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      Effect of stress exposure on the activation pattern of enkephalin-containing perikarya in the rat ventral medulla.

      1 , ,

      Journal of neurochemistry

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          Abstract

          We examined the effects of acute and chronic psychogenic stress on the activation pattern of enkephalin-containing perikarya in the rat ventrolateral medulla. Rats allocated to the chronic stress groups were subjected to 90 min of immobilization for 10 days. On the 11th day, the chronically stressed rats were exposed to homotypic (90-min immobilization) or to heterotypic but still psychogenic (90-min immobilization coupled to air jet stress) stress. The acute stress group was subjected once to an acute 90-min immobilization. For each group, the rats were anesthetized either before stress (time 0) or 90, 180, and 270 min after the onset of stress. Brain sections were then processed using immunocytochemistry (Fos protein) followed by radioactive in situ hybridization histochemistry (enkephalin mRNA). Following immobilization, the acute group displayed a marked increase in the number of activated enkephalin-containing perikarya within the paragigantocellularis and lateral reticular nuclei. This level of activation was sustained up to 180 min following the onset of the immobilization stress and had returned to baseline levels by 270 min from the initiation of the stress. However, this stress-induced activation of enkephalin-containing perikarya of the ventrolateral medulla was not seen following either homotypic or heterotypic stress in the chronically stressed group. These results provide evidence that enkephalin-containing perikarya of the ventrolateral medulla may constitute a potential circuit through which they regulate some aspect of the stress responses. Conversely, this enkephalinergic influence from the ventrolateral medulla was shown to be absent following chronic stress exposure. This would suggest a decrease in enkephalin inhibitory input originating from the ventrolateral medulla, thereby allowing a neuroendocrine and/or autonomic response to chronic stress.

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          Most cited references 38

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          Neurocircuitry of stress: central control of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenocortical axis.

          Integration of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal stress response occurs by way of interactions between stress-sensitive brain circuitry and neuroendocrine neurons of the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus (PVN). Stressors involving an immediate physiologic threat ('systemic' stressors) are relayed directly to the PVN, probably via brainstem catecholaminergic projections. By contrast, stressors requiring interpretation by higher brain structures ('processive' stressors) appear to be channeled through limbic forebrain circuits. Forebrain limbic sites connect with the PVN via interactions with GABA-containing neurons in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis, preoptic area and hypothalamus. Thus, final elaboration of processive stress responses is likely to involve modulation of PVN GABAergic tone. The functional and neuroanatomical data obtained suggest that disease processes involving inappropriate stress control involve dysfunction of processive stress pathways.
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            Characterization of a 41-residue ovine hypothalamic peptide that stimulates secretion of corticotropin and beta-endorphin

             C Rivier,  J Rivier,  J Spiess (1981)
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              The paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus: cytoarchitectonic subdivisions and organization of projections to the pituitary, dorsal vagal complex, and spinal cord as demonstrated by retrograde fluorescence double-labeling methods.

              Experiments using two retrogradely transported fluorescent dyes (bisbenzimide-true blue, and Evans blue-granular blue) were performed in order to determine whether the same or different populations of neurons of the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus (PVH) project to the pituitary gland, dorsal vagal complex, and spinal cord in the rat. The results suggest that cells projecting to the pituitary gland are concentrated in the magnocellular core of the nucleus, while the descending connections arise primarily from the surrounding parvocellular division. The occurrence of neurons double-labeled with both dyes further indicate that at lease 10-15% of the labeled cells in the parvocellular division send divergent axon collaterals to the dorsal vagal complex and to the spinal cord. Cell counts suggest that at least 1,500 cells in the PVH project to the medulla and/or spinal cord. These results, combined with a cytoarchitectonic analysis, show that the PVH consists of eight distinct subdivisions, three magnocellular and five parvocellular. The lateral hypothalamic area and zona incerta also contain a large number of cells projecting to the dorsomedial medulla and spinal cord; approximately 15% of such cells are the double-labeled following injections of separate tracers into these two regions of the same animal.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                J. Neurochem.
                Journal of neurochemistry
                0022-3042
                0022-3042
                Jun 2000
                : 74
                : 6
                Affiliations
                [1 ] CHUL Research Center, Neuroscience Unit, and Faculté de Médecine, Université Laval, Sainte-Foy, Québec, Canada.
                Article
                10820219

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