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      Regulatory Changes in Neuroendocrine Stress-Integrative Circuitry Produced by a Variable Stress Paradigm

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          Abstract

          Stress represents a complex stimulus to neuroendocrine systems regulating homeostasis. By and large, stress effects are mediated by stress-integrative corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) neurons present in the medial parvocellular division of the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus (PVN). These neurons summate a large variety of neuronal and hormonal signals to eventually yield a physiologically meaningful level of circulating glucocorticoids. In the present experiments, we examined the effects of a chronic variable-stressor paradigm on indices of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) secretagogue biosynthesis in the PVN and adrenocorticosteroid receptor mRNA expression in the hippocampal formation, PVN and cortex. The variable-stressor paradigm produces a syndrome consistent with chronic stress, including baseline hypersecretion of corticosterone, ACTH and prolactin, and adrenal hypertrophy. CRH mRNA levels in the PVN are increased some 61 %, consistent with the observed hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) up-regulation. There was a small but significant increase in arginine vasopressin (AVP) mRNA expression in individual parvocellular PVN neurons (16%), and no demonstrable increase in the number of AVP mRNA-containing neurons. No change in AVP expression was seen in the magnocellular PVN, supraoptic or suprachiasmatic nuclei. In all, these data highlight the importance of CRH in maintaining HPA up-regulation in the face of prolonged challenge. To investigate effects of chronic stress on the regulation of glucocorticoid receptivity, mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) and glucocorticoid receptor mRNA expression was assessed in the hippocampus, frontoparietal cortex and PVN. Chronic stress significantly down-regulated MR mRNA expression in subfields CA1, CA3 and the dentate gyrus (DG), and GR mRNA expression in subfields CA1, the DG and frontoparietal cortex. The reduction in receptor biosynthesis suggests the capacity for stress to modulate the impact of glucocorticoid on hippocampal cell physiology at the genomic level, potentially influencing processes ranging from cognition to feedback regulation of the HPA axis. At the level of the parvocellular PVN, GR mRNA expression was decreased to 60% of control values. GR mRNA expression was negatively correlated with PVN CRH mRNA expression, suggesting a relationship between elevated CRH gene expression and down-regulation of GR at the level of the PVN.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          NEN
          Neuroendocrinology
          10.1159/issn.0028-3835
          Neuroendocrinology
          S. Karger AG
          0028-3835
          1423-0194
          1995
          1995
          09 April 2008
          : 61
          : 2
          : 180-190
          Affiliations
          Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, University of Kentucky Medical Center, Lexington, Ky., USA
          Article
          126839 Neuroendocrinology 1995;61:180–190
          10.1159/000126839
          7753337
          © 1995 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: 11
          Categories
          Corticotropin and Proopiomelanocortin Regulation

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