Gender-specific regulation of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis and the role of vasopressin during the neonatal period

Gábor B. Makara, Ágnes Domokos, Zsuzsa Mergl, Katalin Csabai, István Barna, Dóra Zelena

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Studies in arginine vasopressin (AVP)-deficient Brattleboro rats suggest that AVP is the predominant secretagogue during the perinatal period. Here we tested the hypothesis that congenital lack of vasopressin differentially modifies the stress reactivity of male and female rat pups. Vasopressin- producing (heterozygous, AVP+) and AVP-deficient (AVP-) Brattleboro rat pups of both genders were used. In 10-day-old pups, 24-h maternal separation and single, as well as repeated, ether inhalation induced remarkable adrenocorticotropin (ACTH) elevation only in AVP+ pups, supporting the role of vasopressin in hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis regulation. Surprisingly, the corticosterone elevations were even more pronounced in AVP- pups, suggesting the possibility of an ACTH-independent corticosterone-secretion regulation. In the case of maternal separation, both the plasma ACTH and corticosterone levels were higher in females than in males, while in case of ether inhalation only the ACTH levels were higher in females. Gender did not influence the stress reactivity or the effect of the genotype. We conclude that the gender of the pups did not profoundly influence HPA axis activity (the mechanism seems to be the same), but in contrast to the general view, we suggest that the females have a more active HPA axis than the males already during the neonatal period. However, the resting corticosterone elevation - well known in adult females - is missing.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationStress, Neurotransmitters, and Hormones Neuroendocrine and Genetic Mechanisms
PublisherBlackwell Publishing Inc.
Pages439-445
Number of pages7
ISBN (Print)9781573316927
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2008

Publication series

NameAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Volume1148
ISSN (Print)0077-8923
ISSN (Electronic)1749-6632

Keywords

  • ACTH
  • Corticosterone
  • Ether stress
  • Maternal separation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • History and Philosophy of Science

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    Makara, G. B., Domokos, Á., Mergl, Z., Csabai, K., Barna, I., & Zelena, D. (2008). Gender-specific regulation of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis and the role of vasopressin during the neonatal period. In Stress, Neurotransmitters, and Hormones Neuroendocrine and Genetic Mechanisms (pp. 439-445). (Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences; Vol. 1148). Blackwell Publishing Inc.. https://doi.org/10.1196/annals.1410.002