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      Increased Vasopressinergic Activity as a Possible Compensatory Mechanism for a Normal Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis Response to Stress in BALB/c Nude Mice

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          Abstract

          A bidirectional relationship between the immune and neuroendocrine systems is now widely accepted. Since it is well known that the thymus plays an important role in the regulation of the immune function, we decided to explore whether a lack of the thymic function may influence hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activity. Eight-week-old female mice of both strains, nude and control BALB/c, were used to study: (a) the in vivo response of the HPA axis to several stress stimuli acting at either the hypothalamic (insulin administration and ether vapor inhalation), pituitary (CRH and vasopressin injections) or adrenal (ACTH treatment) level and (b) the in vitro response of hypothalamic fragments to high KCl (48 m M) stimulation. The results indicate that: (1) basal plasma ACTH and vasopressin levels were significantly (p < 0.05) higher in nude than in control BALB/c mice, whereas basal plasma corticosterone concentrations were similar in both strains of mice; (2) although no significant strain-related difference in the stress-induced ACTH secretion in plasma was found, hypothalamic stimuli were able to induce a significantly (p < 0.05) higher secretion of glucocorticoid in plasma in nude than in control BALB/c mice; (3) the pattern of in vitro hypothalamic CRH release was similar in both strains of animals; however, basal AVP output and that stimulated by 48 m M KCl were significantly (p < 0.05) higher in nude than in control hypothalamic fragments, and (4) whereas hypothalamic CRH, pituitary ACTH and adrenal glucocorticoid contents were similar in both strains, hypothalamic AVP content was significantly (p < 0.05) higher in athymic than in control mice. In summary, our results indicate that nude mice have an increased vasopressinergic function which could contribute to a normal HPA axis activity; thus, adult athymic mice of BALB/c origin could compensate, due to their increased vasopressinergic function, for a robust glucocorticoid release to protect themselves immediately after aggression. It remains to be determined whether this enhanced vasopressinergic function is a result of an early adrenal insufficiency due to congenital deficiency of thymic factors known to stimulate HPA axis function.

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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
          : 4
          : 287-293
          Affiliations
          aNeuroendocrine Unit, IMBICE, La Plata, Argentina; bDivision of Endocrinology and Metabolism, University Hospital, Lausanne, Switzerland
          Article
          127250 Neuroendocrinology 1997;66:287–293
          10.1159/000127250
          9349663
          © 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
          Corticotropin Regulation

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