Stress-dose hydrocortisone (HC) after traumatic brain injury decreases apoptosis. Data represent the average number of terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL)-positive cells in the paraventricular nuclei (PVN) area at 3, 7 and 14 days after injury, and are expressed as mean ± standard error of the mean. The number of TUNEL-positive cells was significantly higher in all injury groups compared to naïve rats, but they were significantly lower 7 days after injury in rats treated with stress-dose HC compared to injury controls. Analysis of variance, F(4,31) = 11.589, P <0.001 for 7 days; post hoc least significant difference test, P = 0.041 for the stress-dose methylprednisolone (MP) group versus injury control. At each time point: n = 3 from each of the two groups (naïve and HC normal), n = 10 from each of three groups (injury control, low-dose MP, and stress-dose HC). #P <0.05 as compared to injury control group; *P <0.05 as compared to naïve group.