticoid