Many kinds of stress stimulate the neuroendocrine systems controlling catecholamine and glucocorticoid secretion. Stress-induced stimulation of CRF-containing neurons appears to be mediated by serotonergic, noradrenergic, and possibly other neuronal pathways. Stress can alter various neurobiological and endocrine functions, two essential components of the neuroendocrine responses being release of adrenalin from chromaffin cells of the adrenal medulla and secretion of glucocorticoids from adrenocortical cells. Activation of adrenal steroid secretion is mainly by a reflex activation of hypothalamic neurons, which stimulate ACTH secretion from the anterior pituitary. While the neuropeptide CRF plays a major role in the neuroendocrine response to stress, the neuronal signals which are responsible for the regulation of CRF neurons have not been completely elucidated. A number of other regulatory substances may also participate, alone or with CRF, in the control of ACTH secretion by pituitary corticotrophs, and there is increasing evidence that classical neurotransmitters or neuropeptides may act directly on adrenocortical cells to modulate corticosteroid secretion. We review the neuronal, neuroendocrine, and humoral pathways which participate in the regulation of stress-induced corticosteroid secretion, and present preliminary data on the effect of the tricyclic antidepressant, tianeptine in the response of the HPA axis to stress.