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      Regulation of the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis during chronic stress: responses to repeated intraperitoneal hypertonic saline injection


      Brain Research

      Elsevier BV

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          Chronic osmotic stress inhibits, while repeated physical stress can increase pituitary ACTH responsiveness to a novel stress. The interaction between these effects was studied in rats subjected to repeated i.p. injection of hypertonic saline, a strong aversive stimulus with osmotic and painful and psychological stress components, for 14 days. Hypertonic saline injection caused marked drinking responses, transient increases in plasma vasopressin (VP), and marked increases in VP mRNA and irVP in magnocellular cell bodies in the hypothalamus. Parvicellular activity was also enhanced as indicated by increases in VP immunostaining in the external zone of the median eminence and CRH mRNA and irCRH in the PVN. Plasma ACTH levels increased 10-fold after 30 min hypertonic saline injection, returning to basal levels in 4 h, and there was no desensitization of the ACTH responses after repeated injections (from basal values of 76 +/- 10 to 782 +/- 57, 788 +/- 83 and 779 +/- 31 pg/ml 30 min after the first, 4th and 14th injection, respectively). Basal ACTH levels were normal 24 h after the last injection, but pituitary POMC mRNA levels were increased by 95%, and ACTH responses to a novel stress (15 min immobilization) were significantly larger than in controls (P < 0.01) despite increases in morning plasma corticosterone levels (1.5 +/- 0.4 and 9.2 +/- 3.1 micrograms/dl in controls and stressed rats, respectively).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

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          Brain Research
          Brain Research
          Elsevier BV
          December 1993
          December 1993
          : 630
          : 1-2
          : 262-270
          © 1993


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