[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Previous investigation by our laboratory found that acute hypernatremia potentiates an oxytocinergic tone that inhibits parvocellular neurosecretory neurons in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus (PVN), attenuates restraint-induced surges in corticosterone (CORT), and reduces anxiety-like behavior in male rats. To investigate the neural mechanisms mediating these effects and extend our findings to a more versatile species, we repeated our studies using laboratory mice. In response to 2.0M NaCl injections, mice had increased plasma sodium concentrations which were associated with a blunted rise in CORT subsequent to restraint challenge relative to 0.15M NaCl injected controls. Immunofluorescent identification of the immediate early gene product Fos found that 2.0M NaCl treatment increased the number of activated neurons producing oxytocin in the PVN. To evaluate the effect of acute hypernatremia on PVN neurons producing corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), we used the Cre-lox system to generate mice that produced the red fluorescent protein, tdTomato, in cells that had Cre-recombinase activity driven by CRH gene expression. Analysis of brain tissue from these CRH-reporter mice revealed 2.0M NaCl treatment caused a dramatic reduction in Fos-positive nuclei specifically in CRH-producing PVN neurons. This altered pattern of activity was predictive of alleviated anxiety-like behavior as mice administered 2.0M NaCl spent more time exploring the open arms of an elevated-plus maze than 0.15M NaCl treated controls. Taken together, these results further implicate an oxytocin-dependent inhibition of CRH neurons in the PVN and demonstrate the impact that slight elevations in plasma sodium have on hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical axis output and anxiety-like behavior.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chronic variable stress (CVS) exposure modifies the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus (PVN) in a manner consistent with enhanced central drive of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis. As previous reports suggest that post-stress enhancement of norepinephrine (NE) action contributes to chronic stress regulation at the level of the PVN, we hypothesised that PVN-projecting NE neurons were necessary for the stress facilitatory effects of CVS. Following intra-PVN injection of saporin toxin conjugated to a dopamine beta-hydroxylase (DBH) antibody (DSAP), in rats PVN DBH immunoreactivity was almost completely eliminated, but immunoreactive afferents to other key regions involved in stress integration were spared (e.g. DBH fiber densities were unaffected in the central nucleus of the amygdala). Reductions in DBH-positive fiber density were associated with reduced numbers of DBH-immunoreactive neurons in the nucleus of the solitary tract and locus coeruleus. Following 2 weeks of CVS, DSAP injection did not alter stress-induced adrenal hypertrophy or attenuation of body weight gain, indicating that PVN-projecting NE [and epinephrine (E)] neurons are not essential for these physiological effects of chronic stress. In response to acute restraint stress, PVN-targeted DSAP injection attenuated peak adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH) and corticosterone in controls, but only attenuated peak ACTH in CVS animals, suggesting that enhanced adrenal sensitivity compensated for reduced excitatory drive of the PVN. Our data suggest that PVN-projecting NE/E neurons contribute to the generation of acute stress responses, and are required for HPA axis drive (ACTH release) during chronic stress. However, loss of NE/E drive at the PVN appears to be buffered by compensation at the level of the adrenal.
European Journal of Neuroscience 04/2014; · 3.75 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: High salt diet can reduce anxiety-like behavior and, yet can also promote hypertension. Previous work from our lab has shown that mild transient increase in plasma sodium and osmolality can elevate the central levels of oxytocin which can then act on pathways that mediate stress responsiveness and anxiety-like behavior. Here, we used CRF reporter mice to discern the central oxytocinergic pathways associated with heightened stress responsiveness.
For all the experiments, animals were rendered osmotically dehydrated and testing was conducted 1 hour after the injections to ensure elevated central levels of oxytocin. The degree of hypernatremia was assessed by measuring plasma sodium concentration (pNa+) and osmolality (pOsm) following injections of either 2.0 M NaCl or 0.15 M NaCl. Restraint was used as a psychogenic stressor to determine the effect of hypernatremia on the plasma corticosterone levels as well as patterns of neuronal activation. Anxiety-like behavior was studied using the elevated-plus-maze after administration of either 2 M NaCl or 0.15 M NaCl. For electrophysiological studies, 1 hour after injecting the animals, brain slices were prepared containing the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus and recordings were made from Type I and Type II parvocellular neurons. The Cre/lox system was used to generate CRF reporter mice to identify CRF neurons.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Anxiety disorders are the most common psychiatric illness and are associated with heightened stress responsiveness. The neuropeptide oxytocin (OT) has garnered significant attention for its potential as a treatment for anxiety disorders; however, the mechanism mediating its effects on stress-responding and anxiety is not well-understood. Here we use acute hypernatremia, a stimulus that elevates brain levels of OT, to discern the central oxytocinergic pathways mediating stress responsiveness and anxiety-like behavior. Rats were rendered hypernatremic by acute administration of 2.0 M NaCl and had increased plasma sodium concentration, plasma osmolality and Fos induction in OT-containing neurons relative to 0.15 M NaCl treated controls. Acute hypernatremia decreased restraint-induced elevations in corticosterone (CORT) and created an inhibitory oxytocinergic tone on parvocellular neurosecretory neurons within the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus. In contrast, evaluation of Fos immunohistochemistry determined that acute hypernatremia followed by restraint increased neuronal activation in brain regions receiving OT afferents that are also implicated in the expression of anxiety-like behavior. To determine whether these effects were predictive of altered anxiety-like behavior, rats were subjected to acute hypernatremia and then tested in the elevated plus maze (EPM). Relative to controls given 0.15 M NaCl, rats given 2.0 M NaCl spent more time in the open arms of the EPM, suggesting that acute hypernatremia is anxiolytic. Collectively, the results suggest that acute elevations in the pNa(+) increase central levels of OT, which decreases anxiety by altering neuronal activity in hypothalamic and limbic nuclei.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Obesity is associated with increased levels of angiotensin-II (Ang-II), which activates angiotensin type 1a receptors (AT1a) to influence cardiovascular function and energy homeostasis. To test the hypothesis that specific AT1a within the brain control these processes, we used the Cre/lox system to delete AT1a from the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus (PVN) of mice. PVN AT1a deletion did not affect body mass or adiposity when mice were maintained on standard chow. However, maintenance on a high-fat diet revealed a gene by environment interaction whereby mice lacking AT1a in the PVN had increased food intake and decreased energy expenditure that augmented body mass and adiposity relative to controls. Despite this increased adiposity, PVN AT1a deletion reduced systolic blood pressure, suggesting that this receptor population mediates the positive correlation between adiposity and blood pressure. Gene expression studies revealed that PVN AT1a deletion decreased hypothalamic expression of corticotrophin-releasing hormone and oxytocin, neuropeptides known to control food intake and sympathetic nervous system activity. Whole-cell patch-clamp recordings confirmed that PVN AT1a deletion eliminates responsiveness of PVN parvocellular neurons to Ang-II, and suggest that Ang-II responsiveness is increased in obese wild-type mice. Central inflammation is associated with metabolic and cardiovascular disorders and PVN AT1a deletion reduced indices of hypothalamic inflammation. Collectively, these studies demonstrate that PVN AT1a regulate energy balance during environmental challenges that promote metabolic and cardiovascular pathologies. The implication is that the elevated Ang-II that accompanies obesity serves as a negative feedback signal that activates PVN neurons to alleviate weight gain.
Journal of Neuroscience 03/2013; 33(11):4825-33. · 6.91 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Hypertension is an epidemic health concern and a major risk factor for the development of cardiovascular disease. Although there are available treatment strategies for hypertension, numerous hypertensive patients do not have their clinical symptoms under control and it is imperative that new avenues to treat or prevent high blood pressure in these patients are developed. It is well established that increases in sympathetic nervous system (SNS) outflow and enhanced renin-angiotensin system (RAS) activity are common features of hypertension and various pathological conditions that predispose individuals to hypertension. More recently, hypertension has also become recognized as an immune condition and accumulating evidence suggests that interactions between the RAS, SNS and immune systems play a role in blood pressure regulation. This review summarizes what is known about the interconnections between the RAS, SNS and immune systems in the neural regulation of blood pressure. Based on the reviewed studies, a model for RAS/neuroimmune interactions during hypertension is proposed and the therapeutic potential of targeting RAS/neuroimmune interactions in hypertensive patients is discussed. Special emphasis is placed on the applicability of the proposed model to obesity-related hypertension.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Valvular disease is common in patients with Marfan syndrome and can lead to cardiomyopathy. However, some patients develop cardiomyopathy in the absence of hemodynamically significant valve dysfunction, suggesting alternative mechanisms of disease progression. Disruption of LDL receptor-related protein-1 (Lrp1) in smooth muscle cells has been shown to cause vascular pathologies similar to Marfan syndrome, with activation of smooth muscle cells, vascular dysfunction and aortic aneurysms. This study used echocardiography and blood pressure monitoring in mouse models to determine whether inactivation of Lrp1 in vascular smooth muscle leads to cardiomyopathy, and if so, whether the mechanism is a consequence of valvular disease. Hemodynamic changes during treatment with captopril were also assessed. Dilation of aortic roots was observed in young Lrp1-knockout mice and progressed as they aged, whereas no significant aortic dilation was detected in wild type littermates. Diastolic blood pressure was lower and pulse pressure higher in Lrp1-knockout mice, which was normalized by treatment with captopril. Aortic dilation was followed by development of aortic insufficiency and subsequent dilated cardiomyopathy due to valvular disease. Thus, smooth muscle cell Lrp1 deficiency results in aortic dilation and insufficiency that causes secondary cardiomyopathy that can be improved by captopril. These findings provide novel insights into mechanisms of cardiomyopathy associated with vascular activation and offer a new model of valvular cardiomyopathy.
PLoS ONE 01/2013; 8(11):e82026. · 3.53 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: During recovery from social stress in a visible burrow system (VBS), during which a dominance hierarchy is formed among the males, rats display hyperphagia and gain weight preferentially as visceral adipose tissue. By proportionally increasing visceral adiposity, social stress may contribute to the establishment of metabolic disorder. Amylin was administered to rats fed ad libitum during recovery from VBS stress in an attempt to prevent hyperphagia and the resultant gain in body weight and fat mass. Amylin treatment reduced food intake, weight gain, and accumulation of fat mass in male burrow rats, but not in male controls that spent time housed with a single female rather than in the VBS. Amylin did not alter neuropeptide Y (NPY), agouti-related peptide (AgRP), or proopiomelanocortin (POMC) mRNA expression in the arcuate nucleus of the hypothalamus as measured at the end of the recovery period, nor did it affect plasma corticosterone or leptin. Amylin exerted most of its effect on food intake during the first few days of recovery, possibly through antagonism of NPY and/or increasing leptin sensitivity. The potential for chronic social stress to contribute to metabolic disorder is diminished by amylin treatment, though the neuroendocrine mechanisms behind this effect remain elusive.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chronic stress induces presynaptic and postsynaptic modifications in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus that are consistent with enhanced excitatory hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis drive. The brain regions mediating these molecular modifications are not known. We hypothesized that chronic variable stress (CVS) tonically activates stress-excitatory regions that interact with the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus, culminating in stress facilitation. In order to identify chronically activated brain regions, ΔFosB, a documented marker of tonic neuronal activation, was assessed in known stress regulatory limbic and brainstem sites. Four experimental groups were included: CVS, repeated restraint (RR) (control for HPA habituation), animals weight-matched (WM) to CVS animals (control for changes in circulating metabolic factors due to reduced weight gain), and non-handled controls. CVS, (but not RR or WM) induced adrenal hypertrophy, indicating that sustained HPA axis drive only occurred in the CVS group. CVS (but not RR or WM) selectively increased the number of FosB/ΔFosB nuclei in the nucleus of the solitary tract, posterior hypothalamic nucleus, and both the infralimbic and prelimbic divisions of the medial prefrontal cortex, indicating an involvement of these regions in chronic drive of the HPA axis. Increases in FosB/ΔFosB-immunoreactive cells were observed following both RR and CVS in the other regions (e.g. the dorsomedial hypothalamus), suggesting activation by both habituating and non-habituating stress conditions. The data suggest that unpredictable stress uniquely activates interconnected cortical, hypothalamic, and brainstem nuclei, potentially revealing the existence of a recruited circuitry mediating chronic drive of brain stress effector systems.
European Journal of Neuroscience 07/2012; 36(4):2547-55. · 3.75 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study elucidates the neural circuits by which circulating angiotensin II (ANGII) acts in the brain to influence humoral and behavioral responses to psychological stressors. To test the hypothesis that systemic ANGII mediates stress responding via the subfornical organ (SFO), we first found that the timing of increased systemic ANGII in response to 60 min restraint coincides with increased c-fos mRNA expression in the SFO. Next, we administered an anterograde neuronal tract tracer into the SFO and found that fibers originating there make appositions onto neurons in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus that are also c-fos positive following restraint stress. To determine whether circulating ANGII stimulates the release of stress hormones via activation of angiotensin type 1 receptors (AT1R) within the SFO, we delivered lentivirus to knockdown AT1R expression locally in the SFO. Inhibition of AT1R specifically within the SFO blunted the release of adrenocorticotrophin-releasing hormone and corticosterone in response to restraint stress and caused rats to spend more time in the open arms of an elevated-plus maze than controls, indicating that inhibition of AT1R within the SFO is anxiolytic. Collectively, these results suggest that circulating ANGII acts on AT1R in the SFO to influence responding to psychological stressors.
Journal of Neuroscience 10/2011; 31(42):15009-15. · 6.91 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Considerable evidence implicates the renin-angiotensin system (RAS) in the regulation of energy balance. To evaluate the role of the RAS in the central nervous system regulation of energy balance, we used osmotic minipumps to chronically administer angiotensin II (Ang II; icv; 0.7 ng/min for 24 days) to adult male Long-Evans rats, resulting in reduced food intake, body weight gain, and adiposity. The decrease in body weight and adiposity occurred relative to both ad libitum- and pair-fed controls, implying that reduced food intake in and of itself does not underlie all of these effects. Consistent with this, rats administered Ang II had increased whole body heat production and oxygen consumption. Additionally, chronic icv Ang II increased uncoupling protein-1 and β(3)-adrenergic receptor expression in brown adipose tissue and β3-adrenergic receptor expression in white adipose tissue, which is suggestive of enhanced sympathetic activation and thermogenesis. Chronic icv Ang II also increased hypothalamic agouti-related peptide and decreased hypothalamic proopiomelanocortin expression, consistent with a state of energy deficit. Moreover, chronic icv Ang II increased the anorectic corticotrophin- and thyroid-releasing hormones within the hypothalamus. These results suggest that Ang II acts in the brain to promote negative energy balance and that contributing mechanisms include an alteration in the hypothalamic circuits regulating energy balance, a decrease in food intake, an increase in energy expenditure, and an increase in sympathetic activation of brown and white adipose tissue.
AJP Endocrinology and Metabolism 08/2011; 301(6):E1081-91. · 4.51 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Life stress frequently occurs within the context of homeostatic challenge, requiring integration of physiological and psychological need into appropriate hormonal, cardiovascular, and behavioral responses. To test neural mechanisms underlying stress integration within the context of homeostatic adversity, we evaluated the impact of a pronounced physiological (hypernatremia) challenge on hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA), cardiovascular, and behavioral responses to an acute psychogenic stress. Relative to normonatremic controls, rats rendered mildly hypernatremic had decreased HPA activation in response to physical restraint, a commonly used rodent model of psychogenic stress. In addition, acute hypernatremia attenuated the cardiovascular response to restraint and promoted faster recovery to prestress levels. Subsequent to restraint, hypernatremic rats had significantly more c-Fos expression in oxytocin- and vasopressin-containing neurons within the supraoptic and paraventricular nuclei of the hypothalamus. Hypernatremia also completely eliminated the increased plasma renin activity that accompanied restraint in controls, but greatly elevated circulating levels of oxytocin. The endocrine and cardiovascular profile of hypernatremic rats was predictive of decreased anxiety-like behavior in the social interaction test. Collectively, the results indicate that acute hypernatremia is a potent inhibitor of the HPA, cardiovascular, and behavioral limbs of the stress response. The implications are that the compensatory responses that promote renal-sodium excretion when faced with hypernatremia also act on the nervous system to decrease reactivity to psychogenic stressors and facilitate social behavior, which may suppress the anxiety associated with approaching a communal water source and support the social interactions that may be encountered when engaging in drinking behavior.
Journal of Neuroscience 04/2011; 31(14):5470-6. · 6.91 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The hypothalamic melanocortin system is known for its role in regulating energy homeostasis through it actions within hypothalamic brain centers. However, emerging evidence suggests that this system regulates addictive behaviors through signaling within mesolimbic neurons. Here, we hypothesized the melanocortin system modulates feeding behavior through its actions on mesolimbic neurons. In particular, we predicted that central administration of the melanocortin antagonist agouti-related peptide (AgRP) would activate midbrain dopamine neurons, increase mesolimbic dopamine turnover, and alter food seeking behaviors. We found that intraventricular administration of agouti-related peptide increased neuronal activation within midbrain dopamine neurons in addition to increasing dopamine turnover in the medial prefrontal cortex. Additionally, using the conditioned place preference paradigm to assay food seeking behavior, we report that central injection of agouti-related peptide attenuates the acquisition of a conditioned place preference for sucrose, but not high fat diet. These results suggest that the melanocortin system is capable of regulating mesocorticolimbic activity and food seeking behavior.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chronic stress is associated with dysregulation of energy homeostasis, but the link between the two is largely unknown. For most rodents, periods of chronic stress reduce weight gain. We hypothesized that these reductions in weight are an additional homeostatic challenge, contributing to the chronic stress syndrome. Experiment #1 examined cardiovascular responsivity following exposure to prolonged intermittent stress. We used radio-telemetry to monitor mean arterial pressure and heart rate in freely moving, conscious rats. Three groups of animals were tested: chronic variable stress (CVS), weight-matched (WM), and controls. Using this design, we can distinguish between effects due to stress and effects due to the changing body weight. WM, but not CVS, markedly reduced basal heart rate. Although an acute stress challenge elicited similar peak heart rate, WM expedited the recovery to baseline heart rate. The data suggest that CVS prevents the weight-induced attenuation of cardiovascular stress reactivity. Experiment #2 investigated hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and metabolic hormone reactivity to novel psychogenic stress. WM increased corticosterone area under the curve. CVS blunted plasma glucose, leptin, and insulin levels in response to restraint. Experiment #3 tested the effects of WM and CVS on PVN oxytocin and corticotrophin-releasing hormone mRNA expression. CVS increased, while WM reduced PVN CRH mRNA expression, whereas both CVS and WM reduced dorsal parvocellular PVN oxytocin mRNA. Overall, the data suggest that weight loss is unlikely to account for the deleterious effects of chronic stress on the organism, but in fact produces beneficial effects that are effectively absent or indeed, reversed in the face of chronic stress exposure.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Individuals often eat calorically dense, highly palatable "comfort" foods during stress for stress relief. This article demonstrates that palatable food intake (limited intake of sucrose drink) reduces neuroendocrine, cardiovascular, and behavioral responses to stress in rats. Artificially sweetened (saccharin) drink reproduces the stress dampening, whereas oral intragastric gavage of sucrose is without effect. Together, these results suggest that the palatable/rewarding properties of sucrose are necessary and sufficient for stress dampening. In support of this finding, another type of natural reward (sexual activity) similarly reduces stress responses. Ibotenate lesions of the basolateral amygdala (BLA) prevent stress dampening by sucrose, suggesting that neural activity in the BLA is necessary for the effect. Moreover, sucrose intake increases mRNA and protein expression in the BLA for numerous genes linked with functional and/or structural plasticity. Lastly, stress dampening by sucrose is persistent, which is consistent with long-term changes in neural activity after synaptic remodeling. Thus, natural rewards, such as palatable foods, provide a general means of stress reduction, likely via structural and/or functional plasticity in the BLA. These findings provide a clearer understanding of the motivation for consuming palatable foods during times of stress and influence therapeutic strategies for the prevention and/or treatment of obesity and other stress-related disorders.
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 11/2010; 107(47):20529-34. · 9.81 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In the present study, we examined meal patterns during and after exposure to the visible burrow system (VBS), a rodent model of chronic social stress, to determine how the microstructure of food intake relates to the metabolic consequences of social subordination. Male Long-Evans rats were housed in mixed-sex VBS colonies (4 male, 2 female) for 2 wk, during which time a dominance hierarchy formed [1 dominant male (DOM) and 3 subordinate males (SUB)], and then male rats were individually housed for a 3-wk recovery period. Controls were individually housed with females during the 2-wk VBS period and had no changes in ingestive behavior compared with a habituation period. During the hierarchy-formation phase of VBS housing, DOM and SUB had a reduced meal frequency, whereas SUB also had a reduced meal size. However, during the hierarchy-maintenance phase of VBS housing, DOM meal patterns did not differ from controls, whereas SUB continued to display a reduced food intake via less frequent meals. During recovery, DOM had comparable meal patterns to controls, whereas SUB had an increased meal size. Hypothalamic neuropeptide Y (NPY) mRNA levels were not different between these groups during the experimental period. Together, the results suggest that exposure to chronic social stress alters ingestive behavior both acutely and in the long term, which may influence the metabolic changes that accompany bouts of stress and recovery; however, these differences in meal patterns do not appear to be mediated by hypothalamic NPY.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Fortunately, the majority of children conceived through assisted reproductive technologies (ARTs) appear healthy; however, metabolic abnormalities, including elevated glucose and increased and altered adipose tissue deposition, have been reported in adolescents. To parse out factors that may be responsible, we investigated the effects of two different ARTs--in vitro fertilization (IVF) and intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI)--as well as somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) on glucose clearance, body weight, and body composition of young adult mice. Female and male mice generated through ART weighed more than control (naturally conceived [STOCK]) mice at birth. No differences in body weight were observed in males up to 8 wk of age. ART females took longer than control mice to clear a glucose bolus, with glucose clearance most impaired in SCNT females. IVF females secreted more insulin and had a higher insulin peak 15 min after glucose injection compared with all other groups. Male mice exhibited no differences in glucose clearance, but IVF males required more insulin to do so. SCNT females weighed more than IVF, ICSI, and STOCK females, and they had higher fat content than ICSI females and higher leptin levels than all other groups. These results show that glucose parameters are altered in young adult mice conceived through techniques associated with ART before onset of obesity and may be responsible for its development later in life. The present study suggests that more investigation regarding the long-term effects of manipulations associated with ART is warranted.
Biology of Reproduction 05/2010; 83(2):220-7. · 4.03 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The renin angiotensin system (RAS; most well-known for its critical roles in the regulation of cardiovascular function and hydromineral balance) has regained the spotlight for its potential roles in various aspects of the metabolic syndrome. It may serve as a causal link among obesity and several co-morbidities. Drugs that reduce the synthesis or action of angiotensin-II (A-II; the primary effector peptide of the RAS) have been used to treat hypertension for decades and, more recently, clinical trials have determined the utility of these pharmacological agents to prevent insulin resistance. Moreover, there is evidence that the RAS contributes to body weight regulation by acting in various tissues. This review summarizes what is known of the actions of the RAS in the brain and throughout the body to influence various metabolic disorders. Special emphasis is given to the role of the RAS in body weight regulation. The paper represents an invited review by a symposium, award winner or keynote speaker at the Society for the Study of Ingestive Behavior [SSIB] Annual Meeting in Portland, July 2009.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Mineralocorticoids and glucocorticoids are steroid hormones that are released by the adrenal cortex in response to stress and hydromineral imbalance. Historically, adrenocorticosteroid actions are attributed to effects on gene transcription. More recently, however, it has become clear that genome-independent pathways represent an important facet of adrenal steroid actions. These hormones exert nongenomic effects throughout the body, although a significant portion of their actions are specific to the central nervous system. These actions are mediated by a variety of signalling pathways, and lead to physiologically meaningful events in vitro and in vivo. We review the nongenomic effects of adrenal steroids in the central nervous system at the levels of behaviour, neural system activity, individual neurone activity and subcellular signalling activity. A clearer understanding of adrenal steroid activity in the central nervous system will lead to a better ability to treat human disease as well as reduce the side-effects of the steroid treatments already in use.
Journal of Neuroendocrinology 03/2010; 22(8):846-61. · 3.51 Impact Factor