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Publications (4)11.05 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Adaptation to stress is a fundamental component of life and the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenocortical axis (HPA) plays a crucial role in it. The place of cannabinoid influence seems to be in the brain, especially where corticotropin releasing hormone and vasopressin (AVP) secreting neurons are located. The role of AVP is considered to be more important in young than in adult rats. Here we addressed the question if cannabinoid-mediated regulation of the HPA involves AVP and if there is any difference between young and adult rats in this process. 10-day-old and adult AVP deficient Brattleboro rats were compared with their heterozygous littermates 1h after WIN 55,212-2 (6mg/kg i.p.) injection. In control animals the injection led to elevated adrenocorticotropin (ACTH) and corticosterone hormone levels at both ages without remarkable age difference in ACTH levels while all corticosterone levels of adults was approximately 10-times higher. The ACTH secretion of young AVP deficient rats failed to react to WIN 55,212-2 injection while their corticosterone levels were even higher than their littermates. In contrast in adult the role of AVP was diminished. We can conclude that the peripheral administration of cannabinoids leads to HPA axis stimulation, which process involves AVP at least in the young rats. The discrepancy between ACTH and corticosterone levels in young rats suggests an alternative adrenal gland regulatory pathway, which might be present in all studied animals. However, it comes to the front just in AVP deficient pups.
    Endocrine regulations 04/2009; 43(1):13-21.
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    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.
    Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 01/2009; 1148:439-45. · 4.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The sympathetic-adrenomedullary system and the pituitary-adrenocortical axis are linked to each other by chemical signals transferring information between both endocrine systems. Here we addressed the question of whether the neuropeptide arginine vasopressin (AVP) is involved in this type of information transfer during early postnatal development. The impact of congenital absence of AVP on the endocrine stress response was investigated using the AVP-deficient Brattleboro rat. Under resting conditions, we failed measure a significant difference in plasma norepinephrine levels between 10-day-old AVP-deficient homozygous juveniles versus heterozygous AVP-producing littermates. Interestingly, repeated ether exposure resulted in a reduction of plasma epinephrine levels in both genotypes. In the adrenal, we detected increased levels of the epinephrine-synthesizing enzyme phenylethanolamine-N-methyltransferase (PNMT) after ether inhalation in vasopressin-deficient pups only. These data provide insight into the development of the regulation of stress-related epinephrine secretion during ontogenesis. Furthermore, our results imply that the congenital absence of AVP affects the synthesis of PNMT in response to defined stressor exposure.
    Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 01/2009; 1148:456-61. · 4.38 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We report here that local hippocampal WIN-55,212-2 implants release this cannabinoid agonist for extended periods, the release is restricted to the implanted brain region and is behaviorally active. Radiolabeled WIN-55,212-2 was implanted bilaterally into the CA3 region of the dorsal hippocampus by means of fused silica capillaries. Significant amounts of the compound were released from the implants for at least 10 days. No labeled WIN-55,212-2 was detected in other brain regions, for example, the cortex, amygdala, thalamus, hypothalamus, and pons. In a separate experiment, radiolabeled WIN-55,212-2 was implanted chronically into the same hippocampal region, and rats were assessed 8 days later in the object-recognition test. In contrast to controls, rats implanted with WIN-55,212-2 were unable to differentiate familiar and unfamiliar objects. Object recognition was reinstated by the cannabinoid antagonist SR141716A, as rats implanted with both WIN-55,212-2 and SR141716A did not differ from controls. Thus, chronic hippocampal WIN-55,212-2 implants impaired recognition memory via the CB1 receptor. The memory-impairing effects of acute cannabinoid treatments are well known, but the effects of chronic treatments are controversial. The rate and magnitude of tolerance, however, have been shown to be brain-area specific and cell-type specific. Here we show that chronic hippocampal treatments impair memory, suggesting that no tolerance develops in the hippocampus towards the memory-impairing effects of cannabinoids. The data also suggest that chronic, brain-area-specific effects of cannabinoids can be studied by the novel method described here.
    Behavioural Pharmacology 10/2007; 18(5-6):515-20. · 2.30 Impact Factor