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      Adrenal Splanchnic Innervation Modulates Adrenal Cortical Responses to Dehydration Stress in Rats

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          Abstract

          Classically, the production of glucocorticoids by the adrenal gland is thought to be controlled exclusively by adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH). However, there are several examples in stressed humans and animals of increased plasma glucocorticoids in the absence of increased plasma ACTH, suggesting that an additional, non-ACTH mechanism(s) may contribute to the control of glucocorticoid production. The present studies were designed to determine the role of the thoracic splanchnic nerve in controlling plasma corticosterone levels in response to chronic water deprivation in rats, a model previously reported to demonstrate dissociations between plasma corticosterone and ACTH. Briefly, rats underwent right unilateral adrenalectomy and left thoracic splanchnic nerve transection or sham transection. After recovery, rats were water deprived for 48 h or given free access to water, and then sacrificed for collection of plasma and adrenal glands. Water deprivation resulted in consistent, robust increases in plasma corticosterone that were attenuated by splanchnic nerve transection, in the absence of changes in post-dehydration plasma ACTH. Adrenal content of steroidogenic acute regulatory factor (StAR) and cyclic AMP (cAMP) were increased after dehydration; splanchnic nerve transection decreased post-dehydration adrenal cAMP, but not StAR. Splanchnic nerve transection also attenuated plasma corticosterone responses to submaximal doses of ACTH in dexamethasone-blocked, dehydrated rats, suggesting a decreased adrenal sensitivity to ACTH. Collectively, the present results demonstrate that the thoracic splanchnic nerve normally augments the adrenal corticosterone response to dehydration stress by increasing adrenal sensitivity to ACTH, and this augmentation is associated with elevations in adrenal cAMP content. These data support the hypothesis that the splanchnic innervation of the adrenal gland represents an additional physiological mechanism to control stress-induced adrenal cortical responses in vivo.

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          Most cited references 8

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                Author and article information

                Journal
                NEN
                Neuroendocrinology
                10.1159/issn.0028-3835
                Neuroendocrinology
                S. Karger AG
                0028-3835
                1423-0194
                2002
                August 2002
                08 August 2002
                : 76
                : 2
                : 79-92
                Affiliations
                Departments of Surgery and Neuroscience, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minn., USA
                Article
                64426 Neuroendocrinology 2002;76:79–92
                10.1159/000064426
                12169769
                © 2002 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
                Figures: 10, Tables: 1, References: 52, Pages: 14
                Categories
                Regulation of Corticotropin and Adrenal Steroids

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