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      Gene Expression of Hypothalamic Somatostatin and Growth Hormone-Releasing Hormone in Dexamethasone-Treated Rats

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          Abstract

          Supraphysiological doses of glucocorticoids inhibit growth hormone (GH) secretion in man and experimental animals. We investigated whether glucocorticoids inhibit GH secretion through changes in the gene expression of GH, hypothalamic somatostatin (SS) and GH-releasing hormone (GHRH), and whether such changes vary with the dose and duration of glucocorticoid excess. Male rats, 6 weeks of age, were treated with injections of either saline or different doses of dexamethasone (40, 200, 500 or 1,000 µg/kg/day) intraperitoneally for 3 or 8 days. Total RNA extracted from the anterior pituitary and hypothalamus was analyzed by Northern blot hybridization. SS mRNA level was also assessed in smaller hypothalamic fragments containing predominantly the periventricular and paraventricular nuclei, and by in situ hybridization. A biphasic effect on SS mRNA levels was observed such that a significant increase (p < 0.001) was demonstrated in the periventricular nucleus after 3 days of dexamethasone 1,000 µg/kg/day, but a reduction in hypothalamic SS mRNA was seen after 8 days for all doses employed (p < 0.05 or p < 0.01). On the other hand, hypothalamic GHRH mRNA levels showed a reduction which appeared to increase with the dose and duration of treatment and became statistically significant after 8 days at doses >200 µg/kg/day (p < 0.05). Pituitary GH mRNA levels were increased after 3 days at doses ≧500 µg/kg/day (p < 0.05) but showed no significant change at all doses after 8 days.We conclude that glucocorticoid excess is associated with changes in the gene expression of GH, hypothalamic SS and GHRH, which vary with the dose and duration of glucocorticoid treatment. Glucocorticoids inhibit GH secretion in vivo through a reduction in hypothalamic GHRH gene expression and, in animals with shorter duration of glucocorticoid excess, also through an increase in SS gene expression in the periventricular nucleus.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          NEN
          Neuroendocrinology
          10.1159/issn.0028-3835
          Neuroendocrinology
          S. Karger AG
          0028-3835
          1423-0194
          1997
          1997
          09 April 2008
          : 66
          : 1
          : 2-8
          Affiliations
          Departments of aMedicine and bPathology, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
          Article
          127212 Neuroendocrinology 1997;66:2–8
          10.1159/000127212
          9258913
          © 1997 S. Karger AG, Basel

          Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug. Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

          Page count
          Pages: 7
          Categories
          Growth Hormone and Insulin-Like Growth Factors

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