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Sample records for adrenal axis hpa

  1. Mifepristone Accelerates HPA Axis Recovery in Secondary Adrenal Insufficiency.

    PubMed

    Cohan, Pejman

    2016-01-01

    Context. Transient secondary adrenal insufficiency (SAI) is an expected complication following successful adenomectomy of ACTH-secreting pituitary adenomas or unilateral adrenalectomy for cortisol-secreting adrenal adenomas. To date, no pharmacological therapy has been shown to hasten recovery of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis in this clinical scenario. Case Description. A 33-year-old woman underwent uncomplicated unilateral adrenalectomy for a 3.7 cm cortisol-secreting adrenal adenoma. Postoperatively, she developed SAI and was placed on hydrocortisone 15 mg/day, given in divided doses. In the ensuing six years, the patient's HPA axis failed to recover and she remained corticosteroid-dependent. Quarterly biochemical testing (after withholding hydrocortisone for 18 hours) consistently yielded undetectable serum cortisol and subnormal plasma ACTH levels. While she was on hydrocortisone 15 mg/day, mifepristone was initiated and gradually titrated to a maintenance dose of 600 mg/day after 5 months. Rapid recovery of the HPA axis was subsequently noted with ACTH rising into the supranormal range at 4 months followed by a subsequent rise in cortisol levels into the normal range. After 6 months, the dose of hydrocortisone and mifepristone was lowered and both were ultimately stopped after 8 months. The HPA axis remains normal after an additional 16 months of follow-up. Conclusion. Mifepristone successfully restored the HPA axis in a woman with prolonged secondary adrenal insufficiency (SAI) after adrenalectomy for Cushing's syndrome (CS). PMID:27516913

  2. Mifepristone Accelerates HPA Axis Recovery in Secondary Adrenal Insufficiency

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Context. Transient secondary adrenal insufficiency (SAI) is an expected complication following successful adenomectomy of ACTH-secreting pituitary adenomas or unilateral adrenalectomy for cortisol-secreting adrenal adenomas. To date, no pharmacological therapy has been shown to hasten recovery of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis in this clinical scenario. Case Description. A 33-year-old woman underwent uncomplicated unilateral adrenalectomy for a 3.7 cm cortisol-secreting adrenal adenoma. Postoperatively, she developed SAI and was placed on hydrocortisone 15 mg/day, given in divided doses. In the ensuing six years, the patient's HPA axis failed to recover and she remained corticosteroid-dependent. Quarterly biochemical testing (after withholding hydrocortisone for 18 hours) consistently yielded undetectable serum cortisol and subnormal plasma ACTH levels. While she was on hydrocortisone 15 mg/day, mifepristone was initiated and gradually titrated to a maintenance dose of 600 mg/day after 5 months. Rapid recovery of the HPA axis was subsequently noted with ACTH rising into the supranormal range at 4 months followed by a subsequent rise in cortisol levels into the normal range. After 6 months, the dose of hydrocortisone and mifepristone was lowered and both were ultimately stopped after 8 months. The HPA axis remains normal after an additional 16 months of follow-up. Conclusion. Mifepristone successfully restored the HPA axis in a woman with prolonged secondary adrenal insufficiency (SAI) after adrenalectomy for Cushing's syndrome (CS). PMID:27516913

  3. Activation of the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) Axis Following Extended Exposure to Atrazine (ATR)

    EPA Science Inventory

    While it is known that adrenal steroids impact reproduction and a variety of other physiological and behavioral fimctions, disruption of the HPA-axis is not typically considered in toxicological studies. Here we characterize changes in basal corticosterone (CORT) and progesterone...

  4. Activation of the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) Axis Following Extended Exposure to Atrazine (ATR)###

    EPA Science Inventory

    While it is known that adrenal steroids impact reproduction and a variety of other physiological and behavioral functions, disruption of the HPA-axis is not typically considered in toxicological studies. Here we characterize changes in basal corticosterone (CORT) and progesterone...

  5. Fetal programming of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis function and behavior by synthetic glucocorticoids.

    PubMed

    Kapoor, Amita; Petropoulos, Sophie; Matthews, Stephen G

    2008-03-01

    Reduced fetal growth has been closely associated with an increased risk for the development of chronic disease in later life. Accumulating evidence indicates that fetal exposure to excess glucocorticoids represents a critical mechanism underlying this association. Approximately 7% of pregnant women are at risk of preterm delivery and these women are routinely treated with synthetic glucocorticoids (sGC) between 24 and 34 of weeks gestation to improve neonatal outcome. Animal studies have demonstrated that maternally administered sGC crosses the placenta, affecting fetal hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) development, resulting in changes in HPA axis function that persist throughout life. These changes appear to be modulated at the level of glucocorticoid receptors (GR) and mineralocorticoid receptors (MR) in the brain and pituitary. As the HPA axis interacts with many other physiological pathways, the changes in endocrine function are also sex-specific and age-dependent. Alterations in behavior, particularly locomotion, in animals exposed to sGC in utero have also been demonstrated. Consistent with the finding in animal models, emerging human data are indicating attention deficit-hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)-like symptoms in children exposed to repeated courses of sGC in utero. This behavioral phenotype is likely linked to alterations in dopamine (DA) signaling, suggesting that sGC are able to permanently modify or 'program' this system. Finally, it is emerging that changes in HPA axis function and behavior following antenatal exposure to sGC are transgenerational and likely involve epigenetic mechanisms. A comprehensive understanding of the acute and long-term impact of sGC exposure in utero is necessary to begin to develop recommendations and treatment options for pregnant women at risk of preterm delivery. PMID:17716742

  6. Dysregulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis in irritable bowel syndrome

    PubMed Central

    Chang, L.; Sundaresh, S.; Elliott, J.; Anton, P. A.; Baldi, P.; Licudine, A.; Mayer, M.; Vuong, T.; Hirano, M.; Naliboff, B. D.; Ameen, V. Z.; Mayer, E. A.

    2009-01-01

    Enhanced stress responsiveness has been implicated as a potential mechanism contributing to the pathophysiology of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), and should be reflected in altered function of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and the sympathetic nervous system. Both of these systems can modulate mucosal immune function. The aims of this study were: (i) to characterize the basal circadian rhythm of adrenocorticotropin hormone (ACTH) and cortisol in IBS vs healthy controls; (ii) to compare stimulated ACTH, cortisol and noradrenaline responses to a pelvic visceral stressor (sigmoidoscopy) in IBS and controls; and (iii) to correlate neuroendocrine responses with colonic mucosal cytokine expression and symptoms in IBS. Two separate studies were conducted in women. In Study 1, basal cortisol levels were analysed in 41 IBS and 25 controls using 24-h collections of plasma ACTH and cortisol (q10 min sampling). In Study 2, 10 IBS patients with diarrhoea (IBS-D) and 10 controls underwent sigmoidoscopy with measurements of stimulated neuroendocrine responses and cytokine mRNA expression in colonic tissue. Basal ACTH levels were significantly blunted (P < 0.05), while basal and stimulated plasma cortisol levels were higher in patients. Basal cortisol levels prior to an experimental visceral stressor positively correlated with anxiety symptoms (P < 0.004), but not IBS symptoms. Irritable bowel syndrome patients with diarrhoea had significantly decreased mRNA expression of mucosal cytokines [interleukin (IL)-2, IL-6] in the sigmoid colon vs controls (P < 0.05). Although dysregulations in stress-responsive systems such as the HPA axis and mucosal immune function are demonstrated in IBS, they do not appear to have a primary role in modulating IBS severity and abdominal pain. PMID:18684212

  7. Anxiety, coping skills and hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis in patients with endometriosis

    PubMed Central

    Quiñones, Maria; Urrutia, Rebecca; Torres-Reverón, Annelyn; Vincent, Katy; Flores, Idhaliz

    2015-01-01

    Background Endometriosis is an inflammatory disease that is defined by growth of endometrial tissue outside the uterus, resulting in pain, infertility, and emotional distress. Previous studies have shown that the HPA axis is compromised in patients with chronic, painful diseases, including endometriosis. However, the underlying mechanisms and the physiological and emotional consequences of dysfunctions in the HPA axis in these patients are largely unknown. We aimed to understand whether diurnal circulating cortisol levels in women with endometriosis are affected and how this impacts their emotional and behavioral responses. Methods Thirty-two patients with endometriosis and 36 healthy control women provided saliva samples and completed a series of psychological questionnaires. Salivary cortisol levels were measured in duplicate using a colorimetric immunoassay. Results There were significant differences in average cortisol levels between endometriosis patients and controls. A negative correlation was found between cortisol levels and infertility and dyspareunia. Furthermore, incapacitating pain was found to be a strong predictor of hypocortisolism. Women with endometriosis reported higher levels of trait anxiety, but showed no differences in perceived stress or in coping styles compared to the control group. Conclusions This study supports previous reports of hypocortisolism as a biomarker of aberrant HPA responses in women with endometriosis. Moreover, it provides further insight into the link between HPA axis dysregulation, emotional responses, and the high comorbidity between endometriosis and other inflammatory conditions. PMID:26900480

  8. The hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis in sheep is attenuated during lactation in response to psychosocial and predator stress.

    PubMed

    Ralph, C R; Tilbrook, A J

    2016-04-01

    Activation of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis by psychosocial stress is attenuated during lactation. We tested the hypothesis that lactating ewes will have attenuated HPA axis responses to isolation and restraint but will have greater responses to predator stress in the form of barking dogs. We imposed two 4 h stressors: psychosocial stress (isolation and restraint of ewes) and predator stress (barking dogs). Blood was collected intravenous every 10 min from nonlactating ewes (n = 6), lactating ewes with lambs present but not able to be suckled (n = 6), and lactating ewes with lambs present and able to be suckled (n = 6). Plasma cortisol and oxytocin were measured. For nonlactating ewes, cortisol increased (P < 0.01) in response to both stressors, and these increases were greater (P < 0.01) than that in the lactating animals. For lactating ewes with lambs present but unable to be suckled, cortisol increased (P < 0.05) in response to both stressors with a greater response to barking dogs (P < 0.05). For lactating ewes with lambs present and able to be suckled, cortisol increased (P < 0.01) in response to barking dogs only. Plasma oxytocin was greater (P < 0.01) in lactating ewes than in nonlactating ewes and did not change in response to the stressors. In conclusion, lactating ewes are likely to have a greater HPA axis response to a stressor that may be perceived to threaten the welfare of themselves and/or their offspring. The role of oxytocin in attenuation of the HPA axis to stress in sheep is unclear from the current research and requires further investigation. PMID:26773370

  9. The hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis in sheep is attenuated during lactation in response to psychosocial and predator stress

    PubMed Central

    Ralph, C.R.; Tilbrook, A.J.

    2016-01-01

    Activation of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis by psychosocial stress is attenuated during lactation. We tested the hypothesis that lactating ewes will have attenuated HPA axis responses to isolation and restraint but will have greater responses to predator stress in the form of barking dogs. We imposed two 4 h stressors: psychosocial stress (isolation and restraint of ewes) and predator stress (barking dogs). Blood was collected intravenous every 10 min from nonlactating ewes (n = 6), lactating ewes with lambs present but not able to be suckled (n = 6), and lactating ewes with lambs present and able to be suckled (n = 6). Plasma cortisol and oxytocin were measured. For nonlactating ewes, cortisol increased (P < 0.01) in response to both stressors, and these increases were greater (P < 0.01) than that in the lactating animals. For lactating ewes with lambs present but unable to be suckled, cortisol increased (P < 0.05) in response to both stressors with a greater response to barking dogs (P < 0.05). For lactating ewes with lambs present and able to be suckled, cortisol increased (P < 0.01) in response to barking dogs only. Plasma oxytocin was greater (P < 0.01) in lactating ewes than in nonlactating ewes and did not change in response to the stressors. In conclusion, lactating ewes are likely to have a greater HPA axis response to a stressor that may be perceived to threaten the welfare of themselves and/or their offspring. The role of oxytocin in attenuation of the HPA axis to stress in sheep is unclear from the current research and requires further investigation. PMID:26773370

  10. Investigation of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA) by 1 microg ACTH test and metyrapone test in patients with primary fibromyalgia syndrome.

    PubMed

    Calis, M; Gökçe, C; Ates, F; Ulker, S; Izgi, H B; Demir, H; Kirnap, M; Sofuoglu, S; Durak, A C; Tutus, A; Kelestimur, F

    2004-01-01

    Primary fibromyalgia syndrome (PFS) is characterized by widespread chronic pain that affects the musculoskeletal system, fatigue, anxiety, sleep disturbance, headache and postural hypotension. The pathophysiology of PFS is unknown. The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis seems to play an important role in PFS. Both hyperactivity and hypoactivity of the HPA axis have been reported in patients with PFS. In this study we assessed the HPA axis by 1 microg ACTH stimulation test and metyrapone test in 22 patients with PFS and in 15 age-, sex-, and body mass index (BMI)- matched controls. Metyrapone (30 mg/kg) was administered orally at 23:00 h and blood was sampled at 08:30 h the following morning for 11-deoxycortisol. ACTH stimulation test was carried out by using 1 microg (iv) ACTH as a bolus injection after an overnight fast, and blood samples were drawn at 0, 30 and 60 min. Peak cortisol level (659.4 +/- 207.2 nmol/l) was lower in the patients with PFS than peak cortisol level (838.7 +/- 129.6 nmol/l) in the control subjects (p < 0.05). Ten patients (45%) with PFS had peak cortisol responses to 1 microg ACTH test lower than the lowest peak cortisol detected in healthy controls. After metyrapone test 11-deoxycortisol level was 123.7 +/- 26 nmol/l in patients with PFS and 184.2 +/- 17.3 nmol/l in the controls (p < 0.05). Ninety five percent of the patients with PFS had lower 11-deoxycortisol level after metyrapone than the lowest 11-deoxycortisol level after metyrapone detected in healthy controls. We also compared the adrenal size of the patients with that of the healthy subjects and we found that the adrenal size between the groups was similar. This study clearly shows that HPA axis is underactivated in PFS, rather than overactivated. PMID:15053242

  11. Effects of atrazine (ATR), deisopropylatrazine (DIA), Diaminochlorotriazine (DACT) on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis in female rats

    EPA Science Inventory

    We previously reported that a single dose of the herbicide ATR stimulated the HPA axis in the male rat while equimolar doses of its primary metabolite, DACT, had a minimal effect. In this study, we evaluated the effects of one or four daily doses of ATR, DACT, and an intermediat...

  12. EFFECTS OF ATRAZINE (ATR), DEISOPROPYLATRAZINE (DIA), AND DIAMINOCHLOROTRIAZINE (DACT) ON THE HYPOTHALAMIC-PITUITARY-ADRENAL (HPA) AXIS IN FEMALE RATS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Previously we reported that a single dose of ATR herbicide stimulated HPA axis activation in the male rat while its primary metabolite, DACT, did so to a lesser extent. In this study, we evaluated the effects of ATR, DACT, and an intermediate metabolite, DIA, on adrenocorticotrop...

  13. Ewes With Divergent Cortisol Responses to ACTH Exhibit Functional Differences in the Hypothalamo-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) Axis.

    PubMed

    Hewagalamulage, Sakda D; Clarke, Iain J; Rao, Alexandra; Henry, Belinda A

    2016-09-01

    Within any population, the cortisol response to ACTH covers a considerable range. High responders (HRs) exhibit a greater cortisol secretory response to stress or ACTH, compared with individuals classified as low cortisol responders (LRs). We administered ACTH (0.2 μg/kg, iv) to 160 female sheep and selected subpopulations of animals as LR and HR. In the present study, we aimed to characterize the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis in HR and LR and to identify factors that underlie the differing cortisol responses to ACTH. Hypothalami, pituitaries, and adrenals were collected from nonstressed HR and LR ewes. Expression of genes for CRH, arginine vasopressin (AVP), oxytocin, glucocorticoid receptor, and mineralocorticoid receptor were measured by in situ hybridization in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus, and proopiomelanocortin (POMC) gene expression was measured in the anterior pituitary. Expression of CRH, AVP, and POMC was higher in HR, with no differences in either glucocorticoid receptor or mineralocorticoid receptor expression. Oxytocin expression was greater in LR. In the adrenal gland, real-time PCR analysis indicated that expression of the ACTH receptor and a range of steroidogenic enzymes was similar in HR and LR. Adrenal weights, the cortex to medulla ratio and adrenal cortisol content were also similar in LR and HR. In conclusion, LR and HR display innate differences in the steady-state expression of CRH, AVP, oxytocin, and POMC, indicating that selection for cortisol responsiveness identifies distinct subpopulations that exhibit innate differences in the gene expression/function of hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis markers. PMID:27414744

  14. Corticosterone, brain mineralocorticoid receptors (MRs) and the activity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis: the Lewis rat as an example of increased central MR capacity and a hyporesponsive HPA axis.

    PubMed

    Oitzl, M S; van Haarst, A D; Sutanto, W; de Kloet, E R

    1995-01-01

    In this study we report a series of differences in brain and peripheral elements regulating the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis between male LEW and Wistar rats. We found: (i) differential properties of mineralocorticoid receptors (MRs) and glucocorticoid receptors (GRs) in the brain (hippocampus, hypothalamus) and pituitary: LEW rats displayed an increased capacity of MRs in the hippocampus and hypothalamus and a decreased capacity of glucocorticoid receptors GRs in the pituitary. The binding affinity (Kd) for MRs and GRs in the hippocampus was comparable. (ii) Lower concentrations of corticotropin releasing hormone (CRH) mRNA were detected in the nucleus paraventricularis of the hypothalamus of LEW rats. (iii) Adrenal weight was similar in LEW and Wistar rats; however, LEW rats had about 30% less adrenocortical cells. Subjecting adrenocortical cells to increasing doses of ACTH1-24 in vitro resulted in about a 60% smaller release of corticosterone in LEW rats. (iv) LEW rats escaped dexamethasone suppression showing increased basal levels of endogenous ACTH, but responded with a comparable release of corticosterone to the IV injection of 5 ng ACTH1-24. (v) LEW rats responded to a variety of stimuli: adrenalectomy under ether anaesthesia, a novel environment, a tail nick and restraint or an immunological challenge, with lower circulating ACTH and corticosterone plasma levels than Wistar rats. (vi) Evening levels of ACTH and corticosterone were lower in LEW than Wistar rats but did not differ in the morning. Blockade of brain MRs in the evening by a central injection of the specific MR antagonist RU28318 in LEW rats resulted in increased circulating levels of ACTH and corticosterone. (vii) Levels of corticosteroid-binding proteins were lower in one-day adrenalectomized LEW rats, indicating higher levels of free corticosterone. (viii) LEW rats had a smaller thymus than Wistar rats. Taken together, the receptor binding data correspond to a decreased

  15. Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis function in the California mouse (Peromyscus californicus): Changes in baseline activity, reactivity, and fecal excretion of glucocorticoids across the diurnal cycle

    PubMed Central

    Harris, Breanna N.; Saltzman, Wendy; de Jong, Trynke R.; Milnes, Matthew R.

    2012-01-01

    The California mouse, Peromyscus californicus, is an increasingly popular animal model in behavioral, neural, and endocrine studies, but little is known about its baseline hypothalamicpituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activity or HPA responses to stressors. We characterized plasma corticosterone (CORT) concentrations in P. californicus under baseline conditions across the diurnal cycle, in response to pharmacological manipulation of the HPA axis, and in response to a variety of stressors at different times of day. In addition, we explored the use of fecal samples to monitor adrenocortical activity non-invasively. California mice have very high baseline levels of circulating CORT that change markedly over 24 hours, but that do not differ between the sexes. This species may be somewhat glucocorticoid-resistant in comparison to other rodents as a relatively high dose of dexamethasone (5 mg/kg, s.c.) was required to suppress plasma CORT for 8 h post-injection. CORT responses to stressors and ACTH injection differed with time of day, as CORT concentrations were elevated more readily during the morning (inactive period) than in the evening (active period) when compared to time-matched control. Data from 3H-CORT injection studies show that the time course for excretion of fecal CORT, or glucocorticoid metabolites, differs with time of injection. Mice injected in the evening excreted the majority of fecal radioactivity 2–4 h post-injection whereas mice injected during the morning did so at 14–16 h post-injection. Unfortunately, the antibody we used does not adequately bind the most prevalent fecal glucocorticoid metabolites and therefore we could not validate its use for fecal assays. PMID:23026495

  16. Combined effects of perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) and maternal restraint stress on hypothalamus adrenal axis (HPA) function in the offspring of mice

    SciTech Connect

    Ribes, Diana; Fuentes, Silvia; Torrente, Margarita; Colomina, M. Teresa; Domingo, Jose L.

    2010-02-15

    Although it is known that prenatal exposure to perfluorooctane sulfonate (PFOS) can cause developmental adverse effects in mammals, the disruptive effects of this compound on hormonal systems are still controversial. Information concerning the effects of PFOS on hypothalamus adrenal (HPA) axis response to stress and corticosterone levels is not currently available. On the other hand, it is well established that stress can enhance the developmental toxicity of some chemicals. In the present study, we assessed the combined effects of maternal restraint stress and PFOS on HPA axis function in the offspring of mice. Twenty plug-positive female mice were divided in two groups. Animals were given by gavage 0 and 6 mg PFOS/kg/day on gestation days 12-18. One half of the animals in each group were also subjected to restraint stress (30 min/session, 3 sessions/day) during the same period. Five plug-positive females were also included as non-manipulated controls. At 3 months of age, activity in an open-field and the stress response were evaluated in male and female mice by exposing them to 30 min of restraint stress. Male and female offspring were subsequently sacrificed and blood samples were collected to measure changes in corticosterone levels at four different moments related to stress exposure conditions: before stress exposure, immediately after 30 min of stress exposure, and recuperation levels at 60 and 90 min after stress exposure. Results indicate corticosterone levels were lower in mice prenatally exposed to restraint. In general terms, PFOS exposure decreased corticosterone levels, although this effect was only significant in females. The recuperation pattern of corticosterone was mainly affected by prenatal stress. Interactive effects between PFOS and maternal stress were sex dependent. The current results suggest that prenatal PFOS exposure induced long-lasting effects in mice.

  17. Emotional exhaustion and overcommitment to work are differentially associated with hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis responses to a low-dose ACTH1-24 (Synacthen) and dexamethasone-CRH test in healthy school teachers.

    PubMed

    Wolfram, Maren; Bellingrath, Silja; Feuerhahn, Nicolas; Kudielka, Brigitte M

    2013-01-01

    Evidence for a detrimental impact of chronic work stress on health has accumulated in epidemiological research. Recent studies indicate altered hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis regulation as a possible biological pathway underlying the link between stress and disease. However, the direction of dysregulation remains unclear, with reported HPA hyper- or hyporeactivity. To disentangle potential effects on different functional levels in the HPA axis, we examined responses using two pharmacological stimulation tests in 53 healthy teachers (31 females, 22 males; mean age: 49.3 years; age range: 30-64 years): a low-dose adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH(1-24), Synacthen) test was used to assess adrenal cortex sensitivity and the combined dexamethasone-corticotropin releasing hormone (DEX-CRH) test to examine pituitary and adrenal cortex reactivity. Blood and saliva samples were collected at - 1,+15,+30,+45,+60,+90,+120 min. Emotional exhaustion (EE), the core dimension of burnout, was measured with the Maslach Burnout Inventory. Overcommitment (OC) was assessed according to Siegrist's effort-reward-imbalance model. We found a significant association between EE and higher plasma cortisol profiles after Synacthen (p = 0.045). By contrast, OC was significantly associated with attenuated ACTH (p = 0.045), plasma cortisol (p = 0.005), and salivary cortisol (p = 0.023) concentrations following DEX-CRH. Results support the notion of altered HPA axis regulation in chronically work-stressed teachers, with differential patterns of hyper- and hyporeactivity depending on individual stress condition and the tested functional level of the HPA axis. PMID:22564145

  18. Effortful Control and Parenting: Associations with HPA Axis Reactivity in Early Childhood

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Kryski, Katie R.; Dougherty, Lea R.; Dyson, Margaret W.; Olino, Thomas M.; Laptook, Rebecca S.; Klein, Daniel N.; Hayden, Elizabeth P.

    2013-01-01

    While activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis is an adaptive response to stress, excessive HPA axis reactivity may be an important marker of childhood vulnerability to psychopathology. Parenting, including parent affect during parent-child interactions, may play an important role in shaping the developing HPA system; however,…

  19. Methamphetamine and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis

    PubMed Central

    Zuloaga, Damian G.; Jacobskind, Jason S.; Raber, Jacob

    2015-01-01

    Psychostimulants such as methamphetamine (MA) induce significant alterations in the function of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. These changes in HPA axis function are associated with altered stress-related behaviors and might contribute to addictive processes such as relapse. In this mini-review we discuss acute and chronic effects of MA (adult and developmental exposure) on the HPA axis, including effects on HPA axis associated genes/proteins, brain regions, and behaviors such as anxiety and depression. A better understanding of the mechanisms through which MA affects the HPA axis may lead to more effective treatment strategies for MA addiction. PMID:26074755

  20. HPA axis responsiveness to stress: Implications for healthy aging

    PubMed Central

    Aguilera, Greti

    2010-01-01

    The major neuroendocrine response mediating stress adaptation is activation of the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis, with stimulation of corticotropin releasing hormone (CRH) and vasopressin (VP) from parvocellular neurons of the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus, leading to stimulation of pituitary ACTH secretion and increases in glucocorticoid secretion from the adrenal cortex. Basal production and transient increases during stress of glucocorticoids and its hypothalamic regulators are essential for neuronal plasticity and normal brain function. While activation of the HPA axis is essential for survival during stress, chronic exposure to stress hormones can predispose to psychological, metabolic and immune alterations. Thus, prompt termination of the stress response is essential to prevent negative effects of inappropriate levels of CRH and glucocorticoids. This review addresses the regulation of HPA axis activity with emphasis on the mechanisms of termination of CRH transcription, which is a critical step in this process. In addition, the actions by which glucocorticoids, CRH and VP can affect the aging process will be discussed. PMID:20833240

  1. Association of HPA axis genes with suicidal behaviour in schizophrenia.

    PubMed

    De Luca, V; Tharmalingam, S; Zai, C; Potapova, N; Strauss, J; Vincent, J; Kennedy, J L

    2010-05-01

    Family, adoption and twin studies show that genetics influences suicidal behaviour, but do not indicate specific susceptibility variants. Stress response is thought to be mediated by the corticotrophin-releasing hormone (CRH), which is known to be a regulator of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal pathway (HPA). Alterations in HPA system have been related to impulsivity, aggression and suicidal behaviour, common feature in schizophrenia. CRH is the hypothalamic factor that stimulates the pituitary gland. To search for markers conferring genetic susceptibility to suicide, we typed six HPA axis genes (CRH, CRHR1, CRHR2, CRHBP, MC2R, NC3R1) in a cohort of 231 subjects with schizophrenia in which 81 attempted suicide. The genotype analyses yielded significant association between CRH binding protein (CRHBP) and suicide attempt (P = 0.035). The genotype analysis for quantitative measures of suicidal behaviour showed no association. The interaction analysis showed a significant interaction between CRH receptor type 1 (CRHR1) and CRH binding protein (CRHBP) in influencing suicide attempt and the severity of suicidal behaviour. Current results show that genetic variation in HPA axis genes could be associated with suicidal behaviour in schizophrenia. This is to our knowledge the first study on suicidal behaviour investigating the interaction among the HPA axis genes. PMID:18838498

  2. Adolescent Survivors of Hurricane Katrina: A Pilot Study of Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis Functioning

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Pfefferbaum, Betty; Tucker, Phebe; Nitiéma, Pascal

    2015-01-01

    Background: The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis constitutes an important biological component of the stress response commonly studied through the measurement of cortisol. Limited research has examined HPA axis dysregulation in youth exposed to disasters. Objective: This study examined HPA axis activation in adolescent Hurricane Katrina…

  3. Distress calls of the greater short-nosed fruit bat Cynopterus sphinx activate hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis in conspecifics.

    PubMed

    Mariappan, Subramanian; Bogdanowicz, Wieslaw; Marimuthu, Ganapathy; Rajan, Koilmani Emmanuvel

    2013-09-01

    In a stressful situation, greater short-nosed fruit bats (Cynopterus sphinx) emit audible vocalization either to warn or to inform conspecifics. We examined the effect of distress calls on bats emitting the call as well as the bats receiving the distress signal through analysis of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and catacholaminargic systems. We measured the levels of neurotransmitters [serotonin (5-HT), dopamine (DA), norepinephrine (NE)] and stress hormones [(adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and corticosterone (CORT)]. Our results showed that distress call emission elevated the level of ACTH and CORT, as well as 5-HT, DA and NE in the amygdala, for both the call emitting bat and the responding bat. Subsequently, we observed increased activity of glucocorticoid receptor and its steroid receptor co-activator (SRC-1). An expression of SRC-1 was up-regulated in the distress call emitter only, whereas it was at a similar level in both the call responder and silent bats. These findings suggest that bats emitting distress calls and also bats responding to such calls have similar neurotransmitter expression patterns, and may react similarly in response to stress. PMID:23832467

  4. Gonadal steroid hormones and the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis.

    PubMed

    Handa, Robert J; Weiser, Michael J

    2014-04-01

    The hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis represents a complex neuroendocrine feedback loop controlling the secretion of adrenal glucocorticoid hormones. Central to its function is the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus (PVN) where neurons expressing corticotropin releasing factor reside. These HPA motor neurons are a primary site of integration leading to graded endocrine responses to physical and psychological stressors. An important regulatory factor that must be considered, prior to generating an appropriate response is the animal's reproductive status. Thus, PVN neurons express androgen and estrogen receptors and receive input from sites that also express these receptors. Consequently, changes in reproduction and gonadal steroid levels modulate the stress response and this underlies sex differences in HPA axis function. This review examines the make up of the HPA axis and hypothalamo-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis and the interactions between the two that should be considered when exploring normal and pathological responses to environmental stressors. PMID:24246855

  5. The HPA axis in HIV-1 infection.

    PubMed

    Kumar, Mahendra; Kumar, Adarsh M; Waldrop, Drenna; Antoni, Michael H; Schneiderman, Neil; Eisdorfer, Carl

    2002-10-01

    Several lines of evidence suggest that neuroendocrine abnormalities in general and HPA axis activity in particular occur in both HIV-1 infection and individuals engaging in chronic drug use. For instance, our studies showing attenuated norepinephrine as well as ACTH and cortisol responses to a cold pressor challenge in asymptomatic HIV-1 persons support such a concept. Furthermore, our data on investigations on mirror-star tracing and speech challenges also support the finding that neuroendocrine responses are compromised in HIV-1 infection. Although the mechanisms leading to adverse effects on HPA axis activity in HIV infection are not fully understood, several lines of evidence suggest that a number of mechanisms may be involved, including homologies in molecular structures of various mediators of neuroendocrine activity and HIV-related structures, HIV as a chronic stress model, and virus-induced toxic factors. This article reviews our recent findings in this area and also presents research hypotheses needed for testing and understanding the mechanisms involved in the development of neuroendocrine abnormalities in HIV-1-infected injection drug users. PMID:12394788

  6. HPA axis dysregulation in men with hypersexual disorder.

    PubMed

    Chatzittofis, Andreas; Arver, Stefan; Öberg, Katarina; Hallberg, Jonas; Nordström, Peter; Jokinen, Jussi

    2016-01-01

    Hypersexual disorder integrating pathophysiological aspects such as sexual desire deregulation, sexual addiction, impulsivity and compulsivity was suggested as a diagnosis for the DSM-5. However, little is known about the neurobiology behind this disorder. A dysregulation of the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis has been shown in psychiatric disorders but has not been investigated in hypersexual disorder. The aim of this study was to investigate the function of the HPA axis in hypersexual disorder. The study includes 67 male patients with hypersexual disorder and 39 healthy male volunteers. Basal morning plasma levels of cortisol and ACTH were assessed and low dose (0.5mg) dexamethasone suppression test was performed with cortisol and ACTH measured post dexamethasone administration. Non-suppression status was defined with DST-cortisol levels ≥ 138 nmol/l. The Sexual Compulsive scale (SCS), Hypersexual disorder current assessment scale (HD:CAS), Montgomery-Åsberg Depression Scale-self rating (MADRS-S) and Childhood trauma questionnaire (CTQ), were used for assessing hypersexual behavior, depression severity and early life adversity. Patients with hypersexual disorder were significantly more often DST non-suppressors and had significantly higher DST-ACTH levels compared to healthy volunteers. The patients reported significantly more childhood trauma and depression symptoms compared to healthy volunteers. CTQ scores showed a significant negative correlation with DST-ACTH whereas SCS and HD:CAS scores showed a negative correlation with baseline cortisol in patients. The diagnosis of hypersexual disorder was significantly associated DST non-suppression and higher plasma DST-ACTH even when adjusted for childhood trauma. The results suggest HPA axis dysregulation in male patients with hypersexual disorder. PMID:26519779

  7. Role of Paraventricular Nucleus Glutamate Signaling in Regulation of HPA Axis Stress Responses

    PubMed Central

    Evanson, Nathan K.; Herman, James P.

    2015-01-01

    The hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis is the main neuroendocrine arm of the stress response, activation of which leads to the production of glucocorticoid hormones. Glucocorticoids are steroid hormones that are secreted from the adrenal cortex, and have a variety of effects on the body, including modulation of the immune system, suppression of reproductive hormones maintenance of blood glucose levels, and maintenance of blood pressure. Glutamate plays an important role in coordination of HPA axis output. There is strong evidence that glutamate drives HPA axis stress responses through excitatory signaling via ionotropic glutamate receptor signaling. However, glutamate signaling via kainate receptors and group I metabotropic receptors inhibit HPA drive, probably via presynaptic inhibitory mechanisms. Notably, kainate receptors are also localized in the median eminence, and appear to play an excitatory role in control of CRH release at the nerve terminals. Finally, glutamate innervation of the PVN undergoes neuroplastic changes under conditions of chronic stress, and may be involved in sensitization of HPA axis responses. Altogether, the data suggest that glutamate plays a complex role in excitation of CRH neurons, acting at multiple levels to both drive HPA axis responses and limit over-activation. PMID:26472933

  8. In Search of HPA Axis Dysregulation in Child and Adolescent Depression

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Guerry, John D.; Hastings, Paul D.

    2011-01-01

    Dysregulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis in adults with major depressive disorder is among the most consistent and robust biological findings in psychiatry. Given the importance of the adolescent transition to the development and recurrence of depressive phenomena over the lifespan, it is important to have an integrative…

  9. The relationship between basal and acute HPA axis activity and aggressive behavior in adults

    PubMed Central

    Bertsch, Katja; Kruk, Menno R.; Naumann, Ewald

    2010-01-01

    The hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis seems to play a major role in the development, elicitation, and enhancement of aggressive behavior in animals. Increasing evidence suggests that this is also true for humans. However, most human research on the role of the HPA axis in aggression has been focusing on highly aggressive children and adolescent clinical samples. Here, we report on a study of the role of basal and acute HPA axis activity in a sample of 20 healthy male and female adults. We used the Taylor Aggression Paradigm to induce and measure aggression. We assessed the cortisol awakening response as a trait measure of basal HPA axis activity. Salivary free cortisol measures for the cortisol awakening response were obtained on three consecutive weekdays immediately following awakening and 30, 45, and 60 min after. Half of the subjects were provoked with the Taylor Aggression Paradigm to behave aggressively; the other half was not provoked. Acute HPA axis activity was measured four times, once before and three times after the induction of aggression. Basal cortisol levels were significantly and negatively related to aggressive behavior in the provoked group and explained 67% of the behavioral variance. Cortisol levels following the induction of aggression were significantly higher in the provoked group when baseline levels were taken into account. The data implicate that the HPA axis is not only relevant to the expression of aggressive behavior in clinical groups, but also to a large extent in healthy ones. PMID:20333417

  10. Seizure-induced disinhibition of the HPA axis increases seizure susceptibility

    PubMed Central

    O'Toole, Kate K.; Hooper, Andrew; Wakefield, Seth; Maguire, Jamie

    2013-01-01

    Stress is the most commonly reported precipitating factor for seizures. The proconvulsant actions of stress hormones are thought to mediate the effects of stress on seizure susceptibility. Interestingly, epileptic patients have increased basal levels of stress hormones, including corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) and corticosterone, which are further increased following seizures. Given the proconvulsant actions of stress hormones, we proposed that seizure-induced activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis may contribute to future seizure susceptibility. Consistent with this hypothesis, our data demonstrate that pharmacological induction of seizures in mice with kainic acid or pilocarpine increases circulating levels of the stress hormone, corticosterone, and exogenous corticosterone administration is sufficient to increase seizure susceptibility. However, the mechanism(s) whereby seizures activate the HPA axis remain unknown. Here we demonstrate that seizure-induced activation of the HPA axis involves compromised GABAergic control of CRH neurons, which govern HPA axis function. Following seizure activity, there is a collapse of the chloride gradient due to changes in NKCC1 and KCC2 expression, resulting in reduced amplitude of sIPSPs and even depolarizing effects of GABA on CRH neurons. Seizure-induced activation of the HPA axis results in future seizure susceptibility which can be blocked by treatment with an NKCC1 inhibitor, bumetanide, or blocking the CRH signaling with Antalarmin. These data suggest that compromised GABAergic control of CRH neurons following an initial seizure event may cause hyperexcitability of the HPA axis and increase future seizure susceptibility. PMID:24225328

  11. Chronic HPA Axis Response to Stress in Temporomandibular Disorder

    PubMed Central

    Lambert, Cynthia A.; Sanders, Anne; Wilder, Rebecca S.; Slade, Gary D.; Van Uum, Stan; Russell, Evan; Koren, Gideon; Maixner, William

    2016-01-01

    Purpose Perceived stress is associated with temporomandibular disorder (TMD), but whether cortisol levels are elevated in individuals with TMD is unknown. We hypothesized that cortisol concentration, a biomarker of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis function, was elevated in TMD cases relative to controls, and that perceived stress was positively correlated with cortisol concentration. Methods In this case control study, TMD case status was determined by examiners using TMD Research Diagnostic Criteria. Participants (n=116) aged 18 to 59 years were recruited from within a 50 mile radius of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Following examination, cases (n=45) and controls (n=71) completed the 14-item Perceived Stress Scale using a reference interval of the past 3 months. Approximately 100 strands of hair were cut from the posterior vertex segment of their scalp. The 3 centimeters of hair most proximal to the scalp was analyzed with a commercially available salivary cortisol enzyme immunoassay adapted for hair cortisol. This length corresponds to the last 3 months of systemic HPA axis activity. Results TMD cases perceived higher stress than controls (p=0.001). However, hair cortisol concentration was lower in TMD cases than controls (p<0.001). The correlation coefficient revealed a weak negative relationship (r=−0.188) between perceived stress and hair cortisol concentration (p=0.044). In analysis stratified by case status, the relationship of perceived stress and hair cortisol concentration was non-significant for cases (p=0.169) and controls (p=0.498). Conclusion Despite greater perceived stress, TMD cases had lower hair cortisol concentrations than controls and the 2 measures of stress were weakly and negatively correlated. PMID:25071145

  12. Differential associations between childhood trauma subtypes and adolescent HPA-axis functioning

    PubMed Central

    Kuhlman, Kate R.; Geiss, Elisa G.; Vargas, Ivan; Lopez-Duran, Nestor L.

    2015-01-01

    Summary Studies examining the association between childhood trauma exposure and neuroendocrine functioning have returned inconsistent findings. To date, few studies have accounted for the role exposure to different types of childhood trauma may have on different neuroendocrine adaptations, and no study has examined this association using multiple indices of hypothalamic—pituitary—adrenal axis (HPA-axis) functioning. The purpose of this study was to characterize the unique associations between exposure to physical abuse, emotional abuse, and non-intentional trauma, and multiple indices of HPA-axis functioning. Methods A community sample of 138 youth (aged 9—16) completed the Socially Evaluated Cold Pressor Task (SE-CPT) while their parents completed the Early Trauma Inventory (ETI). All youth then collected 4 diurnal salivary cortisol samples at home across 2 consecutive weekdays. Results High reported exposure to non-intentional trauma was associated with intact diurnal regulation but elevated cortisol at bedtime, physical abuse was associated with faster reactivity to acute stress, and emotional abuse was associated with delayed recovery of cortisol following acute stress. Taken together, there was a heterogeneous relationship among different indices of HPA-axis functioning and trauma subtype. Discussion Different types of childhood trauma exposure are related to distinct anomalies in HPA-axis functioning. This study underscores the importance of research incorporating multiple indices of HPA-axis functioning to inform our understanding of the underlying neuroendocrine dysregulation that may later lead to stress-related psychopathology. PMID:25704913

  13. Genetic Approaches to Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis Regulation.

    PubMed

    Arnett, Melinda G; Muglia, Lisa M; Laryea, Gloria; Muglia, Louis J

    2016-01-01

    The normal function of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, and resultant glucocorticoid (GC) secretion, is essential for human health. Disruption of GC regulation is associated with pathologic, psychological, and physiological disease states such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, hypertension, diabetes, and osteopenia, among others. As such, understanding the mechanisms by which HPA output is tightly regulated in its responses to environmental stressors and circadian cues has been an active area of investigation for decades. Over the last 20 years, however, advances in gene targeting and genome modification in rodent models have allowed the detailed dissection of roles for key molecular mediators and brain regions responsible for this control in vivo to emerge. Here, we summarize work done to elucidate the function of critical neuropeptide systems, GC-signaling targets, and inflammation-associated pathways in HPA axis regulation and behavior, and highlight areas for future investigation. PMID:26189452

  14. Neural correlates of parent–child HPA axis coregulation

    PubMed Central

    Saxbe, Darby; Piero, Larissa Del; Margolin, Gayla

    2015-01-01

    Parents and children have been found to show coordination or coregulation of the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis. This coordination may be reflected in adolescents' neural activation to parent stimuli, particularly in regions of the brain associated with social information processing. This study reports on 22 adolescents (13 males, mean age 17 years), recruited from a longitudinal study to participate in a functional MRI (fMRI) scanning protocol. Approximately 1.5 years before the scan, these same adolescents participated in a family conflict discussion in the lab with both parents, and all three family members provided samples of salivary cortisol five times, before and after the discussion. Multilevel models found positive cross-sectional and time-lagged associations between parents' and youth cortisol. Empirical Bayes (EB) coefficients, extracted from these models to reflect the strength of the relationship between parent and adolescent cortisol, were tested in conjunction with adolescents' neural activation to video clips of their parents taken from the conflict discussion. For both mothers and fathers, youth who showed stronger cortisol coregulation with each parent (both in cross-sectional and time-lagged analyses) showed more activation to that same parent in posteromedial regions (precuneus, posterior cingulate, and retrosplenial cortex) that have been linked with social cognition, e.g. mentalizing about others' emotions. Youths' adrenocortical coregulation with their parents may be reflected in their neural processing of stimuli featuring those same parents. PMID:26188122

  15. HPA-Axis Hormone Modulation of Stress Response Circuitry Activity in Women with Remitted Major Depression

    PubMed Central

    Holsen, Laura M.; Lancaster, Katie; Klibanski, Anne; Whitfield-Gabrieli, Susan; Cherkerzian, Sara; Buka, Stephen; Goldstein, Jill M.

    2013-01-01

    Decades of clinical and basic research indicate significant links between altered hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA)-axis hormone dynamics and major depressive disorder (MDD). Recent neuroimaging studies of MDD highlight abnormalities in stress response circuitry regions which play a role in the regulation of the HPA-axes. However, there is a dearth of research examining these systems in parallel, especially as related to potential trait characteristics. The current study addresses this gap by investigating neural responses to a mild visual stress challenge with real-time assessment of adrenal hormones in women with MDD in remission and controls. 15 women with recurrent MDD in remission (rMDD) and 15 healthy control women were scanned on a 3T Siemens MR scanner while viewing neutral and negative (stress-evoking) stimuli. Blood samples were obtained before, during, and after scanning for measurement of HPA-axis hormone levels. Compared to controls, rMDD women demonstrated higher anxiety ratings, increased cortisol levels, and hyperactivation in the amygdala and hippocampus, p<0.05, FWE-corrected in response to the stress challenge. Among rMDD women, amygdala activation was negatively related to cortisol changes and positively associated with duration of remission. Findings presented here provide evidence for differential effects of altered HPA-axis hormone dynamics on hyperactivity in stress response circuitry regions elicited by a well-validated stress paradigm in women with recurrent MDD in remission. PMID:23891965

  16. Dynamics of the HPA axis and inflammatory cytokines: Insights from mathematical modeling.

    PubMed

    Malek, Hamed; Ebadzadeh, Mohammad Mehdi; Safabakhsh, Reza; Razavi, Alireza; Zaringhalam, Jalal

    2015-12-01

    In the work presented here, a novel mathematical model was developed to explore the bi-directional communication between the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and inflammatory cytokines in acute inflammation. The dynamic model consists of five delay differential equations 5D for two main pro-inflammatory cytokines (TNF-α and IL-6) and two hormones of the HPA axis (ACTH and cortisol) and LPS endotoxin. The model is an attempt to increase the understanding of the role of primary hormones and cytokines in this complex relationship by demonstrating the influence of different organs and hormones in the regulation of the inflammatory response. The model captures the main qualitative features of cytokine and hormone dynamics when a toxic challenge is introduced. Moreover, in this work a new simple delayed model of the HPA axis is introduced which supports the understanding of the ultradian rhythm of HPA hormones both in normal and infection conditions. Through simulations using the model, the role of key inflammatory cytokines and cortisol in transition from acute to persistent inflammation through stability analysis is investigated. Also, by employing a Markov chain Monte Carlo (MCMC) method, parameter uncertainty and the effects of parameter variations on each other are analyzed. This model confirms the important role of the HPA axis in acute and prolonged inflammation and can be a useful tool in further investigation of the role of stress on the immune response to infectious diseases. PMID:26476562

  17. Inhaled corticosteroids and HPA axis suppression: how important is it and how should it be managed?

    PubMed

    Rao Bondugulapati, L N; Rees, D A

    2016-08-01

    Inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) are established as a cornerstone of management for patients with bronchoconstrictive lung disease. However, systemic absorption may lead to suppression of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis in a significant minority of patients. This is more likely in 'higher risk' patients exposed to high cumulative ICS doses, and in those treated with frequent oral corticosteroids or drugs which inhibit cytochrome p450 3A4. Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis suppression is frequently unrecognized, such that some patients, notably children, only come to light when an adrenal crisis is precipitated by physical stress. To minimize this risk, 'higher risk' patients and those with previously identified suppressed cortisol responses to Synacthen testing should undergo an education programme to inform them about sick day rules. A review of ICS therapy should also be undertaken to ensure that the dose administered is the minimum required to control symptoms. PMID:27038017

  18. Evaluation of the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis Function in Childhood and Adolescence

    PubMed Central

    Chrousos, George P.; Kino, Tomoshige; Charmandari, Evangelia

    2009-01-01

    The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis plays an important role in the maintenance of basal and stress-related homeostasis. The hypothalamus controls the secretion of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) from the anterior pituitary, which in turn stimulates the secretion of glucocorticoids from the adrenal cortex. Glucocorticoids, the final effectors of the HPA axis, regulate a broad spectrum of physiologic functions essential for life and exert their effects through their ubiquitously distributed intracellular receptors. Alterations in the activity of the HPA axis may present with symptoms and signs of glucocorticoid deficiency or excess. Detailed endocrinologic evaluation is of primary importance in determining the diagnosis and/or etiology of the underlying condition. We review the most common endocrinologic investigations used in the evaluation of the HPA axis integrity and function. PMID:19571588

  19. Charcterization of the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis Response to Atrazine and Metabolites in the Female Rat

    EPA Science Inventory

    Atrazine (ATR) has recently been shown to activate the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis in rodents. The current study investigated the effect of ATR and two of its chlorinated metabolites, desisopropylatrazine (DIA) and diamino-s-chlorotriazine (DACT), on the HPA axis in...

  20. Does HPA-Axis Dysregulation Account for the Effects of Income on Effortful Control and Adjustment in Preschool Children?

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lengua, Liliana J.; Zalewski, Maureen; Fisher, Phil; Moran, Lyndsey

    2013-01-01

    The effects of low income on children's adjustment might be accounted for by disruptions to hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA)-axis activity and to the development of effortful control. Using longitudinal data and a community sample of preschool-age children (N?=?306, 36-39?months) and their mothers, recruited to over-represent low-income…

  1. Hypothalamic Pituitary Adrenal Axis Functioning in Reactive and Proactive Aggression in Children

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Lopez-Duran, Nestor L.; Olson, Sheryl L.; Hajal, Nastassia J.; Felt, Barbara T.; Vazquez, Delia M.

    2009-01-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine the association between hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA-axis) reactivity and proactive and reactive aggression in pre-pubertal children. After a 30-min controlled base line period, 73 7-year-old children (40 males and 33 females) were randomly assigned to one of two experimental tasks designed to…

  2. Daily family stress and HPA axis functioning during adolescence: The moderating role of sleep.

    PubMed

    Chiang, Jessica J; Tsai, Kim M; Park, Heejung; Bower, Julienne E; Almeida, David M; Dahl, Ronald E; Irwin, Michael R; Seeman, Teresa E; Fuligni, Andrew J

    2016-09-01

    The present study examined the moderating role of sleep in the association between family demands and conflict and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis functioning in a sample of ethnically diverse adolescents (n=316). Adolescents completed daily diary reports of family demands and conflict for 15 days, and wore actigraph watches during the first 8 nights to assess sleep. Participants also provided five saliva samples for 3 consecutive days to assess diurnal cortisol rhythms. Regression analyses indicated that sleep latency and efficiency moderated the link between family demands and the cortisol awakening response. Specifically, family demands were related to a smaller cortisol awakening response only among adolescents with longer sleep latency and lower sleep efficiency. These results suggest that certain aspects of HPA axis functioning may be sensitive to family demands primarily in the context of longer sleep latency and lower sleep efficiency. PMID:27235639

  3. Blunted HPA axis response to stress is related to a persistent Dysregulation Profile in youth.

    PubMed

    Ayer, Lynsay; Greaves-Lord, Kirstin; Althoff, Robert R; Hudziak, James J; Dieleman, Gwendolyn C; Verhulst, Frank C; van der Ende, Jan

    2013-07-01

    The Child Behavior Checklist Dysregulation Profile (DP) in youth has been shown to be a predictor of psychopathology later in life. We examined the activity of the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis in youth with remitted, new, persistent, and no DP. Data from 489 youth (47% boys) participating in a Dutch longitudinal general population study were included (Wave 1 mean age=11.5, Wave 2=14.2). Wave 2 diurnal cortisol patterns and levels in response to a laboratory stress paradigm were compared in youth with DP at Wave 1 only, Wave 2 only, both Waves, and neither Wave. Youth with the DP at Wave 2 only or at both time points showed blunted cortisol responses to stress relative to the other two groups. There were no group or sex differences in diurnal cortisol activity. More research is needed to determine how the association between DP symptoms and HPA axis functioning changes over time. PMID:23603315

  4. Suppression of the HPA Axis During Cholestasis Can Be Attributed to Hypothalamic Bile Acid Signaling.

    PubMed

    McMillin, Matthew; Frampton, Gabriel; Quinn, Matthew; Divan, Ali; Grant, Stephanie; Patel, Nisha; Newell-Rogers, Karen; DeMorrow, Sharon

    2015-12-01

    Suppression of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis has been shown to occur during cholestatic liver injury. Furthermore, we have demonstrated that in a model of cholestasis, serum bile acids gain entry into the brain via a leaky blood brain barrier and that hypothalamic bile acid content is increased. Therefore, the aim of the current study was to determine the effects of bile acid signaling on the HPA axis. The data presented show that HPA axis suppression during cholestatic liver injury, specifically circulating corticosterone levels and hypothalamic corticotropin releasing hormone (CRH) expression, can be attenuated by administration of the bile acid sequestrant cholestyramine. Secondly, treatment of hypothalamic neurons with various bile acids suppressed CRH expression and secretion in vitro. However, in vivo HPA axis suppression was only evident after the central injection of the bile acids taurocholic acid or glycochenodeoxycholic acid but not the other bile acids studied. Furthermore, we demonstrate that taurocholic acid and glycochenodeoxycholic acid are exerting their effects on hypothalamic CRH expression after their uptake through the apical sodium-dependent bile acid transporter and subsequent activation of the glucocorticoid receptor. Taken together with previous studies, our data support the hypothesis that during cholestatic liver injury, bile acids gain entry into the brain, are transported into neurons through the apical sodium-dependent bile acid transporter and can activate the glucocorticoid receptor to suppress the HPA axis. These data also lend themselves to the broader hypothesis that bile acids may act as central modulators of hypothalamic peptides that may be altered during liver disease. PMID:26431088

  5. Relationships between psychological distress, coping styles, and HPA axis reactivity in healthy adults.

    PubMed

    Hori, Hiroaki; Ozeki, Yuji; Teraishi, Toshiya; Matsuo, Junko; Kawamoto, Yumiko; Kinoshita, Yukiko; Suto, Shiho; Terada, Sumio; Higuchi, Teruhiko; Kunugi, Hiroshi

    2010-10-01

    Psychological distress and coping styles have been suggested to relate to altered function in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, although there remains much to be understood about their relationships. High and low cortisol levels (or reactivity) both represent HPA axis dysfunction, with accumulated evidence suggesting that they are linked to different types of psychopathology. The dexamethasone (DEX)/corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) test has been extensively used to identify HPA axis abnormalities in various psychiatric conditions including mood disorders; however, the possible associations of psychological distress and coping styles with HPA axis function have not been well documented using this test. Here, we examined the relationships of HPA axis reactivity as measured by the DEX/CRH test with subjectively perceived psychological distress and coping styles, both of which were assessed with self-report questionnaires, in 121 healthy volunteers. Subjects were divided into three groups by the cortisol suppression pattern, namely the incomplete-suppressors (DST-Cortisol ≥ 5 μg/dL or DEX/CRH-Cortisol ≥ 5 μg/dL), moderate-suppressors (DST-Cortisol < 5 μg/dL and 1 μg/dL ≤ DEX/CRH -Cortisol < 5 μg/dL), and enhanced-suppressors (DST-Cortisol < 5 μg/dL and DEX/CRH-Cortisol < 1 μg/dL). The enhanced-suppressors showed significantly higher scores in obsessive-compulsive, interpersonal sensitivity and anxiety symptoms and significantly more frequent use of avoidant coping strategy, compared to the other two groups. These results point to the important role of enhanced suppression of cortisol, or blunted cortisol reactivity, in non-clinical psychopathology such as avoidant coping strategy and greater psychological distress. PMID:20334880

  6. Chronic activation of NPFFR2 stimulates the stress-related depressive behaviors through HPA axis modulation.

    PubMed

    Lin, Ya-Tin; Liu, Tzu-Yu; Yang, Ching-Yao; Yu, Yu-Lian; Chen, Ting-Chun; Day, Yuan-Ji; Chang, Che-Chien; Huang, Guo-Jen; Chen, Jin-Chung

    2016-09-01

    Neuropeptide FF (NPFF) is a morphine-modulating peptide that regulates the analgesic effect of opioids, and also controls food consumption and cardiovascular function through its interaction with two cognate receptors, NPFFR1 and NPFFR2. In the present study, we explore a novel modulatory role for NPFF-NPFFR2 in stress-related depressive behaviors. In a mouse model of chronic mild stress (CMS)-induced depression, the expression of NPFF significantly increased in the hypothalamus, hippocampus, medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) and amygdala. In addition, transgenic (Tg) mice over-expressing NPFFR2 displayed clear depression and anxiety-like behaviors with hyperactivity in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, reduced expression of glucocorticoid receptor (GR) and neurogenesis in the hippocampus. Furthermore, acute treatment of NPFFR2 agonists in wild-type (WT) mice enhanced the activity of the HPA axis, and chronic administration resulted in depressive and anxiety-like behaviors. Chronic stimulation of NPFFR2 also decreased the expression of hippocampal GR and led to persistent activation of the HPA axis. Strikingly, bilateral intra-paraventricular nucleus (PVN) injection of NPFFR2 shRNA predominately inhibits the depressive-like behavior in CMS-exposed mice. Antidepressants, fluoxetine and ketamine, effectively relieved the depressive behaviors of NPFFR2-Tg mice. We speculate that persistent NPFFR2 activation, in particular in the hypothalamus, up-regulates the HPA axis and results in long-lasting increases in circulating corticosterone (CORT), consequently damaging hippocampal function. This novel role of NPFFR2 in regulating the HPA axis and hippocampal function provides a new avenue for combating depression and anxiety-like disorder. PMID:27243477

  7. Activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal stress axis induces cellular oxidative stress

    PubMed Central

    Spiers, Jereme G.; Chen, Hsiao-Jou Cortina; Sernia, Conrad; Lavidis, Nickolas A.

    2015-01-01

    Glucocorticoids released from the adrenal gland in response to stress-induced activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis induce activity in the cellular reduction-oxidation (redox) system. The redox system is a ubiquitous chemical mechanism allowing the transfer of electrons between donor/acceptors and target molecules during oxidative phosphorylation while simultaneously maintaining the overall cellular environment in a reduced state. The objective of this review is to present an overview of the current literature discussing the link between HPA axis-derived glucocorticoids and increased oxidative stress, particularly focussing on the redox changes observed in the hippocampus following glucocorticoid exposure. PMID:25646076

  8. Evidence for a Role of Adolescent Endocannabinoid Signaling in Regulating HPA Axis Stress Responsivity and Emotional Behavior Development.

    PubMed

    Lee, Tiffany T-Y; Gorzalka, Boris B

    2015-01-01

    Adolescence is a period characterized by many distinct physical, behavioral, and neural changes during the transition from child- to adulthood. In particular, adolescent neural changes often confer greater plasticity and flexibility, yet with this comes the potential for heightened vulnerability to external perturbations such as stress exposure or recreational drug use. There is substantial evidence to suggest that factors such as adolescent stress exposure have longer lasting and sometimes more deleterious effects on an organism than stress exposure during adulthood. Moreover, the adolescent neuroendocrine response to stress exposure is different from that of adults, suggesting that further maturation of the adolescent hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis is required. The endocannabinoid (eCB) system is a potential candidate underlying these age-dependent differences given that it is an important regulator of the adult HPA axis and neuronal development. Therefore, this review will focus on (1) the functionality of the adolescent HPA axis, (2) eCB regulation of the adult HPA axis, (3) dynamic changes in eCB signaling during the adolescent period, (4) the effects of adolescent stress exposure on the eCB system, and (5) modulation of HPA axis activity and emotional behavior by adolescent cannabinoid treatment. Collectively, the emerging picture suggests that the eCB system mediates interactions between HPA axis stress responsivity, emotionality, and maturational stage. These findings may be particularly relevant to our understanding of the development of affective disorders and the risks of adolescent cannabis consumption on emotional health and stress responsivity. PMID:26638764

  9. Magnesium deficiency induces anxiety and HPA axis dysregulation: Modulation by therapeutic drug treatment

    PubMed Central

    Sartori, S.B.; Whittle, N.; Hetzenauer, A.; Singewald, N.

    2012-01-01

    Preclinical and some clinical studies suggest a relationship between perturbation in magnesium (Mg2+) homeostasis and pathological anxiety, although the underlying mechanisms remain largely unknown. Since there is evidence that Mg2+ modulates the hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis, we tested whether enhanced anxiety-like behaviour can be reliably elicited by dietary Mg2+ deficiency and whether Mg2+ deficiency is associated with altered HPA axis function. Compared with controls, Mg2+ deficient mice did indeed display enhanced anxiety-related behaviour in a battery of established anxiety tests. The enhanced anxiety-related behaviour of Mg2+ deficient mice was sensitive to chronic desipramine treatment in the hyponeophagia test and to acute diazepam treatment in the open arm exposure test. Mg2+ deficiency caused an increase in the transcription of the corticotropin releasing hormone in the paraventricular hypothalamic nucleus (PVN), and elevated ACTH plasma levels, pointing to an enhanced set-point of the HPA axis. Chronic treatment with desipramine reversed the identified abnormalities of the stress axis. Functional mapping of neuronal activity using c-Fos revealed hyper-excitability in the PVN of anxious Mg2+ deficient mice and its normalisation through diazepam treatment. Overall, the present findings demonstrate the robustness and validity of the Mg2+ deficiency model as a mouse model of enhanced anxiety, showing sensitivity to treatment with anxiolytics and antidepressants. It is further suggested that dysregulations in the HPA axis may contribute to the hyper-emotionality in response to dietary induced hypomagnesaemia. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled ‘Anxiety and Depression’. PMID:21835188

  10. Magnesium deficiency induces anxiety and HPA axis dysregulation: modulation by therapeutic drug treatment.

    PubMed

    Sartori, S B; Whittle, N; Hetzenauer, A; Singewald, N

    2012-01-01

    Preclinical and some clinical studies suggest a relationship between perturbation in magnesium (Mg(2+)) homeostasis and pathological anxiety, although the underlying mechanisms remain largely unknown. Since there is evidence that Mg(2+) modulates the hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis, we tested whether enhanced anxiety-like behaviour can be reliably elicited by dietary Mg(2+) deficiency and whether Mg(2+) deficiency is associated with altered HPA axis function. Compared with controls, Mg(2+) deficient mice did indeed display enhanced anxiety-related behaviour in a battery of established anxiety tests. The enhanced anxiety-related behaviour of Mg(2+) deficient mice was sensitive to chronic desipramine treatment in the hyponeophagia test and to acute diazepam treatment in the open arm exposure test. Mg(2+) deficiency caused an increase in the transcription of the corticotropin releasing hormone in the paraventricular hypothalamic nucleus (PVN), and elevated ACTH plasma levels, pointing to an enhanced set-point of the HPA axis. Chronic treatment with desipramine reversed the identified abnormalities of the stress axis. Functional mapping of neuronal activity using c-Fos revealed hyper-excitability in the PVN of anxious Mg(2+) deficient mice and its normalisation through diazepam treatment. Overall, the present findings demonstrate the robustness and validity of the Mg(2+) deficiency model as a mouse model of enhanced anxiety, showing sensitivity to treatment with anxiolytics and antidepressants. It is further suggested that dysregulations in the HPA axis may contribute to the hyper-emotionality in response to dietary induced hypomagnesaemia. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'Anxiety and Depression'. PMID:21835188

  11. Burnout Is Associated with Reduced Parasympathetic Activity and Reduced HPA Axis Responsiveness, Predominantly in Males

    PubMed Central

    de Vente, Wieke; van Amsterdam, Jan G. C.; Olff, Miranda; Kamphuis, Jan H.; Emmelkamp, Paul M. G.

    2015-01-01

    There is mounting evidence that burnout is a risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD). Stress-related dysregulation of the sympathetic and parasympathetic system and the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis may explain the enhanced risk for CVD. To test this hypothesis, 55 patients (34 males and 21 females) with burnout on sickness absence and 40 healthy participants (16 males and 24 females) were exposed to a psychosocial stressor consisting of mental arithmetic and public speech. Physiological variables (i.e., blood pressure, heart rate, cardiac output, vascular resistance, cortisol, and alpha-amylase) were measured. Basal levels, reactivity, and recovery were compared between groups. In male patients, baseline systolic blood pressure was higher, whereas basal alpha-amylase and cortisol reactivity were lower than in healthy males. In female patients, a tendency for lower basal cortisol was found as compared to healthy females. Furthermore, reduced basal heart rate variability and a trend for elevated basal cardiac output were observed in both male and female patients. Burnout is characterised by dysregulation of the sympathetic and parasympathetic system and the HPA axis, which was more pronounced in males than in females. This study further supports burnout as being a risk factor for CVD through dysregulation of the sympathetic and parasympathetic system and the HPA axis. PMID:26557670

  12. Exaggerated activity of HPA axis in obese rats fed normocaloric liquid nutrition.

    PubMed

    Vrabcova, Michaela; Mikuska, Livia; Zeman, M; Mravec, B

    2014-09-01

    Experimental and clinical studies have shown alterations in activity of systems responsible for neuroendocrine stress response in obese individuals. Therefore we investigated the effect of palatable normocaloric liquid nutrition (Fresubin) on alterations in activity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis in male Wistar rats of different developmental stages. Control rats (CON) received standard pellet chow all the time from weaning (21st day of age) to 150 days. Fresubin was administered throughout the experiment (LN), only in juvenility (from 21st to 90th day of age; LNJ) or only in adulthood (from 90th to 150th day of age; LNA). Body weight and energy intake were periodically monitored. Adrenal gland and fat tissue weight and plasma corticosterone levels (CORT) was determined after sacrification. Fresubin intake induced obesity in LN and LNA rats. In LN and LNA rats were observed elevated serum CORT levels, but only in LN rats with significant twofold increase compared to LNJ rats. However, the weight of adrenal glands did not differ between LN, LNJ and LNA experimental groups. Based on our results, we suggest, that obesity induced by Fresubin in LN and LNA rats is accompanied by increased HPA activity represented by elevated plasma CORT levels in these rats. PMID:25194732

  13. Neuromedins U and S involvement in the regulation of the hypothalamo–pituitary–adrenal axis

    PubMed Central

    Malendowicz, Ludwik K.; Ziolkowska, Agnieszka; Rucinski, Marcin

    2012-01-01

    We reviewed neuromedin U (NMU) and neuromedin S (NMS) involvement in the regulation of the hypothalamo–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis function. NMU and NMS are structurally related and highly conserved neuropeptides. They exert biological effects via two GPCR receptors designated as NMUR1 and NMUR2 which show differential expression. NMUR1 is expressed predominantly at the periphery, while NMUR2 in the central nervous system. Elements of the NMU/NMS and their receptors network are also expressed in the HPA axis and progress in molecular biology techniques provided new information on their actions within this system. Several lines of evidence suggest that within the HPA axis NMU and NMS act at both hypothalamic and adrenal levels. Moreover, new data suggest that NMU and NMS are involved in central and peripheral control of the stress response. PMID:23227022

  14. Neuromedins U and S involvement in the regulation of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis.

    PubMed

    Malendowicz, Ludwik K; Ziolkowska, Agnieszka; Rucinski, Marcin

    2012-01-01

    We reviewed neuromedin U (NMU) and neuromedin S (NMS) involvement in the regulation of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis function. NMU and NMS are structurally related and highly conserved neuropeptides. They exert biological effects via two GPCR receptors designated as NMUR1 and NMUR2 which show differential expression. NMUR1 is expressed predominantly at the periphery, while NMUR2 in the central nervous system. Elements of the NMU/NMS and their receptors network are also expressed in the HPA axis and progress in molecular biology techniques provided new information on their actions within this system. Several lines of evidence suggest that within the HPA axis NMU and NMS act at both hypothalamic and adrenal levels. Moreover, new data suggest that NMU and NMS are involved in central and peripheral control of the stress response. PMID:23227022

  15. Effortful Control and Parenting: Associations with HPA Axis Reactivity in Early Childhood

    PubMed Central

    Kryski, Katie R.; Dougherty, Lea R.; Dyson, Margaret W.; Olino, Thomas M.; Laptook, Rebecca S.; Klein, Daniel N.; Hayden, Elizabeth P.

    2013-01-01

    While activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis is an adaptive response to stress, excessive HPA axis reactivity may be an important marker of childhood vulnerability to psychopathology. Parenting, including parent affect during parent-child interactions, may play an important role in shaping the developing HPA system; however, the association of parent affect may be moderated by child factors, especially children’s emerging self-regulatory skills. We therefore tested the relationship between parent affectivity and 160 preschoolers’ cortisol reactivity during a laboratory visit, examining children’s effortful control (EC) as a moderator. Greater parent negative affectivity was related to greater initial and increasing cortisol over time, but only when children were low in EC. Higher parent positive affectivity was related to a higher baseline cortisol for children with low EC and lower baseline cortisol for children with high EC. Results indicate that children’s EC moderates the extent to which parent affect shapes stress reactive systems in early childhood. PMID:23786471

  16. Gonadal steroid hormone receptors and sex differences in the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis.

    PubMed

    Handa, R J; Burgess, L H; Kerr, J E; O'Keefe, J A

    1994-12-01

    The rapid activation of stress-responsive neuroendocrine systems is a basic reaction of animals to perturbations in their environment. One well-established response is that of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. In rats, corticosterone is the major adrenal steroid secreted and is released in direct response to adrenocorticotropin (ACTH) secreted from the anterior pituitary gland. ACTH in turn is regulated by the hypothalamic factor, corticotropin-releasing hormone. A sex difference exists in the response of the HPA axis to stress, with females reacting more robustly than males. It has been demonstrated that in both sexes, products of the HPA axis inhibit reproductive function. Conversely, the sex differences in HPA function are in part due to differences in the circulating gonadal steroid hormone milieu. It appears that testosterone can act to inhibit HPA function, whereas estrogen can enhance HPA function. One mechanism by which androgens and estrogens modulate stress responses is through the binding to their cognate receptors in the central nervous system. The distribution and regulation of androgen and estrogen receptors within the CNS suggest possible sites and mechanisms by which gonadal steroid hormones can influence stress responses. In the case of androgens, data suggest that the control of the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus is mediated trans-synaptically. For estrogen, modulation of the HPA axis may be due to changes in glucocorticoid receptor-mediated negative feedback mechanisms. The results of a variety of studies suggest that gonadal steroid hormones, particularly testosterone, modulate HPA activity in an attempt to prevent the deleterious effects of HPA activation on reproductive function. PMID:7729815

  17. Enhancing offspring hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) regulation via systematic novelty exposure: the influence of maternal HPA function

    PubMed Central

    Dinces, Sarah M.; Romeo, Russell D.; McEwen, Bruce S.; Tang, Akaysha C.

    2014-01-01

    In the rat, repeated brief exposures to novelty early in life can induce long-lasting enhancements in adult cognitive, social, emotional, and neuroendocrine function. Family-to-family variations in these intervention effects on adult offspring are predicted by the mother’s ability to mount a rapid corticosterone (CORT) response to the onset of an acute stressor. Here, in Long-Evans rats, we investigated whether neonatal and adulthood novelty exposure, each individually and in combination, can enhance offspring hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) regulation. Using a 2 × 2 within-litter design, one half of each litter were exposed to a relatively novel non-home environment for 3-min (Neo_Novel) daily during infancy (PND 1–21) and the other half of the litter remained in the home cage (Neo_Home); we further exposed half of these two groups to early adulthood (PND 54–63) novelty exposure in an open field and the remaining siblings stayed in their home cages. Two aspects of HPA regulation were assessed: the ability to maintain a low level of resting CORT (CORTB) and the ability to mount a large rapid CORT response (CORTE) to the onset of an acute stressor. Assessment of adult offspring’s ability to regulate HPA regulation began at 370 days of age. We further investigated whether the novelty exposure effects on offspring HPA regulation are sensitive to the context of maternal HPA regulation by assessing maternal HPA regulation similarly beginning 7 days after her pups were weaned. We found that at the population level, rats receiving neonatal, but not early adulthood exposure or both, showed a greater rapid CORTE than their home-staying siblings. At the individual family level, these novelty effects are positively associated with maternal CORTE. These results suggest that early experience of novelty can enhance the offspring’s ability to mount a rapid response to environmental challenge and the success of such early life intervention is critically dependent

  18. Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis function in ankylosing spondylitis

    PubMed Central

    Imrich, R; Rovensky, J; Zlnay, M; Radikova, Z; Macho, L; Vigas, M; Koska, J

    2004-01-01

    Objective: To assess basal function and responsiveness of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis in patients with ankylosing spondylitis during dynamic testing. Methods: Insulin induced hypoglycaemia (IIH) (Actrapid HM 0.1 IU/kg, as intravenous bolus) was induced in 17 patients and 11 healthy controls matched for age, sex, and body mass index. Concentrations of glucose, adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH), cortisol, insulin, dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate (DHEAS), 17α-hydroxyprogesterone, interleukin 6 (IL-6), and tumour necrosis factor α (TNFα) were determined in plasma. Results: Comparable basal cortisol levels were found in the two groups, with a trend to be lower in ankylosing spondylitis. In the ankylosing spondylitis group, there were higher concentrations of IL-6 (mean (SEM): 16.6 (2.8) pg/ml v 1.41 (0.66) pg/ml in controls; p<0.001) and TNFα (8.5 (1.74) pg/ml v 4.08 (0.42) pg/ml in controls; p<0.01). Glucose, insulin, ACTH, DHEAS, and 17α-hydroxyprogesterone did not differ significantly from control. The IIH test was carried out successfully in 11 of the 17 patients with ankylosing spondylitis, and the ACTH and cortisol responses were comparable with control. General linear modelling showed a different course of glycaemia (p = 0.041) in the ankylosing spondylitis patients who met the criteria for a successful IIH test compared with the controls. Conclusions: The results suggest there is no difference in basal HPA axis activity and completely preserved responsiveness of the HPA axis in patients with ankylosing spondylitis. The interpretation of the different course of glycaemia during IIH in ankylosing spondylitis requires further investigation. PMID:15140773

  19. HPA axis genes may modulate the effect of childhood adversities on decision-making in suicide attempters.

    PubMed

    Guillaume, Sebastien; Perroud, Nader; Jollant, Fabrice; Jaussent, Isabelle; Olié, Emilie; Malafosse, Alain; Courtet, Philippe

    2013-02-01

    Decision-making impairment is found in several neuropsychiatric disorders, including suicidal behavior, and has been shown to be modulated by genes. On the other hand, early trauma have/has been associated with poor mental health outcome in adulthood, in interaction with genetic factors, possibly through sustained alterations in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA axis). Here, we aimed to investigate the effect of childhood trauma and its interaction with HPA-axis related genes on decision-making abilities in adulthood among a sample of suicide attempters. The Iowa Gambling Task (IGT) was used to assess decision-making in 218 patients with a history of suicide attempt. Participant fulfilled the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire to report traumatic childhood experiences. Patients were genotyped for single-nucleotide polymorphisms within CRHR1 and CRHR2 genes. Patients with a history of sexual abuse had significantly lower IGT scores than non-sexually abused individuals. Polymorphisms within CRHR1 and CRHR2 genes interacted with both childhood sexual abuse and emotional neglect to influence IGT performance. In conclusion, childhood sexual abuse and emotional neglect may have long-term effects on decision-making through an interaction with key HPA axis genes. Even if these results need to be replicated in other sample, impaired decision-making may thus be the dimension through which child maltreatment, in interaction with HPA axis related genes, may have a sustained negative impact on adult mental health. PMID:23177644

  20. The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal-axis in the regulation of energy balance.

    PubMed

    Nieuwenhuizen, Arie G; Rutters, Femke

    2008-05-23

    Human (visceral) obesity is associated with alterations hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis functioning. It is however not completely clear whether the HPA axis is causally or co-incidentally related to (visceral) obesity. This review summarizes supporting data of an involvement of the HPA axis in the development of (visceral) obesity. First, several DNA polymorphisms related to HPA axis functioning are correlated to the development of obesity. Second, chronic elevation of circulatory glucocorticoid concentrations, as in Cushing's disease, results in increased abdominal adiposity. Third, (visceral) obesity is associated with a diminished capacity of cortisol to suppress its own secretion. HPA axis functioning might affect energy balance through affecting energy intake. Both CRH and cortisol influence physiological, central mechanisms involved in the regulation of food intake. Still, general activation of the HPA axis has shown to have inconsistent effects on food intake in humans. This inconsistency may partially be explained by gender differences, individual differences in the functioning of the HPA axis, as well as differences in attitude towards eating. In particular, women with high scores on dietary restraint are prone to stress-induced hyperphagia. Dietary restraint scores, in turn, are positively correlated to basal and dexamethasone-suppressed cortisol levels, indicating a complex dual relationship between stress, HPA axis functioning, attitude towards eating and the risk for stress-induced hyperphagia. In the Western society, with chronically high ambient levels of stress and the availability of high caloric foods, this relationship may imply a risk for the development of (visceral) obesity and the metabolic syndrome. PMID:18275977

  1. The minimal model of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis.

    PubMed

    Vinther, Frank; Andersen, Morten; Ottesen, Johnny T

    2011-10-01

    This paper concerns ODE modeling of the hypothalamic-pituitary- adrenal axis (HPA axis) using an analytical and numerical approach, combined with biological knowledge regarding physiological mechanisms and parameters. The three hormones, CRH, ACTH, and cortisol, which interact in the HPA axis are modeled as a system of three coupled, nonlinear differential equations. Experimental data shows the circadian as well as the ultradian rhythm. This paper focuses on the ultradian rhythm. The ultradian rhythm can mathematically be explained by oscillating solutions. Oscillating solutions to an ODE emerges from an unstable fixed point with complex eigenvalues with a positive real parts and a non-zero imaginary parts. The first part of the paper describes the general considerations to be obeyed for a mathematical model of the HPA axis. In this paper we only include the most widely accepted mechanisms that influence the dynamics of the HPA axis, i.e. a negative feedback from cortisol on CRH and ACTH. Therefore we term our model the minimal model. The minimal model, encompasses a wide class of different realizations, obeying only a few physiologically reasonable demands. The results include the existence of a trapping region guaranteeing that concentrations do not become negative or tend to infinity. Furthermore, this treatment guarantees the existence of a unique fixed point. A change in local stability of the fixed point, from stable to unstable, implies a Hopf bifurcation; thereby, oscillating solutions may emerge from the model. Sufficient criteria for local stability of the fixed point, and an easily applicable sufficient criteria guaranteeing global stability of the fixed point, is formulated. If the latter is fulfilled, ultradian rhythm is an impossible outcome of the minimal model and all realizations thereof. The second part of the paper concerns a specific realization of the minimal model in which feedback functions are built explicitly using receptor dynamics. Using

  2. Sex and stress steroids in adolescence: Gonadal regulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis in the rat.

    PubMed

    Green, Matthew R; McCormick, Cheryl M

    2016-08-01

    This review provides an overview of the current understanding of the role of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis in regulating the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis response to stressors. HPA function is influenced by both organizational (programming) and activational effects of gonadal hormones. Typically, in adult rats, estradiol increases and androgens decrease the HPA response to stressors, thereby contributing to sex differences in HPA function, and sensitivity of the HPA axis to gonadal steroids is in part determined by exposure to these hormones in early development. Although developmental differences in HPA function are well characterized, the extent to which gonadal steroids contribute to age differences in HPA function is not well understood. Deficits in the understanding of the relationships between the HPA and HPG axes are greatest for the adolescent period of development. The critical outstanding questions are, when do gonadal hormones begin to regulate HPA function in adolescence, and what mechanisms precipitate change in sensitivity of the HPA axis to the HPG axis at this stage of life. PMID:26851306

  3. Blunted HPA Axis Activity in Suicide Attempters Compared to those at High Risk for Suicidal Behavior.

    PubMed

    Melhem, Nadine M; Keilp, John G; Porta, Giovanna; Oquendo, Maria A; Burke, Ainsley; Stanley, Barbara; Cooper, Thomas B; Mann, J John; Brent, David A

    2016-05-01

    Studies looking at the relationship of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis to suicidal behavior and its risk factors, such as depression, childhood abuse, and impulsive aggression, report inconsistent results. These studies also do not always differentiate between subjects who go on to attempt suicide, suicidal subjects who never attempted suicide, and non-suicidal subjects with psychiatric disorders. In this study, we examined cortisol responses to an experimental stressor, the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST), in 208 offspring of parents with mood disorder. Offspring suicide attempters showed lower total cortisol output (β=-0.47, 95% CI (-0.83, -0.11), p=0.01) compared with offspring with suicide-related behavior (SRB) but never attempted, non-suicidal offspring, and a healthy control group. The result remained significant even after controlling for sex, age, race, ethnicity, site, socio-economic status, and hour of the day when the TSST was conducted. Suicide attempters also showed lower baseline cortisol before the TSST (β=-0.45, 95% CI (-0.74, -0.17), p=0.002). However, there were no significant differences between the groups on cortisol reactivity to stress (β=4.5, 95% CI (-12.9, 22), p=0.61). Although subjects with suicide attempt and SRB have similar clinical and psychosocial characteristics, this is the first study to differentiate them biologically on HPA axis indices. Blunted HPA axis activity may increase risk for suicide attempt among individuals with psychopathology by reducing their ability to respond adaptively to ongoing stressors. These results may help better identify subjects at high risk for suicidal behavior for targeted prevention and intervention efforts. PMID:26450815

  4. Disrupting Hypothalamic Glucocorticoid Receptors Causes HPA Axis Hyperactivity and Excess Adiposity

    PubMed Central

    Laryea, Gloria; Schütz, Günther

    2013-01-01

    The glucocorticoid receptor (GR) regulates hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activity during the stress response. The paraventricular nucleus (PVN) is a major site of negative feedback to coordinate the degree of the HPA axis activity with the magnitude of the exposed stressor. To define the function of endogenous PVN GR, we used Cre-loxP technology to disrupt different GR exons in Sim1-expressing neurons of the hypothalamus. GR exon 2-deleted mice (Sim1Cre-GRe2Δ) demonstrated 43% loss of PVN GR compared with an 87% GR loss in exon 3-deleted mice (Sim1Cre-GRe3Δ). Sim1Cre-GRe3Δ mice display stunted growth at birth but develop obesity in adulthood and display impaired stress-induced glucose release. We observed elevated basal and stress-induced corticosterone levels in Sim1Cre-GRe3Δ mice, compared with control and Sim1Cre-GRe2Δ mice, and impaired dexamethasone suppression, indicating an inability to negatively regulate corticosterone secretion. Sim1Cre-GRe3Δ mice also showed increased CRH mRNA in the PVN, increased basal plasma ACTH levels, and reduced locomotor behavior. We observed no differences in Sim1Cre-GRe2Δ mice compared with control mice in any measure. Our behavioral data suggest that GR deletion in Sim1-expressing neurons has no effect on anxiety or despair-like behavior under basal conditions. We conclude that loss of PVN GR results in severe HPA axis hyperactivity and Cushing's syndrome-like phenotype but does not affect anxiety and despair-like behaviors. PMID:23979842

  5. A Hyperresponsive HPA Axis May Confer Resilience Against Persistent Paclitaxel-Induced Mechanical Hypersensitivity.

    PubMed

    Kozachik, Sharon L; Page, Gayle G

    2016-05-01

    Paclitaxel (PAC) treatment is associated with persistent, debilitating neuropathic pain that affects the hands and feet. Female sex and biological stress responsivity are risk factors for persistent pain, but it is unclear whether these important biologically based factors confer risk for PAC-induced neuropathic pain. To determine the relative contributions of sex and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA)-axis stress responsivity to PAC-induced mechanical hypersensitivity, we employed a PAC protocol consisting of three, 2-week cycles of every-other-day doses of PAC 1 mg/kg versus saline (Week 1) and recovery (Week 2), totaling 42 days, in mature male and female Fischer 344, Lewis, and Sprague Dawley (SD) rats, known to differ in HPA axis stress responsivity. Mechanical sensitivity was operationalized using von Frey filaments, per the up-down method. Among PAC-injected rats, SD rats exhibited significantly greater mechanical hypersensitivity relative to accumulative PAC doses compared to Fischer 344 rats. Lewis rats were not significantly different in mechanical hypersensitivity from SD or Fischer 344 rats. At the end of the protocol, PAC-injected SD rats exhibited profound mechanical hypersensitivity, whereas the PAC-injected Fischer 344 rats appeared relatively resilient to the long-term effects of PAC and exhibited mechanical sensitivity that was not statistically different from their saline-injected counterparts. Sex differences were mixed and noted only early in the PAC protocol. Moderate HPA axis stress responsivity may confer additional risk for the painful effects of PAC. If these findings hold in humans, clinicians may be better able to identify persons who may be at increased risks for developing neuropathic pain during PAC therapy. PMID:26512050

  6. Dynamic transitions in a model of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Čupić, Željko; Marković, Vladimir M.; Maćešić, Stevan; Stanojević, Ana; Damjanović, Svetozar; Vukojević, Vladana; Kolar-Anić, Ljiljana

    2016-03-01

    Dynamic properties of a nonlinear five-dimensional stoichiometric model of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis were systematically investigated. Conditions under which qualitative transitions between dynamic states occur are determined by independently varying the rate constants of all reactions that constitute the model. Bifurcation types were further characterized using continuation algorithms and scale factor methods. Regions of bistability and transitions through supercritical Andronov-Hopf and saddle loop bifurcations were identified. Dynamic state analysis predicts that the HPA axis operates under basal (healthy) physiological conditions close to an Andronov-Hopf bifurcation. Dynamic properties of the stress-control axis have not been characterized experimentally, but modelling suggests that the proximity to a supercritical Andronov-Hopf bifurcation can give the HPA axis both, flexibility to respond to external stimuli and adjust to new conditions and stability, i.e., the capacity to return to the original dynamic state afterwards, which is essential for maintaining homeostasis. The analysis presented here reflects the properties of a low-dimensional model that succinctly describes neurochemical transformations underlying the HPA axis. However, the model accounts correctly for a number of experimentally observed properties of the stress-response axis. We therefore regard that the presented analysis is meaningful, showing how in silico investigations can be used to guide the experimentalists in understanding how the HPA axis activity changes under chronic disease and/or specific pharmacological manipulations.

  7. Dynamic transitions in a model of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis.

    PubMed

    Čupić, Željko; Marković, Vladimir M; Maćešić, Stevan; Stanojević, Ana; Damjanović, Svetozar; Vukojević, Vladana; Kolar-Anić, Ljiljana

    2016-03-01

    Dynamic properties of a nonlinear five-dimensional stoichiometric model of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis were systematically investigated. Conditions under which qualitative transitions between dynamic states occur are determined by independently varying the rate constants of all reactions that constitute the model. Bifurcation types were further characterized using continuation algorithms and scale factor methods. Regions of bistability and transitions through supercritical Andronov-Hopf and saddle loop bifurcations were identified. Dynamic state analysis predicts that the HPA axis operates under basal (healthy) physiological conditions close to an Andronov-Hopf bifurcation. Dynamic properties of the stress-control axis have not been characterized experimentally, but modelling suggests that the proximity to a supercritical Andronov-Hopf bifurcation can give the HPA axis both, flexibility to respond to external stimuli and adjust to new conditions and stability, i.e., the capacity to return to the original dynamic state afterwards, which is essential for maintaining homeostasis. The analysis presented here reflects the properties of a low-dimensional model that succinctly describes neurochemical transformations underlying the HPA axis. However, the model accounts correctly for a number of experimentally observed properties of the stress-response axis. We therefore regard that the presented analysis is meaningful, showing how in silico investigations can be used to guide the experimentalists in understanding how the HPA axis activity changes under chronic disease and/or specific pharmacological manipulations. PMID:27036189

  8. Is Dysregulation of the HPA-Axis a Core Pathophysiology Mediating Co-Morbid Depression in Neurodegenerative Diseases?

    PubMed

    Du, Xin; Pang, Terence Y

    2015-01-01

    There is increasing evidence of prodromal manifestation of neuropsychiatric symptoms in a variety of neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson's disease (PD) and Huntington's disease (HD). These affective symptoms may be observed many years before the core diagnostic symptoms of the neurological condition. It is becoming more apparent that depression is a significant modifying factor of the trajectory of disease progression and even treatment outcomes. It is therefore crucial that we understand the potential pathophysiologies related to the primary condition, which could contribute to the development of depression. The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA)-axis is a key neuroendocrine signaling system involved in physiological homeostasis and stress response. Disturbances of this system lead to severe hormonal imbalances, and the majority of such patients also present with behavioral deficits and/or mood disorders. Dysregulation of the HPA-axis is also strongly implicated in the pathology of major depressive disorder. Consistent with this, antidepressant drugs, such as the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors have been shown to alter HPA-axis activity. In this review, we will summarize the current state of knowledge regarding HPA-axis pathology in Alzheimer's, PD and HD, differentiating between prodromal and later stages of disease progression when evidence is available. Both clinical and preclinical evidence will be examined, but we highlight animal model studies as being particularly useful for uncovering novel mechanisms of pathology related to co-morbid mood disorders. Finally, we purpose utilizing the preclinical evidence to better inform prospective, intervention studies. PMID:25806005

  9. [Age-related changes of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis: experimental studies in primates].

    PubMed

    Goncharova, N D

    2014-01-01

    The article presents a review of the results of the author's works that examine the character of age-related changes of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis in primates during aging in basal conditions, including disturbances of its circadian rhythms and in conditions of its inhibition and activation by specific stimuli. In addition, the original data are presented on the peculiarities of the HPA axis functioning under acute psycho-emotional stress taking into account the time of day and individual features of the adaptive behavior of animals, severe chronic stress caused by hemoblastosis process and repeated mild psycho-emotional stress impact. Age disturbances in the HPA axis functioning are of pathophysiological significance for the development of stress- and age-related pathologies and progression of the aging process. Individuals with depression adaptive behavior are most vulnerable to stress and pathological aging. PMID:25306658

  10. Role of the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis in Developmental Programming of Health and Disease

    PubMed Central

    Xiong, Fuxia; Zhang, Lubo

    2012-01-01

    Adverse environments during the fetal and neonatal development period may permanently program physiology and metabolism, and lead to increased risk of diseases in later life. Programming of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis is one of the key mechanisms that contribute to altered metabolism and response to stress. Programming of the HPA axis often involves epigenetic modification of the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) gene promoter, which influences tissue-specific GR expression patterns and response to stimuli. This review summarizes the current state of research on the HPA axis and programming of health and disease in the adult, focusing on the epigenetic regulation of GR gene expression patterns in response to fetal and neonatal stress. Aberrant GR gene expression patterns in the developing brain may have a significant negative impact on protection of the immature brain against hypoxic-ischemic encephalopathy in the critical period of development during and immediately after birth. PMID:23200813

  11. Overfeeding during a critical postnatal period exacerbates hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis responses to immune challenge: a role for adrenal melanocortin 2 receptors

    PubMed Central

    Cai, Guohui; Ziko, Ilvana; Barwood, Joanne; Soch, Alita; Sominsky, Luba; Molero, Juan C.; Spencer, Sarah J.

    2016-01-01

    Early life diet can critically program hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis function. We have previously shown rats that are overfed as neonates have exacerbated pro-inflammatory responses to immune challenge with lipopolysaccharide (LPS), in part by altering HPA axis responses, but how this occurs is unknown. Here we examined neonatal overfeeding-induced changes in gene expression in each step of the HPA axis. We saw no differences in glucocorticoid or mineralocorticoid receptor expression in key regions responsible for glucocorticoid negative feedback to the brain and no differences in expression of key HPA axis regulatory genes in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus or pituitary. On the other hand, expression of the adrenal melanocortin 2 receptor (MC2R) is elevated after LPS in control rats, but significantly less so in the neonatally overfed. The in vitro adrenal response to ACTH is also dampened in these rats, while the in vivo response to ACTH does not resolve as efficiently as it does in controls. These data suggest neonatal diet affects the efficiency of the adrenally-mediated response to LPS, potentially influencing how neonatally overfed rats combat bacterial infection. PMID:26868281

  12. Overfeeding during a critical postnatal period exacerbates hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis responses to immune challenge: a role for adrenal melanocortin 2 receptors.

    PubMed

    Cai, Guohui; Ziko, Ilvana; Barwood, Joanne; Soch, Alita; Sominsky, Luba; Molero, Juan C; Spencer, Sarah J

    2016-01-01

    Early life diet can critically program hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis function. We have previously shown rats that are overfed as neonates have exacerbated pro-inflammatory responses to immune challenge with lipopolysaccharide (LPS), in part by altering HPA axis responses, but how this occurs is unknown. Here we examined neonatal overfeeding-induced changes in gene expression in each step of the HPA axis. We saw no differences in glucocorticoid or mineralocorticoid receptor expression in key regions responsible for glucocorticoid negative feedback to the brain and no differences in expression of key HPA axis regulatory genes in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus or pituitary. On the other hand, expression of the adrenal melanocortin 2 receptor (MC2R) is elevated after LPS in control rats, but significantly less so in the neonatally overfed. The in vitro adrenal response to ACTH is also dampened in these rats, while the in vivo response to ACTH does not resolve as efficiently as it does in controls. These data suggest neonatal diet affects the efficiency of the adrenally-mediated response to LPS, potentially influencing how neonatally overfed rats combat bacterial infection. PMID:26868281

  13. Social Deprivation and the HPA Axis in Early Development

    PubMed Central

    Koss, Kalsea J.; Hostinar, Camelia E.; Donzella, Bonny; Gunnar, Megan R.

    2014-01-01

    Growing evidence suggests that early social deprivation impacts the activity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical axis. Early adverse care in the form of institutional or orphanage care provides a human model for early social deprivation. The present study examined changes in diurnal cortisol during the transition to family care in the first two years post-adoption. Children adopted between 15 and 36 months from institutional care were examined four times during their first two years post-adoption (N=58). Comparison groups included same-aged peers reared in their birth families (N=50) and children adopted during their first year from overseas foster care (N=47). Children provided daily cortisol samples at roughly 2, 9, 17, and 25 months post-adoption. Post-institutionalized and post-foster care children exhibited less steep diurnal cortisol compared to non-adopted same-aged peers; these differences did not diminish across the two year period. For post-institutionalized children, lower social care quality in institutions was associated with less steep cortisol slopes. Lastly, shallower diurnal cortisol was a mediator between adoption status and increased behavioral problems two years post-adoption. Consistent with the non-human primate literature, early social deprivation may contribute to early programming of the HPA axis. PMID:25150507

  14. Characterization of the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal-Axis in Familial Longevity under Resting Conditions

    PubMed Central

    Jansen, Steffy W.; Roelfsema, Ferdinand; Akintola, Abimbola A.; Oei, Nicole Y.; Cobbaert, Christa M.; Ballieux, Bart E.; van der Grond, Jeroen; Westendorp, Rudi G.; Pijl, Hanno; van Heemst, Diana

    2015-01-01

    Objective The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA)-axis is the most important neuro-endocrine stress response system of our body which is of critical importance for survival. Disturbances in HPA-axis activity have been associated with adverse metabolic and cognitive changes. Humans enriched for longevity have less metabolic and cognitive disturbances and therefore diminished activity of the HPA axis may be a potential candidate mechanism underlying healthy familial longevity. Here, we compared 24-h plasma ACTH and serum cortisol concentration profiles and different aspects of the regulation of the HPA-axis in offspring from long-lived siblings, who are enriched for familial longevity and age-matched controls. Design Case-control study within the Leiden Longevity study cohort consisting of 20 middle-aged offspring of nonagenarian siblings (offspring) together with 18 partners (controls). Methods During 24 h, venous blood was sampled every 10 minutes for determination of circulatory ACTH and cortisol concentrations. Deconvolution analysis, cross approximate entropy analysis and ACTH-cortisol-dose response modeling were used to assess, respectively, ACTH and cortisol secretion parameters, feedforward and feedback synchrony and adrenal gland ACTH responsivity. Results Mean (95% Confidence Interval) basal ACTH secretion was higher in male offspring compared to male controls (645 (324-1286) ngl/L/24 h versus 240 (120-477) ng/L/24 h, P = 0.05). Other ACTH and cortisol secretion parameters did not differ between offspring and controls. In addition, no significant differences in feedforward and feedback synchrony and adrenal gland ACTH responsivity were observed between groups. Conclusions These results suggest that familial longevity is not associated with major differences in HPA-axis activity under resting conditions, although modest, sex-specific differences may exist between groups that might be clinically relevant. PMID:26193655

  15. Evidence against hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis suppression in the antidiabetic action of leptin

    PubMed Central

    Morton, Gregory J.; Meek, Thomas H.; Matsen, Miles E.; Schwartz, Michael W.

    2015-01-01

    Leptin administration restores euglycemia in rodents with severe insulin-deficient diabetes, and recent studies to explain this phenomenon have focused on the ability of leptin to normalize excessive hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activity. Here, we employed a streptozotocin-induced rat model (STZ-DM) of uncontrolled insulin-deficient diabetes mellitus (uDM) to investigate the contribution of HPA axis suppression to leptin-mediated glucose lowering. Specifically, we asked if HPA axis activation is required for diabetic hyperglycemia, whether HPA axis normalization can be achieved using a dose of leptin below that needed to normalize glycemia, and if the ability of leptin to lower plasma glucocorticoid levels is required for its antidiabetic action. In STZ-DM rats, neither adrenalectomy-induced (ADX-induced) glucocorticoid deficiency nor pharmacological glucocorticoid receptor blockade lowered elevated blood glucose levels. Although elevated plasma levels of corticosterone were normalized by i.v. leptin infusion at a dose that raises low plasma levels into the physiological range, diabetic hyperglycemia was not altered. Lastly, the potent glucose-lowering effect of continuous intracerebroventricular leptin infusion was not impacted by systemic administration of corticosterone at a dose that maintained elevated plasma levels characteristic of STZ-DM. We conclude that, although restoring low plasma leptin levels into the physiological range effectively normalizes increased HPA axis activity in rats with uDM, this effect is neither necessary nor sufficient to explain leptin’s antidiabetic action. PMID:26529250

  16. Suppression of Adult Neurogenesis Leads to an Increased HPA Axis Response

    PubMed Central

    Schloesser, Robert J.; Manji, Husseini K.; Martinowich, Keri

    2009-01-01

    Stress and glucocorticoids are among the strongest inhibitors of adult hippocampal neurogenesis. Despite the known role of the hippocampus in negative feedback regulation of the hypothalamo-pituitary adrenal axis, whether loss of hippocampal neurogenesis affects this inhibition has not been examined. Here we tested whether suppression of adult neurogenesis affected the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis response. Our results show that suppression of neurogenesis leads to a potentiated hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis response following exposure to a mild stressor. This study suggests that suppressed neurogenesis directly regulates the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis response. PMID:19322118

  17. The role of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal/interrenal axis in mediating predator-avoidance trade-offs.

    PubMed

    Harris, Breanna N; Carr, James A

    2016-05-01

    Maintaining energy balance and reproducing are important for fitness, yet animals have evolved mechanisms by which the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal/interrenal (HPA/HPI) axis can shut these activities off. While HPA/HPI axis inhibition of feeding and reproduction may have evolved as a predator defense, to date there has been no review across taxa of the causal evidence for such a relationship. Here we review the literature on this topic by addressing evidence for three predictions: that exposure to predators decreases reproduction and feeding, that exposure to predators activates the HPA/HPI axis, and that predator-induced activation of the HPA/HPI axis inhibits foraging and reproduction. Weight of evidence indicates that exposure to predator cues inhibits several aspects of foraging and reproduction. While the evidence from fish and mammals supports the hypothesis that predator cues activate the HPA/HPI axis, the existing data in other vertebrate taxa are equivocal. A causal role for the HPA axis in predator-induced suppression of feeding and reproduction has not been demonstrated to date, although many studies report correlative relationships between HPA activity and reproduction and/or feeding. Manipulation of HPA/HPI axis signaling will be required in future studies to demonstrate direct mediation of predator-induced inhibition of feeding and reproduction. Understanding the circuitry linking sensory pathways to their control of the HPA/HPI axis also is needed. Finally, the role that fear and anxiety pathways play in the response of the HPA axis to predator cues is needed to better understand the role that predators have played in shaping anxiety related behaviors in all species, including humans. PMID:27080550

  18. Obesity and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis in adolescent girls.

    PubMed

    Hillman, Jennifer B; Dorn, Lorah D; Loucks, Tammy L; Berga, Sarah L

    2012-03-01

    Stress and stress-related concomitants, including hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activation, are implicated in obesity and its attendant comorbidities. Little is known about this relationship in adolescents. To begin to address this important knowledge gap, we studied HPA axis activity in 262 healthy adolescent girls aged 11, 13, 15, and 17 years. We hypothesized that obesity would be correlated with increased HPA axis activity and reactivity. Measures of HPA axis activity included 3 blood samples obtained midday (between 1:00 and 2:00 pm) over the course of 40 minutes; overnight urine free cortisol; and cortisol levels 0, 20, and 40 minutes after venipuncture (cortisol reactivity). Measures of adiposity included body mass index (BMI), BMI z score (BMI-Z), percentage body fat, and fat distribution (central adiposity) assessed by dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry. Daytime levels of serum cortisol were inversely associated with BMI-Z and central adiposity (P < .05). The urine free cortisol excretion rate was positively correlated with BMI, BMI-Z, and central adiposity. There was blunting of cortisol response to venipuncture with increasing adiposity. Our results suggest that there may be reduced cortisol levels during the day and increased levels at night with increasing degree of adiposity. This study provides preliminary findings indicating an alteration of the circadian rhythm of cortisol with obesity. We conclude that obesity is associated with altered HPA activity in adolescent girls. The clinical implications of our findings require further investigation. PMID:21944263

  19. Impact of Sleep and Its Disturbances on Hypothalamo-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis Activity

    PubMed Central

    Balbo, Marcella; Leproult, Rachel; Van Cauter, Eve

    2010-01-01

    The daily rhythm of cortisol secretion is relatively stable and primarily under the influence of the circadian clock. Nevertheless, several other factors affect hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activity. Sleep has modest but clearly detectable modulatory effects on HPA axis activity. Sleep onset exerts an inhibitory effect on cortisol secretion while awakenings and sleep offset are accompanied by cortisol stimulation. During waking, an association between cortisol secretory bursts and indices of central arousal has also been detected. Abrupt shifts of the sleep period induce a profound disruption in the daily cortisol rhythm, while sleep deprivation and/or reduced sleep quality seem to result in a modest but functionally important activation of the axis. HPA hyperactivity is clearly associated with metabolic, cognitive and psychiatric disorders and could be involved in the well-documented associations between sleep disturbances and the risk of obesity, diabetes and cognitive dysfunction. Several clinical syndromes, such as insomnia, depression, Cushing's syndrome, sleep disordered breathing (SDB) display HPA hyperactivity, disturbed sleep, psychiatric and metabolic impairments. Further research to delineate the functional links between sleep and HPA axis activity is needed to fully understand the pathophysiology of these syndromes and to develop adequate strategies of prevention and treatment. PMID:20628523

  20. The Defecation Index as a Measure of Emotionality: Questions Raised by HPA Axis and Prolactin Response to Stress in the Maudsley Model.

    PubMed

    Blizard, David A; Eldridge, J Charles; Jones, Byron C

    2015-05-01

    The Maudsley Reactive and Maudsley Non-Reactive strains have been selectively bred for differences in open-field defecation (OFD), a putative index of stress. We investigated whether variations in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis are correlated with strain differences in OFD in the Maudsley model. Exposure to the open-field test did not result in increases in ACTH in male rats of either strain and there were no strain differences in the large increases in ACTH and corticosteroid that occurred in response to intermittent footshock. Parallel studies of prolactin showed that Maudsley Reactive rats had greater response to the open-field and to footshock than Maudsley Non-Reactive rats. The lack of correlation between strain differences in OFD and reactivity of the HPA axis is consistent with the idea that HPA response to stress and OFD reflect the output of different neural systems and that individual differences in emotionality, as indexed by OFD do not influence other measures of stress-reactivity in a simple manner, if at all. The reactivity of the prolactin system to the open-field test and lack of response of ACTH to the same situation is consistent with the idea that the prolactin system is sensitive to lower levels of stress than the HPA axis, a finding at variance with the presumed extreme sensitivity of the latter system. Earlier comparisons of the HPA axis in these strains implicate local factors such as neuropeptide-Y peptide in the adrenal in attenuating the response of the adrenal cortex to ACTH and hints at the complexity of regulation of the HPA axis. PMID:25911177

  1. The Environmental Pollutant Tributyltin Chloride Disrupts the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis at Different Levels in Female Rats.

    PubMed

    Merlo, Eduardo; Podratz, Priscila L; Sena, Gabriela C; de Araújo, Julia F P; Lima, Leandro C F; Alves, Izabela S S; Gama-de-Souza, Letícia N; Pelição, Renan; Rodrigues, Lívia C M; Brandão, Poliane A A; Carneiro, Maria T W D; Pires, Rita G W; Martins-Silva, Cristina; Alarcon, Tamara A; Miranda-Alves, Leandro; Silva, Ian V; Graceli, Jones B

    2016-08-01

    Tributyltin chloride (TBT) is an environmental contaminant that is used as a biocide in antifouling paints. TBT has been shown to induce endocrine-disrupting effects. However, studies evaluating the effects of TBT on the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis are especially rare. The current study demonstrates that exposure to TBT is critically responsible for the improper function of the mammalian HPA axis as well as the development of abnormal morphophysiology in the pituitary and adrenal glands. Female rats were treated with TBT, and their HPA axis morphophysiology was assessed. High CRH and low ACTH expression and high plasma corticosterone levels were detected in TBT rats. In addition, TBT leads to an increased in the inducible nitric oxide synthase protein expression in the hypothalamus of TBT rats. Morphophysiological abnormalities, including increases in inflammation, a disrupted cellular redox balance, apoptosis, and collagen deposition in the pituitary and adrenal glands, were observed in TBT rats. Increases in adiposity and peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-γ protein expression in the adrenal gland were observed in TBT rats. Together, these data provide in vivo evidence that TBT leads to functional dissociation between CRH, ACTH, and costicosterone, which could be associated an inflammation and increased of inducible nitric oxide synthase expression in hypothalamus. Thus, TBT exerts toxic effects at different levels on the HPA axis function. PMID:27267847

  2. Behavioral sexual dimorphism in models of anxiety and depression due to changes in HPA axis activity.

    PubMed

    Kokras, Nikolaos; Dalla, Christina; Sideris, Antonios C; Dendi, Artemis; Mikail, Hudu G; Antoniou, Katerina; Papadopoulou-Daifoti, Zeta

    2012-01-01

    Anxiety and depression are considered as stress-related disorders, which present considerable sex differentiation. In animal models of anxiety and depression sex differences have been described and linked to the sexually dimorphic hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenals (HPA) axis. The present study aimed to adjust corticosterone, the main HPA axis stress hormone, in male and female adrenalectomized rats with oral (25 μg/ml) corticosterone replacement (ADXR). Subsequently we investigated the behavioral performance of ADXR rats in the open field, light/dark and forced swim test (FST). Male ADXR rats showed less anxiety-like behavior when compared to sham-operated controls, despite adequate corticosterone replacement. They further showed increased swimming and reduced climbing behavior in the FST, while immobility duration did not differ from sham-operated males. On the contrary, adrenalectomy and corticosterone replacement did not have significant effects on the female behavioral response. Females were generally more active and presented less anxiety-like behavior than males, while they exhibited higher depressive-like symptomatology in the FST. ADXR affected behavioral responses predominantly in males, which in turn modified sex differences in the behavioral profile. Females in proestrous and estrous did not differ from females in diestrous and methestrous in any measured behavioral response. Present results suggest that the male and not the female behavioral responses in models of anxiety and depression were mainly affected by ADXR. These findings may play a significant role in explaining the differential coping strategy of the two sexes in response to stressful experiences. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'Anxiety and Depression'. PMID:21884710

  3. Ovarian Hormone Fluctuation, Neurosteroids and HPA Axis Dysregulation in Perimenopausal Depression: A Novel Heuristic Model

    PubMed Central

    Gordon, Jennifer L.; Girdler, Susan S.; Meltzer-Brody, Samantha E.; Stika, Catherine S.; Thurston, Rebecca C.; Clark, Crystal T.; Prairie, Beth A.; Moses-Kolko, Eydie; Joffe, Hadine; Wisner, Katherine L.

    2015-01-01

    Objective In this conceptual review, we propose a novel mechanistic candidate in the etiology of depression with onset in the menopause transition (a.k.a. perimenopausal depression) involving alterations in stress-responsive pathways, induced by ovarian hormone fluctuation. Methods The relevant literature in perimenopausal depression was reviewed, including its prevalence, predictors, and treatment with estrogen therapy. Subsequently, the growing evidence from animal models and clinical research in other reproductive mood disorders was synthesized to describe a heuristic model of perimenopausal depression development. Results The rate of major depressive disorder and of clinically meaningful elevations in depressive symptoms increases two- to threefold during the menopause transition. While the mechanisms by which ovarian hormone fluctuation might impact mood are poorly understood, growing evidence from basic and clinical research suggests that fluctuations in ovarian hormones and their derived neurosteroids result in altered GABAergic regulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. Our heuristic model suggests that for some women, failure of the GABAA receptor to regulate overall GABAergic tone in the face of shifting levels of these neurosteroids may induce HPA axis dysfunction, thereby increasing sensitivity to stress, and generating a period of greater vulnerability to depression. Conclusions The proposed model provides a basis for understanding the mechanisms by which the changing hormonal environment of the menopause transition may interact with the psychosocial environment of mid-life to contribute to perimenopausal depression risk. Future research investigating this model may inform the development of novel pharmacological treatments for perimenopausal depression and related disorders such as postpartum depression and premenstrual dysphoric disorder. PMID:25585035

  4. The critical importance of the fetal hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis

    PubMed Central

    Wood, Charles E.; Keller-Wood, Maureen

    2016-01-01

    The fetal hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis is at the center of mechanisms controlling fetal readiness for birth, survival after birth and, in several species, determination of the timing of birth. Stereotypical increases in fetal HPA axis activity at the end of gestation are critical for preparing the fetus for successful transition to postnatal life. The fundamental importance in fetal development of the endogenous activation of this endocrine axis at the end of gestation has led to the use of glucocorticoids for reducing neonatal morbidity in premature infants. However, the choice of dose and repetition of treatments has been controversial, raising the possibility that excess glucocorticoid might program an increased incidence of adult disease (e.g., coronary artery disease and diabetes). We make the argument that because of the critical importance of the fetal HPA axis and its interaction with the maternal HPA axis, dysregulation of cortisol plasma concentrations or inappropriate manipulation pharmacologically can have negative consequences at the beginning of extrauterine life and for decades thereafter. PMID:26918188

  5. Stress Responsiveness of the Hypothalamic–Pituitary–Adrenal Axis: Age-Related Features of the Vasopressinergic Regulation

    PubMed Central

    Goncharova, Nadezhda D.

    2013-01-01

    The hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis plays a key role in adaptation to environmental stresses. Parvicellular neurons of the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus secrete corticotrophin releasing hormone (CRH) and arginine vasopressin (AVP) into pituitary portal system; CRH and AVP stimulate adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) release through specific G-protein-coupled membrane receptors on pituitary corticotrophs, CRHR1 for CRH and V1b for AVP; the adrenal gland cortex secretes glucocorticoids in response to ACTH. The glucocorticoids activate specific receptors in brain and peripheral tissues thereby triggering the necessary metabolic, immune, neuromodulatory, and behavioral changes to resist stress. While importance of CRH, as a key hypothalamic factor of HPA axis regulation in basal and stress conditions in most species, is generally recognized, role of AVP remains to be clarified. This review focuses on the role of AVP in the regulation of stress responsiveness of the HPA axis with emphasis on the effects of aging on vasopressinergic regulation of HPA axis stress responsiveness. Under most of the known stressors, AVP is necessary for acute ACTH secretion but in a context-specific manner. The current data on the AVP role in regulation of HPA responsiveness to chronic stress in adulthood are rather contradictory. The importance of the vasopressinergic regulation of the HPA stress responsiveness is greatest during fetal development, in neonatal period, and in the lactating adult. Aging associated with increased variability in several parameters of HPA function including basal state, responsiveness to stressors, and special testing. Reports on the possible role of the AVP/V1b receptor system in the increase of HPA axis hyperactivity with aging are contradictory and requires further research. Many contradictory results may be due to age and species differences in the HPA function of rodents and primates. PMID:23486926

  6. Mathematical modeling of light-mediated HPA axis activity and downstream implications on the entrainment of peripheral clock genes.

    PubMed

    Mavroudis, Panteleimon D; Corbett, Siobhan A; Calvano, Steven E; Androulakis, Ioannis P

    2014-10-15

    In this work we propose a semimechanistic model that describes the photic signal transduction to the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis that ultimately regulates the synchronization of peripheral clock genes (PCGs). Our HPA axis model predicts that photic stimulation induces a type-1 phase response curve to cortisol's profile with increased cortisol sensitivity to light exposure in its rising phase, as well as the shortening of cortisol's period as constant light increases (Aschoff's first rule). Furthermore, our model provides insight into cortisol's phase and amplitude dependence on photoperiods and reveals that cortisol maintains highest amplitude variability when it is entrained by a balanced schedule of light and dark periods. Importantly, by incorporating the links between HPA axis and PCGs we were able to investigate how cortisol secretion impacts the entrainment of a population of peripheral cells and show that disrupted light schedules, leading to blunted cortisol secretion, fail to synchronize a population of PCGs which further signifies the loss of circadian rhythmicity in the periphery of the body. PMID:25073602

  7. Quantitative trait Loci influencing abdominal fat deposition and functional variability of the HPA axis in the rat.

    PubMed

    Marissal-Arvy, N; Heliès, J-M; Tridon, C; Moisan, M-P; Mormède, P

    2014-08-01

    With the aim to reveal common genomic regions influencing phenotypes related to HPA axis function and metabolism, we did a quantitative trait loci (QTL) study in a F2 population obtained from the cross-breeding between 2 contrasted rat strains, LOU/C and Fischer 344. QTL determining phenotypes related first to corticotropic function were searched: plasma corticosterone (Cort) in control and stress conditions, after a dexamethasone suppression treatment (glucocorticoid receptor related-effect), and mineralocorticoid receptor-mediated urinary response to aldosterone. Then, phenotypes related to metabolism were studied on the same animals: body composition, basal and post-insulin plasma glucose, plasma free fatty acids, leptin, and insulin. Finally, we analyzed the overlapping regions between these QTL and looked for candidate genes within these regions. The gene NR3C1 encoding the glucocorticoid receptor was confirmed to be central in the link between hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis function and fat deposition, and its metabolic consequences. Among the other candidate genes detected, most contain a glucocorticoid responsive element, strengthening our hypothesis of common genetic determinism between HPA axis and metabolism. PMID:25003539

  8. Blunted HPA axis responsiveness to stress in atopic patients is associated with the acuity and severeness of allergic inflammation.

    PubMed

    Buske-Kirschbaum, A; Ebrecht, M; Hellhammer, D H

    2010-11-01

    Previously we could demonstrate attenuated responsiveness of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis to stress in patients with chronic allergic inflammatory disease (i.e., atopic dermatitis, allergic asthma). The present study was designed to investigate HPA axis function in an acute manifestation of allergy. Patients with seasonal allergic rhinitis (SAR; n = 20) and non-atopic controls (n = 20) were exposed to a standardized laboratory stressor ('Trier Social Stress Test'; TSST). Cortisol responses to the TSST and cortisol awakening responses (CAR) were measured in SAR subjects while suffering from acute symptoms of SAR (pollen season), and during a non-active state of their disease (pollen-free season). To assess the acuity and severity of SAR, eosinophil and basophil numbers and SAR symptomatology were determined. Non-allergic control subjects were examined at identical times during the year. To control for possible sequence effects, a cross-over design was used. SAR patients showed significantly increased symptom severity (t = 9.4; p<.001) as well as eosinophil (F(1,31) = 9.8; p<.01) and basophil (F(1,38) = 6.4; p<.05) numbers during the pollen season when compared to a pollen-free period. When exposed to the TSST, significantly attenuated cortisol responses were found in SAR subjects during acute manifestation of the disease (pollen season) when compared to the pollen-free season (F(16,456) = 1.65; p<.05). In SAR patients, there was a significant negative correlation between symptom severity and the cortisol response to the stressor (r = .53; p<.05). No significant between-group or between-condition differences with respect to the CAR could be determined (all p>.05). These findings support previous data of attenuated HPA axis responsiveness to stress in atopic conditions and further, suggest that HPA axis hyporesponsiveness in atopy may be linked to the severity of the allergic inflammatory process. PMID:20633637

  9. Is Dysregulation of the HPA-Axis a Core Pathophysiology Mediating Co-Morbid Depression in Neurodegenerative Diseases?

    PubMed Central

    Du, Xin; Pang, Terence Y.

    2015-01-01

    There is increasing evidence of prodromal manifestation of neuropsychiatric symptoms in a variety of neurodegenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s disease (PD) and Huntington’s disease (HD). These affective symptoms may be observed many years before the core diagnostic symptoms of the neurological condition. It is becoming more apparent that depression is a significant modifying factor of the trajectory of disease progression and even treatment outcomes. It is therefore crucial that we understand the potential pathophysiologies related to the primary condition, which could contribute to the development of depression. The hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA)-axis is a key neuroendocrine signaling system involved in physiological homeostasis and stress response. Disturbances of this system lead to severe hormonal imbalances, and the majority of such patients also present with behavioral deficits and/or mood disorders. Dysregulation of the HPA-axis is also strongly implicated in the pathology of major depressive disorder. Consistent with this, antidepressant drugs, such as the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors have been shown to alter HPA-axis activity. In this review, we will summarize the current state of knowledge regarding HPA-axis pathology in Alzheimer’s, PD and HD, differentiating between prodromal and later stages of disease progression when evidence is available. Both clinical and preclinical evidence will be examined, but we highlight animal model studies as being particularly useful for uncovering novel mechanisms of pathology related to co-morbid mood disorders. Finally, we purpose utilizing the preclinical evidence to better inform prospective, intervention studies. PMID:25806005

  10. Sex Differences in Activation of the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis by Methamphetamine

    PubMed Central

    Zuloaga, Damian G; Johnson, Lance A; Agam, Maayan; Raber, Jacob

    2014-01-01

    Dysregulation of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activation is associated with changes in addiction-related behaviors. In this study we tested whether sex differences in the acute effects of methamphetamine (MA) exposure involve differential activation of the HPA axis. Male and female mice were injected with MA (1mg/kg) or saline for comparison of plasma corticosterone and analysis of the immediate early gene c-Fos in brain. There was a prolonged elevation in corticosterone levels in female compared to male mice. C-Fos was elevated in both sexes following MA in HPA axis-associated regions, including the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus (PVN), central amygdala, cingulate, and CA3 hippocampal region. MA increased the number of c-Fos and c-Fos/glucocorticoid receptor (GR) dual-labeled cells to a greater extent in males than females in the cingulate and CA3 regions. MA also increased the number of c-fos/vasopressin dual-labeled cells in the PVN as well as the number and percentage of c-Fos/GR dual-labeled cells in the PVN and central amygdala, although no sex differences in dual-labeling were found in these regions. Thus, sex differences in MA-induced plasma corticosterone levels and activation of distinct brain regions and proteins involved in HPA axis regulation may contribute to sex differences in acute effects of MA on the brain. PMID:24400874

  11. Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis Hypersuppression Is Associated with Gastrointestinal Symptoms in Major Depression

    PubMed Central

    Karling, Pontus; Wikgren, Mikael; Adolfsson, Rolf; Norrback, Karl-Fredrik

    2016-01-01

    Background/Aims Gastrointestinal symptoms and hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis dysfunction are frequently observed in patients with major depression. The primary aim of the study was to investigate the relationship between HPA-axis function and self-perceived functional gastrointestinal symptoms in major depression. Methods Patients with major depression (n = 73) and controls representative of the general population (n = 146) underwent a weight-adjusted very low dose dexamethasone suppression test (DST). Patients and controls completed the gastrointestinal symptom rating scale-iritable bowel syndrome (GSRS-IBS) and the hospital anxiety depression scale. Medical records of the patients were screened over a ten year period for functional gastrointestinal disorder and pain conditions. Results Patients with high GSRS-IBS scores (above median) exhibited HPA-axis hypersuppression more often than controls (defined by the lowest 10% cutoff of the post-DST cortisol values among controls, adjusted OR 7.25, CI 1.97–26.7) whereas patients with low GSRS-IBS scores did not differ from controls concerning their post-DST cortisol values. Patients who had consulted primary care for functional gastrointestinal disorder (P = 0.039), lumbago (P = 0.006) and chronic multifocal pain (P = 0.057) also exhibited an increased frequency of hypersuppression. Conclusions HPA-axis hypersuppression is associated with functional gastrointestinal symptoms in patients with major depression. PMID:26507800

  12. The effect of sex and irritable bowel syndrome on HPA axis response and peripheral glucocorticoid receptor expression

    PubMed Central

    Videlock, Elizabeth J.; Shih, Wendy; Adeyemo, Mopelola; Mahurkar-Joshi, Swapna; Presson, Angela P.; Polytarchou, Christos; Alberto, Melissa; Iliopoulos, Dimitrios; Mayer, Emeran A.; Chang, Lin

    2016-01-01

    Background and aims Dysregulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis has been reported in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Enhanced HPA axis response has been associated with reduced glucocorticoid receptor (GR) mediated negative feedback inhibition. We aimed to study the effects of IBS status, sex, or presence of early adverse life events (EAL) on the cortisol response to corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), and on GR mRNA expression in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). Methods Rome III+ IBS patients and healthy controls underwent CRF (1 μg/kg ovine) and ACTH (250 μg) stimulation tests with serial plasma ACTH and cortisol levels measured (n = 116). GR mRNA levels were measured using quantitative PCR (n = 143). Area under the curve (AUC) and linear mixed effects models were used to compare ACTH and cortisol response measured across time between groups. Results There were divergent effects of IBS on the cortisol response to ACTH by sex. In men, IBS was associated with an increased AUC (p = 0.009), but in women AUC was blunted in IBS (p = 0.006). Men also had reduced GR mRNA expression (p = 0.007). Cumulative exposure to EALs was associated with an increased HPA response. Lower GR mRNA was associated with increased pituitary HPA response and increased severity of overall symptoms and abdominal pain in IBS. Conclusion This study highlights the importance of considering sex in studies of IBS and the stress response in general. Our findings also provide support for PBMC GR mRNA expression as a peripheral marker of central HPA response. PMID:27038676

  13. Postnatal masculinization alters the HPA axis phenotype in the adult female rat

    PubMed Central

    Seale, JV; Wood, SA; Atkinson, HC; Harbuz, MS; Lightman, SL

    2005-01-01

    The ability of postnatal testosterone propionate (TP) to masculinize both behaviour and gonadal cyclicity in the female rat is well documented. We have investigated whether postnatal androgen also has an organizational effect on another sexually dimorphic neuroendocrine system – the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. Female rats were exposed to a single injection of testosterone propionate (TP) or oil within 24 h of birth. As adults, rats were either ovariectomized and given 17β-oestradiol replacement (OVXE2) or sham ovariectomized with cholesterol implants (SHOVX). An automated sampling system collected blood from unanaesthetized adult female rats every 10 min over a 24-h period, during a mild psychological stress (noise) and following an immunological lipopolysaccharide stress (LPS). Neonatal TP-treated SHOVX rats had a significant reduction in the number, height, frequency and amplitude of corticosterone pulses over the basal 24-h period, compared to both the neonatal oil-treated and TP-treated OVXE2 animals. The corticosterone response to both noise and LPS was also significantly decreased for the TP-treated SHOVX females. Three hours post-LPS administration, TP females had significantly lower values of paraventricular nucleus (PVN) corticotrophin releasing hormone (CRH), arginine vasopressin (AVP) and anterior pituitary proopiomelanocortin (POMC) mRNAs and greater PVN glucocorticoid receptor (GR) mRNA expression compared to the oil-treated controls. E2 replacement in adult TP rats normalized all the mRNA levels, except for PVN GR mRNA which did fall towards the levels of the oil-control animals. A single injection of TP within 24 h of birth disrupts the development of the characteristic female pattern of corticosterone secretion and the normal female HPA response to stress, resulting in a pattern similar to that seen in males. These effects can be reversed by E2 treatment in the adult TP female rat. PMID:15611026

  14. Trauma exposure and hypothalamic-pituitary- adrenal axis functioning in mentally healthy Dutch peacekeeping veterans, 10-25 years after deployment.

    PubMed

    Klaassens, Ellen R; van Veen, Tineke; Giltay, Erik J; Rinne, Thomas; van Pelt, Johannes; Zitman, Frans G

    2010-02-01

    Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis alterations have been found in veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). It is unclear whether trauma exposure during adulthood in the absence of psychopathology is also associated with HPA-axis dysregulation. Thirty-six trauma-exposed peacekeepers, 23 nonexposed peacekeepers, and 25 nonexposed civilians, all without lifetime psychopathology were studied. Basal HPA-axis functioning was assessed with salivary cortisol samples obtained over 2 days. HPA-axis reactivity was assessed with the dexamethasone/corticotropin-releasing hormone test. Lower afternoon salivary cortisol levels were found in both veteran groups versus controls after adjustment for confounders. The authors concluded that this study does not support the idea that HPA-axis functioning is durably altered by trauma exposure during adulthood in men. PMID:20146391

  15. Stress-induced sensitization: the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and beyond.

    PubMed

    Belda, Xavier; Fuentes, Silvia; Daviu, Nuria; Nadal, Roser; Armario, Antonio

    2015-01-01

    Exposure to certain acute and chronic stressors results in an immediate behavioral and physiological response to the situation followed by a period of days when cross-sensitization to further novel stressors is observed. Cross-sensitization affects to different behavioral and physiological systems, more particularly to the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. It appears that the nature of the initial (triggering) stressor plays a major role, HPA cross-sensitization being more widely observed with systemic or high-intensity emotional stressors. Less important appears to be the nature of the novel (challenging) stressor, although HPA cross-sensitization is better observed with short duration (5-15 min) challenging stressors. In some studies with acute immune stressors, HPA sensitization appears to develop over time (incubation), but most results indicate a strong initial sensitization that progressively declines over the days. Sensitization can affect other physiological system (i.e. plasma catecholamines, brain monoamines), but it is not a general phenomenon. When studied concurrently, behavioral sensitization appears to persist longer than that of the HPA axis, a finding of interest regarding long-term consequences of traumatic stress. In many cases, behavioral and physiological consequences of prior stress can only be observed following imposition of a new stressor, suggesting long-term latent effects of the initial exposure. PMID:26300109

  16. Environmental enrichment rescues female-specific hyperactivity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis in a model of Huntington's disease

    PubMed Central

    Du, X; Leang, L; Mustafa, T; Renoir, T; Pang, T Y; Hannan, A J

    2012-01-01

    Huntington's disease (HD) has long been regarded as a disease of the central nervous system, partly due to typical disease symptoms that include loss of motor control, cognitive deficits and neuropsychiatric disturbances. However, the huntingtin gene is ubiquitously expressed throughout the body. We had previously reported a female-specific depression-related behavioural phenotype in the R6/1 transgenic mouse model of HD. One hypothesis suggests that pathology of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, the key physiological stress-response system that links central and peripheral organs, is a cause of depression. There is evidence of HPA axis pathology in HD, but whether it contributes to the female R6/1 behavioural phenotype is unclear. We have examined HPA axis response of R6/1 mice following acute stress and found evidence of a female-specific dysregulation of the HPA axis in R6/1 mice, which we further isolated to a hyper-response of adrenal cortical cells to stimulation by adrenocorticotrophin hormone. Interestingly, the adrenal pathophysiology was not detected in mice that had been housed in environmentally enriching conditions, an effect of enrichment that was also reproduced in vitro. This constitutes the first evidence that environmental enrichment can in fact exert a lasting influence on peripheral organ function. Cognitive stimulation may therefore not only have benefits for mental function, but also for overall physiological wellbeing. PMID:22760557

  17. Dysregulated Hypothalamic–Pituitary–Adrenal Axis Function Contributes to Altered Endocrine and Neurobehavioral Responses to Acute Stress

    PubMed Central

    Kinlein, Scott A.; Wilson, Christopher D.; Karatsoreos, Ilia N.

    2015-01-01

    Organisms react to environmental challenges by activating a coordinated set of brain–body responses known as the stress response. These physiological and behavioral countermeasures are, in large part, regulated by the neuroendocrine hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis. Normal functioning of the HPA axis ensures that an organism responds appropriately to altered environmental demands, representing an essential system to promote survival. Over the past several decades, increasing evidence supports the hypothesis that disruption of the HPA axis can lead to dysregulated stress response phenotypes, exacting a physiological cost on the organism commonly referred to as allostatic load. Furthermore, it has been recognized that high allostatic load can contribute to increased vulnerability of the organism to further challenges. This observation leads to the notion that disrupted HPA function and resulting inappropriate responses to stressors may underlie many neuropsychiatric disorders, including depression and anxiety. In the present set of studies, we investigate the role of both the normally functioning and disrupted HPA axis in the endocrine, neural, and behavioral responses to acute stress. Using a model of non-invasive chronic corticosterone treatment in mice, we show that dysregulating the normal function of the HPA leads to a mismatch between the hormonal and neural response to acute stress, resulting in abnormal behavioral coping strategies. We believe this model can be leveraged to tease apart the mechanisms by which altered HPA function contributes to neurobehavioral dysregulation in response to acute stress. PMID:25821436

  18. The stability of the extended model of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis examined by stoichiometric network analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Marković, V. M.; Čupić, Ž.; Ivanović, A.; Kolar-Anić, Lj.

    2011-12-01

    Stoichiometric network analysis (SNA) represents a powerful mathematical tool for stability analysis of complex stoichiometric networks. Recently, the important improvement of the method has been made, according to which instability relations can be entirely expressed via reaction rates, instead of thus far used, in general case undefined, current rates. Such an improved SNA methodology was applied to the determination of exact instability conditions of the extended model of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, a neuroendocrinological system, whose hormone concentrations exert complex oscillatory evolution. For emergence of oscillations, the Hopf bifurcation condition was utilized. Instability relations predicted by SNA showed good correlation with numerical simulation data of the HPA axis model.

  19. Correcting hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis dysfunction using observer-based explicit nonlinear model predictive control.

    PubMed

    Chakrabarty, Ankush; Buzzard, Gregery T; Corless, Martin J; Zak, Stanislaw H; Rundell, Ann E

    2014-01-01

    The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis is critical in maintaining homeostasis under physical and psychological stress by modulating cortisol levels in the body. Dysregulation of cortisol levels is linked to numerous stress-related disorders. In this paper, an automated treatment methodology is proposed, employing a variant of nonlinear model predictive control (NMPC), called explicit MPC (EMPC). The controller is informed by an unknown input observer (UIO), which estimates various hormonal levels in the HPA axis system in conjunction with the magnitude of the stress applied on the body, based on measured concentrations of adreno-corticotropic hormones (ACTH). The proposed closed-loop control strategy is tested on multiple in silico patients and the effectiveness of the controller performance is demonstrated. PMID:25570727

  20. Neuroendocrine Regulation of Anxiety: Beyond the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis.

    PubMed

    Borrow, A P; Stranahan, A M; Suchecki, D; Yunes, R

    2016-07-01

    The central nervous system regulates and responds to endocrine signals, and this reciprocal relationship determines emotional processing and behavioural anxiety. Although the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis remains the best-characterised system for this relationship, other steroid and peptide hormones are increasingly recognised for their effects on anxiety-like behaviour and reward. The present review examines recent developments related to the role of a number of different hormones in anxiety, including pregnane neurosteroids, gut peptides, neuropeptides and hormonal signals derived from fatty acids. Findings from both basic and clinical studies suggest that these alternative systems may complement or occlude stress-induced changes in anxiety and anxiety-like behaviour. By broadening the scope of mechanisms for depression and anxiety, it may be possible to develop novel strategies to attenuate stress-related psychiatric conditions. The targets for these potential therapies, as discussed in this review, encompass multiple circuits and systems, including those outside of the HPA axis. PMID:27318180

  1. HPA axis and vagus nervous function are involved in impaired insulin secretion of MSG-obese rats.

    PubMed

    Miranda, Rosiane A; Torrezan, Rosana; de Oliveira, Júlio C; Barella, Luiz F; da Silva Franco, Claudinéia C; Lisboa, Patrícia C; Moura, Egberto G; Mathias, Paulo C F

    2016-07-01

    Neuroendocrine dysfunctions such as the hyperactivity of the vagus nerve and hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis greatly contribute to obesity and hyperinsulinemia; however, little is known about these dysfunctions in the pancreatic β-cells of obese individuals. We used a hypothalamic-obesity model obtained by neonatal treatment with monosodium l-glutamate (MSG) to induce obesity. To assess the role of the HPA axis and vagal tonus in the genesis of hypercorticosteronemia and hyperinsulinemia in an adult MSG-obese rat model, bilateral adrenalectomy (ADX) and subdiaphragmatic vagotomy (VAG) alone or combined surgeries (ADX-VAG) were performed. To study glucose-induced insulin secretion (GIIS) and the cholinergic insulinotropic process, pancreatic islets were incubated with different glucose concentrations with or without oxotremorine-M, a selective agonist of the M3 muscarinic acetylcholine receptor (M3AChR) subtype. Protein expression of M3AChR in pancreatic islets, corticosteronemia, and vagus nerve activity was also evaluated. Surgeries reduced 80% of the body weight gain. Fasting glucose and insulin were reduced both by ADX and ADX-VAG, whereas VAG was only associated with hyperglycemia. The serum insulin post-glucose stimulation was lower in all animals that underwent an operation. Vagal activity was decreased by 50% in ADX rats. In the highest glucose concentration, both surgeries reduced GIIS by 50%, whereas ADX-VAG decreased by 70%. Additionally, M3AChR activity was recovered by the individual surgeries. M3AChR protein expression was reduced by ADX. Both the adrenal gland and vagus nerve contribute to the hyperinsulinemia in the MSG model, although adrenal is more crucial as it appears to modulate parasympathetic activity and M3AChR expression in obesity. PMID:27113853

  2. Melatonin reversal of DOI-induced hypophagia in rats; possible mechanism by suppressing 5-HT(2A) receptor-mediated activation of HPA axis.

    PubMed

    Raghavendra, V; Kulkarni, S K

    2000-03-31

    Serotonin type 2A (5-HT(2A)) receptor-mediated neurotransmitter is known to activate hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, regulate sleep-awake cycle, induce anorexia and hyperthermia. Interaction between melatonin and 5-HT(2A) receptors in the regulation of the sleep-awake cycle and head-twitch response in rat have been reported. Previous studies have shown that melatonin has suppressant effect on HPA axis activation, decreases core body temperature and induces hyperphagia in animals. However, melatonin interaction with 5-HT(2A) receptors in mediation of these actions is not yet reported. We have studied the acute effect of melatonin and its antagonist, luzindole on centrally administered (+/-)-1-(2, 5-dimethoxy-4-iodophenyl) 2-amino propane (DOI; a 5-HT(2A/2C) agonist)-induced activation of HPA axis, hypophagia and hyperthermia in 24-h food-deprived rats. Like ritanserin [(1 mg/kg, i.p.) 5-HT(2A/2C) antagonist], peripherally administered melatonin (1.5 and 3 mg/kg, i.p.) did not affect the food intake, rectal temperature or basal adrenal ascorbic acid level. However, pretreatment of rats with it significantly reversed DOI (10 microgram, intraventricular)-induced anorexia and activation of HPA axis. But the hyperthermia induced by DOI was not sensitive to reversal by melatonin. Mel(1) receptor subtype antagonist luzindole (5 microgram, intraventricular) did not modulate the DOI effect but antagonized the melatonin (3 mg/kg, i.p.) reversal of 5-HT(2A) agonist response. The present data suggest that melatonin reversal of DOI-induced hypophagia could be due to suppression of 5-HT(2A) mediated activation of HPA axis. PMID:10727629

  3. Hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis activity and the subsequent response to chronic stress differ depending upon life history stage.

    PubMed

    Lattin, Christine R; Bauer, Carolyn M; de Bruijn, Robert; Michael Romero, L

    2012-09-15

    The hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis is modulated seasonally in many species, and chronic stress can alter HPA functioning. However, it is not known how these two factors interact - are there particular life history stages when animals are more or less vulnerable to chronic stress? We captured wild house sparrows (Passer domesticus) in Massachusetts during six different life history stages: early and late winter, pre-laying, breeding, late breeding, and molt. At each time point, we tested HPA function by measuring baseline and stress-induced corticosterone (CORT), negative feedback in response to an injection of dexamethasone, and maximum adrenal response through an injection of adrenocorticotropic hormone. We then brought birds into captivity as a model for chronic stress, and repeated the four tests 5 days later. At capture, all HPA variables varied seasonally. Birds showed increased negative feedback during breeding and late winter compared to pre-laying. Furthermore, birds during the late breeding period had down-regulated their HPA axis, perhaps in preparation for molt. After 5 days of captivity, house sparrows lost ∼11% of initial body mass, although birds lost more weight during molt and early winter. Overall, captive sparrows showed elevated baseline CORT and increased negative feedback, although negative feedback did not show a significant increase during any individual life history stage. During most of the year, adrenal sensitivity was unaffected by captivity. However, during late breeding and molt, adrenal sensitivity increased during captivity. Taken together, these data provide further support that HPA function naturally varies throughout the year, with the interesting consequence that molting birds may potentially be more vulnerable to a chronic stressor such as captivity. PMID:22841762

  4. Sensitization of the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis in a Male Rat Chronic Stress Model.

    PubMed

    Franco, Alier J; Chen, Chun; Scullen, Tyler; Zsombok, Andrea; Salahudeen, Ahmed A; Di, Shi; Herman, James P; Tasker, Jeffrey G

    2016-06-01

    Stress activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis is regulated by rapid glucocorticoid negative feedback. Chronic unpredictable stress animal models recapitulate certain aspects of major depression in humans, which have been attributed to impaired glucocorticoid negative feedback. We tested for an attenuated HPA sensitivity to fast glucocorticoid feedback inhibition in male rats exposed to a chronic variable stress (CVS) paradigm. In vitro, parvocellular neuroendocrine cells of the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus recorded in slices from CVS rats showed an increase in basal excitatory synaptic inputs and a decrease in basal inhibitory synaptic inputs compared with neurons from control rats. There was no difference between control and CVS-treated rats in the rapid glucocorticoid suppression of excitatory synaptic inputs, a fast feedback mechanism. In vivo, CVS-treated rats showed an increase in ACTH secretion at baseline and after both iv CRH and acute stress and no impairment of the corticosterone suppression of the ACTH response, compared with controls. In an in vitro pituitary preparation, an increase in basal ACTH release, a small increase in CRH-induced ACTH release, and no decrement in the glucocorticoid suppression of ACTH release were seen in pituitaries from CVS rats. Thus, CVS does not suppress rapid glucocorticoid negative feedback at the hypothalamus or pituitary, but increases the synaptic excitability of paraventricular nucleus CRH neurons and the CRH sensitivity of the pituitary. Therefore, increased HPA activity in chronically stressed male rats is due to sensitization of the HPA axis, rather than to desensitization to rapid glucocorticoid feedback. PMID:27054552

  5. Inter-relation between autonomic and HPA axis activity in children and adolescents.

    PubMed

    Rotenberg, Sivan; McGrath, Jennifer J

    2016-05-01

    Stress research in youth typically considers either the autonomic nervous system or HPA axis. However, these systems are highly coordinated and physically interconnected. We examined whether the inter-relation between cardio-autonomic and HPA axis measures was better associated with perceived stress than their singular associations. Children and adolescents (N=201) collected saliva samples to measure cortisol (AUCAG, AUCI, maximum), wore an electrocardiogram monitor for 24h to derive heart rate variability (HRV; LF, HF, LF/HF ratio), and completed the Perceived Stress Scale. The interaction between sympathovagal modulation (LF, LF/HF ratio) and cortisol awakening response (AUCAG, AUCI, maximum) explained significantly greater variance in perceived stress than either stress system alone. Higher sympathovagal modulation combined with higher cortisol awakening response was associated with greater perceived stress. Findings suggest that the inter-relation between cardio-autonomic and HPA axis activity may advance our understanding of how stress impacts health. PMID:26835595

  6. Maternal depression across the first years of life compromises child psychosocial adjustment; relations to child HPA-axis functioning.

    PubMed

    Apter-Levi, Yael; Pratt, Maayan; Vakart, Adam; Feldman, Michal; Zagoory-Sharon, Orna; Feldman, Ruth

    2016-02-01

    Maternal depression across the first years of life negatively impacts children's development. One pathway of vulnerability may involve functioning of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. We utilize a community cohort of 1983 women with no comorbid risk repeatedly assessed for depression from birth to six years to form two groups; chronically depressed (N=40) and non-depressed (N=91) women. At six years, mother and child underwent psychiatric diagnosis, child salivary cortisol (CT) was assessed three times during a home-visit, mother-child interaction was videotaped, and child empathy was coded from behavioral paradigms. Latent Growth curve Model using Structural Equation Modeling (SEM) estimated the links between maternal depression and mother's negative parenting and three child outcomes; psychopathology, social withdrawal, and empathy as related to child CT baseline and variability. Depressed mothers displayed more negative parenting and their children showed more Axis-I psychopathology and social withdrawal. SEM analysis revealed that maternal depression was associated with reduced CT variability, which predicted higher child psychopathology and social withdrawal. Whereas all children exhibited similar initial levels of CT, children of controls reduced CT levels over time while children of depressed mothers maintained high, non-flexible levels. Mother negativity was related to lower initial CT levels, which predicted decreased empathy. Findings suggest that chronic maternal depression may compromise children's social-emotional adjustment by diminishing HPA-system flexibility as well as limiting the mother's capacity to provide attuned and predictable caregiving. PMID:26610204

  7. Does HPA-Axis Dysregulation Account for the Effects of Income on Effortful Control and Adjustment in Preschool Children?

    PubMed

    Lengua, Liliana J; Zalewski, Maureen; Fisher, Phil; Moran, Lyndsey

    2013-09-01

    The effects of low income on children's adjustment might be accounted for by disruptions to hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA)-axis activity and to the development of effortful control. Using longitudinal data and a community sample of preschool-age children (N = 306, 36-39 months) and their mothers, recruited to over-represent low-income families, we explored the associations among diurnal cortisol levels and effortful control, and we tested a model in which diurnal cortisol and effortful control account for the effects of family income on child adjustment. Continuous indicators of morning cortisol level and diurnal slope, as well as dichotomous indicators reflecting low morning levels and flat diurnal slope, were examined as predictors of rank-order changes in two dimensions of effortful control, executive control and delay ability. Low income was related to a flat diurnal cortisol slope, and above the effects of family income, a flat diurnal cortisol slope predicted lower social competence. Low morning cortisol level predicted smaller gains in executive control and higher total adjustment problems. Further, delay ability predicted lower adjustment problems above the effects of income and diurnal cortisol levels. The results suggest that HPA-axis dysregulation and effortful control contribute additively to children's adjustment. PMID:25414597

  8. Does HPA-Axis Dysregulation Account for the Effects of Income on Effortful Control and Adjustment in Preschool Children?

    PubMed Central

    Lengua, Liliana J.; Zalewski, Maureen; Fisher, Phil; Moran, Lyndsey

    2014-01-01

    The effects of low income on children's adjustment might be accounted for by disruptions to hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA)-axis activity and to the development of effortful control. Using longitudinal data and a community sample of preschool-age children (N = 306, 36–39 months) and their mothers, recruited to over-represent low-income families, we explored the associations among diurnal cortisol levels and effortful control, and we tested a model in which diurnal cortisol and effortful control account for the effects of family income on child adjustment. Continuous indicators of morning cortisol level and diurnal slope, as well as dichotomous indicators reflecting low morning levels and flat diurnal slope, were examined as predictors of rank-order changes in two dimensions of effortful control, executive control and delay ability. Low income was related to a flat diurnal cortisol slope, and above the effects of family income, a flat diurnal cortisol slope predicted lower social competence. Low morning cortisol level predicted smaller gains in executive control and higher total adjustment problems. Further, delay ability predicted lower adjustment problems above the effects of income and diurnal cortisol levels. The results suggest that HPA-axis dysregulation and effortful control contribute additively to children's adjustment. PMID:25414597

  9. Fetal endocrine and metabolic adaptations to hypoxia: the role of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis.

    PubMed

    Newby, Elizabeth A; Myers, Dean A; Ducsay, Charles A

    2015-09-01

    In utero, hypoxia is a significant yet common stress that perturbs homeostasis and can occur due to preeclampsia, preterm labor, maternal smoking, heart or lung disease, obesity, and high altitude. The fetus has the extraordinary capacity to respond to stress during development. This is mediated in part by the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and more recently explored changes in perirenal adipose tissue (PAT) in response to hypoxia. Obvious ethical considerations limit studies of the human fetus, and fetal studies in the rodent model are limited due to size considerations and major differences in developmental landmarks. The sheep is a common model that has been used extensively to study the effects of both acute and chronic hypoxia on fetal development. In response to high-altitude-induced, moderate long-term hypoxia (LTH), both the HPA axis and PAT adapt to preserve normal fetal growth and development while allowing for responses to acute stress. Although these adaptations appear beneficial during fetal development, they may become deleterious postnatally and into adulthood. The goal of this review is to examine the role of the HPA axis in the convergence of endocrine and metabolic adaptive responses to hypoxia in the fetus. PMID:26173460

  10. Leukemia inhibitory factor regulates glucocorticoid receptor expression in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis.

    PubMed

    Kariagina, Anastasia; Zonis, Svetlana; Afkhami, Mahta; Romanenko, Dmitry; Chesnokova, Vera

    2005-11-01

    Leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF) is a pleiotropic cytokine belonging to the gp130 family. LIF is induced peripherally and within the brain during inflammatory or chronic autoimmune diseases and is a potent stimulator of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. Here we investigated the role of LIF in mediating glucocorticoid receptor (GR) expression in the HPA axis. LIF treatment (3 microg/mouse, i.p.) markedly decreased GR mRNA levels in murine hypothalamus (5-fold, P < 0.01) and pituitary (1.7-fold, P < 0.01) and downregulated GR protein levels. LIF decreased GR expression in murine corticotroph cell line AtT20 within 2 h, and this effect was sustained for 8 h after treatment. LIF-induced GR mRNA reduction was abrogated in AtT20 cells overexpressing dominant-negative mutants of STAT3, indicating that intact JAK-STAT signaling is required to mediate LIF effects on GR expression. Conversely, mice with LIF deficiency exhibited increased GR mRNA levels in the hypothalamus and pituitary (3.5- and 3.5-fold, respectively; P < 0.01 for both) and increased GR protein expression when compared with wild-type littermates. The suppressive effects of dexamethasone on GR were more pronounced in LIF-null animals. These data suggest that LIF maintains the HPA axis activation by decreasing GR expression and raise the possibility that LIF might contribute to the development of central glucocorticoid resistance during inflammation. PMID:15985451

  11. Model-Based Therapeutic Correction of Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis Dysfunction

    PubMed Central

    Ben-Zvi, Amos; Vernon, Suzanne D.; Broderick, Gordon

    2009-01-01

    The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis is a major system maintaining body homeostasis by regulating the neuroendocrine and sympathetic nervous systems as well modulating immune function. Recent work has shown that the complex dynamics of this system accommodate several stable steady states, one of which corresponds to the hypocortisol state observed in patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). At present these dynamics are not formally considered in the development of treatment strategies. Here we use model-based predictive control (MPC) methodology to estimate robust treatment courses for displacing the HPA axis from an abnormal hypocortisol steady state back to a healthy cortisol level. This approach was applied to a recent model of HPA axis dynamics incorporating glucocorticoid receptor kinetics. A candidate treatment that displays robust properties in the face of significant biological variability and measurement uncertainty requires that cortisol be further suppressed for a short period until adrenocorticotropic hormone levels exceed 30% of baseline. Treatment may then be discontinued, and the HPA axis will naturally progress to a stable attractor defined by normal hormone levels. Suppression of biologically available cortisol may be achieved through the use of binding proteins such as CBG and certain metabolizing enzymes, thus offering possible avenues for deployment in a clinical setting. Treatment strategies can therefore be designed that maximally exploit system dynamics to provide a robust response to treatment and ensure a positive outcome over a wide range of conditions. Perhaps most importantly, a treatment course involving further reduction in cortisol, even transient, is quite counterintuitive and challenges the conventional strategy of supplementing cortisol levels, an approach based on steady-state reasoning. PMID:19165314

  12. Analysis of baseline hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal activity in late adolescence reveals gender specific sensitivity of the stress axis.

    PubMed

    Reynolds, Rebecca M; Hii, Hilary L; Pennell, Craig E; McKeague, Ian W; de Kloet, E Ron; Lye, Stephen; Stanley, Fiona J; Mattes, Eugen; Foster, Jonathan K

    2013-08-01

    Dysfunctional regulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis has been proposed as an important biological mechanism underlying stress-related diseases; however, a better understanding of the interlinked neuroendocrine events driving the release of cortisol by this stress axis is essential for progress in preventing or halting irreversible development of adverse HPA-function. We aimed to investigate basal HPA-activity in a normal population in late adolescence, the time of life believed to overlap with HPA-axis maturation and establishment of a lasting set point level of HPA function. A total of 1258 participants (mean age 16.6 years) recruited from the Western Australian Pregnancy (Raine) Cohort provided fasting morning blood and saliva samples for basal HPA activity assessment. Irrespective of gender, linear regression modelling identified a positive correlation between the main components of the HPA-cascade of events, ACTH, total cortisol and free cortisol in saliva. Corticosteroid binding globulin (CBG) was inversely associated with free cortisol in saliva, an effect most clearly observed in boys. ACTH levels were lower, but cortisol levels were higher in girls than in boys. Girls may also be exposed to more bioactive cortisol, based on higher average free cortisol measured in saliva at awakening. These relatively higher female free cortisol levels were significantly reduced by oral contraceptive use, eliminating the gender specific difference in salivary cortisol. Free plasma cortisol, calculated from total circulating cortisol and CBG concentrations, was also significantly reduced in girls using oral contraceptives, possibly via an enhancing effect of oral contraceptives on blood CBG content. This study highlights a clear gender difference in HPA activity under non-stressful natural conditions. This finding may be relevant for research into sex-specific stress-related diseases with a typical onset in late adolescence. PMID:23218518

  13. The Nutrient and Energy Sensor Sirt1 Regulates the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) Axis by Altering the Production of the Prohormone Convertase 2 (PC2) Essential in the Maturation of Corticotropin-releasing Hormone (CRH) from Its Prohormone in Male Rats.

    PubMed

    Toorie, Anika M; Cyr, Nicole E; Steger, Jennifer S; Beckman, Ross; Farah, George; Nillni, Eduardo A

    2016-03-11

    Understanding the role of hypothalamic neuropeptides and hormones in energy balance is paramount in the search for approaches to mitigate the obese state. Increased hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activity leads to increased levels of glucocorticoids (GC) that are known to regulate body weight. The axis initiates the production and release of corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) from the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) of the hypothalamus. Levels of active CRH peptide are dependent on the processing of its precursor pro-CRH by the action of two members of the family of prohormone convertases 1 and 2 (PC1 and PC2). Here, we propose that the nutrient sensor sirtuin 1 (Sirt1) regulates the production of CRH post-translationally by affecting PC2. Data suggest that Sirt1 may alter the preproPC2 gene directly or via deacetylation of the transcription factor Forkhead box protein O1 (FoxO1). Data also suggest that Sirt1 may alter PC2 via a post-translational mechanism. Our results show that Sirt1 levels in the PVN increase in rats fed a high fat diet for 12 weeks. Furthermore, elevated Sirt1 increased PC2 levels, which in turn increased the production of active CRH and GC. Collectively, this study provides the first evidence supporting the hypothesis that PVN Sirt1 activates the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and basal GC levels by enhancing the production of CRH through an increase in the biosynthesis of PC2, which is essential in the maturation of CRH from its prohormone, pro-CRH. PMID:26755731

  14. Effects of Low and High Nicotine Cigarette Smoking on Mood States and the HPA Axis in Men

    PubMed Central

    Mendelson, Jack H.; Sholar, Michelle B.; Goletiani, Nathalie; Siegel, Arthur J.; Mello, Nancy K.

    2005-01-01

    The acute effects of smoking a low or high nicotine cigarette on hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) hormones, subjective responses and cardiovascular measures were studied in 20 healthy men who met DSM-IV criteria for nicotine dependence. Within 4 puffs (or 2 min) after cigarette smoking began, plasma nicotine levels and heart rate increased significantly (P<0.01), and peak ratings of “high” and “rush” on a Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) were reported. Reports of “high”, “rush” and “liking” and reduction of “craving” were significantly greater after smoking a high nicotine cigarette than a low nicotine cigarette (P<0.05). Peak plasma nicotine levels after high nicotine cigarette smoking (23.9 ± 2.6 ng/ml) were significantly greater than after low nicotine cigarette smoking (3.63 ± 0.59 ng/ml) (P<0.001). After smoking a low nicotine cigarette, ACTH, cortisol, DHEA and epinephrine did not change significantly from baseline. After high nicotine cigarette smoking began, plasma ACTH levels increased significantly above baseline within 12 min and reached peak levels of 21.88 ± 5.34 pmol/L within 20 min. ACTH increases were significantly correlated with increases in plasma nicotine (r=0.85; P<0.0001), DHEA (r=0.66; P=0.002), and epinephrine (r=0.86; P<0.0001). Cortisol and DHEA increased significantly within 20 min (P<0.05) and reached peak levels of 424 ± 48 nmol/L and 21.13 ± 2.55 ng/ml within 60 and 30 min, respectively. Thus cigarette smoking produced nicotine dose-related effects on HPA hormones, subjective and cardiovascular measures. These data suggest that activation of the HPA axis may contribute to the abuse-related effects of cigarette smoking. PMID:15870834

  15. Effects of chronic plus acute prolonged stress on measures of coping style, anxiety, and evoked HPA-axis reactivity.

    PubMed

    Roth, Megan K; Bingham, Brian; Shah, Aparna; Joshi, Ankur; Frazer, Alan; Strong, Randy; Morilak, David A

    2012-11-01

    Exposure to psychological trauma is the precipitating factor for PTSD. In addition, a history of chronic or traumatic stress exposure is a predisposing risk factor. We have developed a Chronic plus Acute Prolonged Stress (CAPS) treatment for rats that models some of the characteristics of stressful events that can lead to PTSD in humans. We have previously shown that CAPS enhances acute fear responses and impairs extinction of conditioned fear. Further, CAPS reduced the expression of glucocorticoid receptors in the medial prefrontal cortex. In this study we examined the effects of CAPS exposure on behavioral stress coping style, anxiety-like behaviors, and acute stress reactivity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. Male Sprague-Dawley rats were exposed to CAPS treatment, consisting of chronic intermittent cold stress (4 °C, 6 h/day, 14 days) followed on day 15 by a single 1-h session of sequential acute stressors (social defeat, immobilization, swim). After CAPS or control treatment, different groups were tested for shock probe defensive burying, novelty suppressed feeding, or evoked activation of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and corticosterone release by an acute immobilization stress. CAPS resulted in a decrease in active burying behavior and an increase in immobility in the shock probe test. Further, CAPS-treated rats displayed increases in the latency to feed in the novelty suppressed feeding test, despite an increase in food intake in the home cage. CAPS treatment also reduced the HPA response to a subsequent acute immobilization stress. These results further validate CAPS treatment as a rat model of relevance to PTSD, and together with results reported previously, suggest that CAPS impairs fear extinction, shifts coping behavior from an active to a more passive strategy, increases anxiety, and alters HPA reactivity, resembling many aspects of human PTSD. PMID:22842072

  16. Plasma pregnenolone levels in cynomolgus monkeys following pharmacological challenges of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis.

    PubMed

    Porcu, Patrizia; Rogers, Laura S M; Morrow, A Leslie; Grant, Kathleen A

    2006-08-01

    Pregnenolone (PREG) is an endogenous neuroactive steroid that is increased in rodent brain and plasma after hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) activation by acute stress or ethanol administration. Plasma levels of PREG metabolites are altered by pharmacological challenges of the HPA axis, however little is known about HPA regulation of PREG levels in monkeys. PREG concentrations were determined by radioimmunoassay in plasma samples from cynomolgus monkeys, following challenge with naloxone (125 and 375 microg/kg), corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF; 1 microg/kg), dexamethasone (130 microg/kg), adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH; 10 ng/kg; 4-6 h after 0.5 mg/kg dexamethasone) and ethanol (1.0 and 1.5 g/kg). Naloxone increased PREG levels, while CRF appeared to increase metabolism of PREG to deoxycorticosterone (DOC). ACTH, administered after dexamethasone, reduced PREG levels, despite an increase in plasma cortisol. Ethanol did not alter PREG levels. Changes in PREG levels were correlated with changes in DOC levels after naloxone 125 microg/kg, CRF, ethanol 1.5 g/kg, and dexamethasone challenges. Furthermore, dexamethasone-induced changes in PREG levels were correlated with subsequent alcohol intake. These data suggest that PREG responses to dexamethasone challenge may represent a trait marker of alcohol drinking. The lack of effect of ethanol on PREG levels suggests differential regulation in non-human primates vs. rodents. PMID:16790266

  17. Critical features of acute stress-induced cross-sensitization identified through the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis output.

    PubMed

    Belda, Xavier; Nadal, Roser; Armario, Antonio

    2016-01-01

    Stress-induced sensitization represents a process whereby prior exposure to severe stressors leaves animals or humans in a hyper-responsive state to further stressors. Indeed, this phenomenon is assumed to be the basis of certain stress-associated pathologies, including post-traumatic stress disorder and psychosis. One biological system particularly prone to sensitization is the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, the prototypic stress system. It is well established that under certain conditions, prior exposure of animals to acute and chronic (triggering) stressors enhances HPA responses to novel (heterotypic) stressors on subsequent days (e.g. raised plasma ACTH and corticosterone levels). However, such changes remain somewhat controversial and thus, the present study aimed to identify the critical characteristics of the triggering and challenging stressors that affect acute stress-induced HPA cross-sensitization in adult rats. We found that HPA cross-sensitization is markedly influenced by the intensity of the triggering stressor, whereas the length of exposure mainly affects its persistence. Importantly, HPA sensitization is more evident with mild than strong challenging stressors, and it may remain unnoticed if exposure to the challenging stressor is prolonged beyond 15 min. We speculate that heterotypic HPA sensitization might have developed to optimize biologically adaptive responses to further brief stressors. PMID:27511270

  18. Critical features of acute stress-induced cross-sensitization identified through the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis output

    PubMed Central

    Belda, Xavier; Nadal, Roser; Armario, Antonio

    2016-01-01

    Stress-induced sensitization represents a process whereby prior exposure to severe stressors leaves animals or humans in a hyper-responsive state to further stressors. Indeed, this phenomenon is assumed to be the basis of certain stress-associated pathologies, including post-traumatic stress disorder and psychosis. One biological system particularly prone to sensitization is the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, the prototypic stress system. It is well established that under certain conditions, prior exposure of animals to acute and chronic (triggering) stressors enhances HPA responses to novel (heterotypic) stressors on subsequent days (e.g. raised plasma ACTH and corticosterone levels). However, such changes remain somewhat controversial and thus, the present study aimed to identify the critical characteristics of the triggering and challenging stressors that affect acute stress-induced HPA cross-sensitization in adult rats. We found that HPA cross-sensitization is markedly influenced by the intensity of the triggering stressor, whereas the length of exposure mainly affects its persistence. Importantly, HPA sensitization is more evident with mild than strong challenging stressors, and it may remain unnoticed if exposure to the challenging stressor is prolonged beyond 15 min. We speculate that heterotypic HPA sensitization might have developed to optimize biologically adaptive responses to further brief stressors. PMID:27511270

  19. Decreased daytime illumination leads to anxiety-like behaviors and HPA axis dysregulation in the diurnal grass rat (Arvicanthis niloticus).

    PubMed

    Ikeno, Tomoko; Deats, Sean P; Soler, Joel; Lonstein, Joseph S; Yan, Lily

    2016-03-01

    The impact of ambient light on mood and anxiety is best exemplified in seasonal affective disorder, in which patients experience depression and anxiety in winter when there is less light in the environment. However, the brain mechanisms underlying light-dependent changes in affective state remain unclear. Our previous work revealed increased depression-like behaviors in the diurnal Nile grass rat (Arvicanthis niloticus) housed in a dim light-dark (dim-LD) cycle as compared to the controls housed in a bright light-dark (bright-LD) condition. As depression is often comorbid with anxiety and is associated with dysregulation of the body's stress response system, the present study examined the anxiety-like behaviors as well as indicators of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis functioning in the grass rats. Animals housed in dim-LD showed increased anxiety-like behaviors compared to bright-LD controls, as revealed by fewer entries and less time spent at the center in the open field test and more marbles buried during the marble-burying test. Following the marble-burying test, dim-LD animals showed higher plasma corticosterone (CORT) levels and hippocampal Fos expression. Although the daily CORT rhythm was comparable between bright-LD and dim-LD groups, the day/night variation of corticotropin-releasing hormone mRNA expression in the paraventricular nucleus was diminished in dim-LD animals. In addition, glucocorticoid receptor and mineralocorticoid receptor mRNA expression were higher in the hippocampus of dim-LD animals. The results suggest that in diurnal species, reduced daytime illumination can lead to increased anxiety-like behaviors and altered HPA axis functioning, providing insights into the link between decreased environmental illumination and negative emotion. PMID:26684510

  20. Weight loss by calorie restriction versus bariatric surgery differentially regulates the HPA axis in male rats

    PubMed Central

    Grayson, Bernadette E.; Hakala-Finch, Andrew P.; Kekulawala, Melani; Laub, Holly; Egan, Ann E.; Ressler, Ilana B.; Woods, Stephen C.; Herman, James P.; Seeley, Randy J.; Benoit, Stephen C.; Ulrich-Lai, Yvonne M.

    2015-01-01

    Behavioral modifications for the treatment of obesity, including caloric restriction, have notoriously low long-term success rates relative to bariatric weight-loss surgery. The reasons for the difference in sustained weight loss are not clear. One possibility is that caloric restriction alone activates the stress-responsive hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis, undermining the long-term maintenance of weight loss, and that this is abrogated after bariatric surgery. Accordingly, we compared the HPA response to weight loss in 5 groups of male rats: (1) high-fat diet-induced obese (DIO) rats treated with Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery (RYGB, n=7), (2) DIO rats treated with vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG, n=11), (3) DIO rats given sham surgery and subsequently restricted to the food intake of the VSG/RYGB groups (Pair-fed, n=11), (4) ad libitum-fed DIO rats given sham surgery (Obese, n=11) and (5) ad libitum chow-fed rats given sham surgery (Lean, n=12). Compared to Lean controls, food-restricted rats exhibited elevated morning (nadir) non-stress plasma corticosterone concentrations and increased hypothalamic corticotropin releasing hormone and vasopressin mRNA expression, indicative of basal HPA activation. This was largely prevented when weight loss was achieved by bariatric surgery. DIO increased HPA activation by acute (novel environment) stress and this was diminished by bariatric surgery-, but not pair-feeding-, induced weight loss. These results suggest that the HPA axis is differentially affected by weight loss from caloric restriction versus bariatric surgery, and this may contribute to the differing long-term effectiveness of these two weight-loss approaches. PMID:25238021

  1. Lack of specific association between panicogenic properties of caffeine and HPA-axis activation. A placebo-controlled study of caffeine challenge in patients with panic disorder.

    PubMed

    Masdrakis, Vasilios G; Markianos, Manolis; Oulis, Panagiotis

    2015-09-30

    A subgroup of patients with Panic Disorder (PD) exhibits increased sensitivity to caffeine administration. However, the association between caffeine-induced panic attacks and post-caffeine hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA)-axis activation in PD patients remains unclear. In a randomized, double-blind, cross-over experiment, 19 PD patients underwent a 400-mg caffeine-challenge and a placebo-challenge, both administered in the form of instant coffee. Plasma levels of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), cortisol and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEAS) were assessed at both baseline and post-challenge. No patient panicked after placebo-challenge, while nine patients (47.3%) panicked after caffeine-challenge. Placebo administration did not result in any significant change in hormones' plasma levels. Overall, sample's patients demonstrated significant increases in ACTH, cortisol, and DHEAS plasma levels after caffeine administration. However, post-caffeine panickers and non-panickers did not differ with respect to the magnitude of the increases. Our results indicate that in PD patients, caffeine-induced panic attacks are not specifically associated with HPA-axis activation, as this is reflected in post-caffeine increases in ACTH, cortisol and DHEAS plasma levels, suggesting that caffeine-induced panic attacks in PD patients are not specifically mediated by the biological processes underlying fear or stress. More generally, our results add to the evidence that HPA-axis activation is not a specific characteristic of panic. PMID:26243374

  2. Serotonin activates the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis via serotonin 2C receptor stimulation.

    PubMed

    Heisler, Lora K; Pronchuk, Nina; Nonogaki, Katsunori; Zhou, Ligang; Raber, Jacob; Tung, Loraine; Yeo, Giles S H; O'Rahilly, Stephen; Colmers, William F; Elmquist, Joel K; Tecott, Laurence H

    2007-06-27

    The dynamic interplay between serotonin [5-hydroxytryptamine (5-HT)] neurotransmission and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis has been extensively studied over the past 30 years, but the underlying mechanism of this interaction has not been defined. A possibility receiving little attention is that 5-HT regulates upstream corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) signaling systems via activation of serotonin 2C receptors (5-HT(2C)Rs) in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus (PVH). Through complementary approaches in wild-type rodents and 5-HT(2C)R-deficient mice, we determined that 5-HT(2C)Rs are necessary for 5-HT-induced HPA axis activation. We used laser-capture PVH microdissection followed by microarray analysis to compare the expression of 13 5-HTRs. Only 5-HT(2C)R and 5-HT(1D)R transcripts were consistently identified as present in the PVH, and of these, the 5-HT(2C)R was expressed at a substantially higher level. The abundant expression of 5-HT(2C)Rs in the PVH was confirmed with in situ hybridization histochemistry. Dual-neurohistochemical labeling revealed that approximately one-half of PVH CRH-containing neurons coexpressed 5-HT(2C)R mRNA. We observed that PVH CRH neurons consistently depolarized in the presence of a high-affinity 5-HT(2C)R agonist, an effect blocked by a 5-HT(2C)R antagonist. Supporting the importance of 5-HT(2C)Rs in CRH neuronal activity, genetic inactivation of 5-HT(2C)Rs produced a downregulation of CRH mRNA and blunted CRH and corticosterone release after 5-HT compound administration. These findings thus provide a mechanistic explanation for the longstanding observation of HPA axis stimulation in response to 5-HT and thereby give insight into the neural circuitry mediating the complex neuroendocrine responses to stress. PMID:17596444

  3. Cumulative Effects of Prenatal Substance Exposure and Early Adversity on Foster Children's HPA-Axis Reactivity during a Psychosocial Stressor

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Fisher, Philip A.; Kim, Hyoun K.; Bruce, Jacqueline; Pears, Katherine C.

    2012-01-01

    Dysregulated hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis stress response has been reported among individuals with prenatal substance exposure and those with early adversity exposure. However, few researchers have examined the combined effects of these risk factors. Patterns of HPA reactivity among maltreated foster children with and without…

  4. Prematurity, Birth Weight, and Socioeconomic Status Are Linked to Atypical Diurnal Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis Activity in Young Adults.

    PubMed

    Winchester, Suzy Barcelos; Sullivan, Mary C; Roberts, Mary B; Granger, Douglas A

    2016-02-01

    In a prospective, case-controlled longitudinal design, 180 preterm and fullterm infants who had been enrolled at birth participated in a comprehensive assessment battery at age 23. Of these, 149 young adults, 34 formerly full-term and 115 formerly preterm (22 healthy preterm, 48 with medical complications, 21 with neurological complications, and 24 small for gestational age) donated five saliva samples from a single day that were assayed for cortisol to assess diurnal variation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. Analyses were conducted to determine whether prematurity category, birth weight, and socioeconomic status were associated with differences in HPA axis function. Pre- and perinatal circumstances associated with prematurity influenced the activity of this environmentally sensitive physiological system. Results are consistent with the theory of Developmental Origins of Health and Disease and highlight a possible mechanism for the link between prematurity and health disparities later in life. PMID:26676400

  5. Recovery of HPA Axis Function After Successful Gonadotropin-Induced Pregnancy and Delivery in a Woman With Panhypopituitarism

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Yi; Zhang, Qiongyue; Yang, Jianzhi; Zhao, Xiaolong; He, Min; Shou, Xuefei; Li, Shiqi; Li, Yiming; Wang, Yongfei; Ye, Hongying

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Hypopituitarism is defined as the partial or complete defect of anterior pituitary hormone secretion. Patients with hypopituitarism usually need life-long hormone replacement therapy. However, in this case, we report a patient with panhypopituitarism whose hypothalamus–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis function was completely recovered after pregnancy and delivery. In this case study, we reported the case management and conducted a review of literature to identify the possible mechanism of pituitary function recovery. The patient who suffered from secondary amenorrhea was found a nonfunctioning pituitary macroadenoma, and the hormone test showed serum cortisol, FT3, FT4, thyrotropic hormone, and prolactin were at normal range. After surgical removal of the tumor which invasion in the sellar region, the patient had panhypopituitarism confirmed by the routine hormone test. Though spontaneous pregnancy is impossible in female patients with panhypopituitarism, the patient was restored fertility by the help of artificial reproductive techniques. After the confirmation of the pregnancy, levothyroixine was increased to 75 μg daily and readjusted to 150 μg daily before delivery according to the monthly measurement thyroid function. Hydrocortisone 10 mg daily replaced cortisone acetate; the dose was increased according to the symptoms of morning sickness. A single stress dose of hydrocortisone (200 mg) was used before elective cesarean delivery and was tapered to the dose of 10 mg per day in 1 week. Levothyroixine was reduced to 75 μg daily after delivery. During follow-up, her hypothalamus–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis function was completely recovered. The peak serum cotisol level could increase to 19.08 μg/dL by insulin-induced hypoglycemia. However, growth hormone remained unresponsive to the insulin-tolerance test, and thyroid hormone still needed exogenous supplementation. Hormone replacement therapy needed closely followed by endocrinologist

  6. Stress, Seizures, and Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis Targets for the Treatment of Epilepsy

    PubMed Central

    Maguire, Jamie; Salpekar, Jay A.

    2012-01-01

    Epilepsy is a heterogeneous condition with multiple etiologies including genetics, infection, trauma, vascular, neoplasms, and toxic exposures. The overlap of psychiatric comorbidity adds to the challenge of optimal treatment for people with epilepsy. Seizure episodes themselves may have varying triggers; however, for decades, stress has been commonly and consistently suspected to be a trigger for seizure events. This paper explores the relationship between stress and seizures and reviews clinical data as well as animal studies that increasingly corroborate the impact of stress hormones on neuronal excitability and seizure susceptibility. The basis for enthusiasm for targeting glucocorticoid receptors for the treatment of epilepsy and the mixed results of such treatment efforts are reviewed. In addition, this paper will highlight recent findings identifying a regulatory pathway controlling the body’s physiologic response to stress which represents a novel therapeutic target for modulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. Thus, the HPA axis may have important clinical implications for seizure control and imply use of anticonvulsants that influence this neuronal pathway. PMID:23200771

  7. Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis function and the metabolic syndrome X of obesity.

    PubMed

    Gohil, B C; Rosenblum, L A; Coplan, J D; Kral, J G

    2001-07-01

    Obesity has negative health consequences related to fat distribution, particularly the central or visceral accumulation of fat. The major complications associated with visceral obesity, termed the "Metabolic Syndrome of Obesity," or "Syndrome X," are type II diabetes, hypertension, and dyslipidemia. As with certain mood disorders, the syndrome may be a consequence of neuroendocrine perturbations typically associated with chronic stress. Our work with bonnet macaque monkeys provides an animal model for the relationship between early stress, behavioral and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis dysregulation, and Syndrome X. During their infant's first half-year, mothers face a variable foraging demand (VFD), in which ample food varies unpredictably in the difficulty of its acquisition, and the offspring show persistent abnormalities in systems known to modulate stress and affective regulation. Early work on the bonnet macaque noted the emergence of a sample of spontaneously obese subjects as they matured. Using the VFD model, the current study showed that there was a clear relationship between early cerebrospinal fluid corticotropin-releasing factor levels and subsequently measured body mass index, supporting the hypotheses regarding the interactive roles of early experience and HPA axis dysregulation in the ontogeny of both metabolic and mood disorders. PMID:15573024

  8. Variation in hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activity among bullied and non-bullied children.

    PubMed

    Vaillancourt, Tracy; Duku, Eric; Decatanzaro, Denys; Macmillan, Harriet; Muir, Cameron; Schmidt, Louis A

    2008-01-01

    We examined the relationship between being bullied during childhood and activity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis as assessed through repeated measures of salivary cortisol. A non-clinical sample of 154 (74 boys) predominantly Caucasian middle-class 12-year-olds each provided detailed information about their experiences with bullying and six saliva samples were standardized across time and day. Children with a history of child maltreatment, diagnosed psychiatric illness, foster care placement, medication use (psychotropic and oral contraception) and aggression directed toward peers and/or family members were excluded. Using multilevel regression and applying orthogonal polynomial contrasts to model the observed circadian pattern in the data, we found that occasional and frequent verbal peer victimization was associated with hyposecretion of cortisol when controlling for sex, pubertal status, age, depression and anxiety. This relation, however, was moderated by sex. For boys, occasional exposure was associated with higher cortisol levels, whereas for girls exposure was associated with lower cortisol levels. The present study highlights the need to consider the plight of peer-victimized children seriously, as it is associated with alterations to the HPA axis that affect males and females differently, and likely diminishes a person's ability to cope with stress, possibly placing them at risk for psychopathology and ill health. PMID:18161876

  9. Genetic variants in hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis genes and breast cancer risk in Caucasians and African Americans

    PubMed Central

    Nan, Hongmei; Dorgan, Joanne F; Rebbeck, Timothy R

    2015-01-01

    Elevated circulating levels of the adrenal androgen dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and its sulfate (DHEAS) are associated with increased breast cancer risk in prospective studies. Genetic variants in hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis genes may contribute to these circulating hormone levels, and consequently to breast cancer risk. No previous studies have examined the effects of genetic variants in HPA axis genes on breast cancer risk. We evaluated the associations of 49 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in five HPA axis genes (NR3C1, NR3C2, CRH, CRHR1, and CRHBP) with the risk of breast cancer in the Women’s Insights and Shared Experiences (WISE) Study of Caucasians (346 cases and 442 controls), as well as African Americans (149 cases and 246 controls). Of the 49 SNPs evaluated, one showed a nominal significant association (P for trend < 0.05) with breast cancer risk among Caucasians, and another two among African Americans. The age-adjusted additive odds ratio (OR) (95% confidence interval (95% CI)) of the SNP rs11747190[A] in the CRHBP gene for the risk of breast cancer among Caucasian women was 1.45 (1.09-1.94). The age-adjusted additive ORs (95% CIs) of two SNPs (CRHBP rs1700688[T] and CRHR1 rs17689471[C]) for the risk of breast cancer among African American women were 1.84 (1.13-2.98) and 2.48 (1.20-5.13), respectively. However, these SNPs did not show significant associations after correction for multiple testing. Our findings do not provide strong supportive evidence for the contribution of genetic variants in these HPA axis genes to the risk of developing breast cancer in either Caucasians or African Americans. PMID:26417403

  10. Genetic variants in hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis genes and breast cancer risk in Caucasians and African Americans.

    PubMed

    Nan, Hongmei; Dorgan, Joanne F; Rebbeck, Timothy R

    2015-01-01

    Elevated circulating levels of the adrenal androgen dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) and its sulfate (DHEAS) are associated with increased breast cancer risk in prospective studies. Genetic variants in hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis genes may contribute to these circulating hormone levels, and consequently to breast cancer risk. No previous studies have examined the effects of genetic variants in HPA axis genes on breast cancer risk. We evaluated the associations of 49 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in five HPA axis genes (NR3C1, NR3C2, CRH, CRHR1, and CRHBP) with the risk of breast cancer in the Women's Insights and Shared Experiences (WISE) Study of Caucasians (346 cases and 442 controls), as well as African Americans (149 cases and 246 controls). Of the 49 SNPs evaluated, one showed a nominal significant association (P for trend < 0.05) with breast cancer risk among Caucasians, and another two among African Americans. The age-adjusted additive odds ratio (OR) (95% confidence interval (95% CI)) of the SNP rs11747190[A] in the CRHBP gene for the risk of breast cancer among Caucasian women was 1.45 (1.09-1.94). The age-adjusted additive ORs (95% CIs) of two SNPs (CRHBP rs1700688[T] and CRHR1 rs17689471[C]) for the risk of breast cancer among African American women were 1.84 (1.13-2.98) and 2.48 (1.20-5.13), respectively. However, these SNPs did not show significant associations after correction for multiple testing. Our findings do not provide strong supportive evidence for the contribution of genetic variants in these HPA axis genes to the risk of developing breast cancer in either Caucasians or African Americans. PMID:26417403

  11. Developmental minocycline treatment reverses the effects of neonatal immune activation on anxiety- and depression-like behaviors, hippocampal inflammation, and HPA axis activity in adult mice.

    PubMed

    Majidi, Jafar; Kosari-Nasab, Morteza; Salari, Ali-Akbar

    2016-01-01

    Neonatal infection is associated with increased lifetime risk for neuropsychiatric disorders including anxiety and depression, with evidence showing that dysregulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal-(HPA)-axis system may be partly responsible. Preclinical and clinical studies demonstrate that minocycline exhibits antidepressant effects through inhibition of microglial activation and anti-inflammatory actions, and of interest is that recent studies suggest that minocycline alleviates the behavioral abnormalities induced by early-life insults. The current study was designed to determine if developmental minocycline treatment attenuates the neonatal immune activation-induced anxiety- and depression-like symptoms and HPA-axis-dysregulation later in life. To this end, neonatal mice were treated to either lipopolysaccharide or saline on postnatal days (PND) 3-5, then dams during lactation (PND 6-20) and male offspring during adolescence (PND 21-40) received oral administration of minocycline or water via regular drinking bottles. Anxiety- and depression-like behaviors, HPA-axis-reactivity (corticosterone), and hippocampal inflammation (TNF-α and IL-1β) after exposure to stress were evaluated. The results indicated that neonatal immune activation resulted in increased anxiety and depression-like symptoms, HPA-axis-hyperactivity, and elevated the levels of TNF-α and IL-1β in the hippocampus in response to stress in adulthood. Interestingly, developmental minocycline treatment significantly reduced the abnormalities induced by neonatal inflammation in adult mice. In addition, minocycline, regardless of postnatal inflammation, did not have any detrimental effects on the above measured parameters. Considering that minocycline is currently under exploration as an alternative or adjunctive therapy for reducing the symptoms of neurological disorders, our findings suggest that minocycline during development can decrease the behavioral abnormalities induced by early

  12. Functional characteristics of the bovine hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis vary with temperament.

    PubMed

    Curley, Kevin O; Neuendorff, Don A; Lewis, Andrew W; Cleere, Jason J; Welsh, Thomas H; Randel, Ronald D

    2008-01-01

    Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis function, in Brahman heifers of differing temperament, was evaluated using separate challenges with CRH and ACTH. Exit velocity (EV) measurement was used to classify heifer temperament as calm [C; consisted of 6 slowest heifers (EV=1.05+/-0.05 m/s)] or temperamental [T; 6 fastest heifers (EV=3.14+/-0.22 m/s)]. During the 6 h prior to CRH challenge, areas under the ACTH (P=0.025) and cortisol (P<0.001) curves were greater in the temperamental heifers. Baseline cortisol (P<0.001) but not ACTH (P=0.10) differed between temperament groups. Following CRH challenge, areas under the ACTH (P=0.057) and cortisol (P<0.01) response curves were greater in the calm animals. The same animals were subjected to an ACTH challenge 14 d following their utilization in the CRH stimulation experiment. Prior to ACTH challenge, baseline cortisol concentrations were higher (P<0.001) in the temperamental heifers (T=18+/-2.6, C=4.3+/-0.6 ng/mL). Following ACTH administration, area under the cortisol response curve was greater (P=0.07) in the calm heifers. After declining below baseline concentrations during the post-challenge recovery period, cortisol in temperamental animals was again greater (P=0.02) than in the calm heifers. These data demonstrate that cattle with an excitable temperament exhibit increased stress responsiveness to handling, increased baseline adrenal function but not increased basal pituitary function, and a muted responsiveness to pharmacological stimulus. Thus, functional characteristics of the HPA axis vary with animal temperament. PMID:17916358

  13. Effects of moderate and intensive training on the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis in rats.

    PubMed

    Chennaoui, M; Gomez Merino, D; Lesage, J; Drogou, C; Guezennec, C Y

    2002-06-01

    The influence of the two distinct training programmes, moderate (M) and intensive (I), on hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis was investigated, in rats. Changes in plasma concentrations of adrenocorticotropin hormone (ACTH) and corticosterone were followed in response to (i) a 60-min acute running session performed on 2nd, 4th and 6th of the seven training weeks (ii) an acute restraint stress of 40 min applied after the final training programme. After 2nd, 4th and 6th week of the two training programmes, a 60-min running resulted in an enhanced secretion of ACTH and corticosterone, compared with both the baseline values (i.e. before running) and to the sedentary (S) group. However, on 4th and 6th weeks compared with 2nd week, ACTH and corticosterone remained elevated in intensive group when they are significantly reduced in moderate group. We could suggest that a moderate training resulted in an adapted hormonal response whereas a deadapted process occurred for the intensive programme. The day after the last training session, basal ACTH, corticosterone and corticosteroid-binding globulin (CBG) capacity were not affected by training. Hypothalamic corticotropin-releasing factor tissue-content (CRF) was increased significantly in the two trained groups. When compared with the sedentary group, the body weight of the rats in the two trained groups was significantly decreased with a total adrenal mass increasing but only in intensive group. The surimposed restraint stress resulted in significant increases in plasma ACTH and corticosterone both in trained and in sedentary animals. This result suggests that the adapted HPA axis response induced by both a moderate and intensive training do not prevent against the effects of a novel stress such as restraint stress. PMID:12028131

  14. Resveratrol Ameliorates the Anxiety- and Depression-Like Behavior of Subclinical Hypothyroidism Rat: Possible Involvement of the HPT Axis, HPA Axis, and Wnt/β-Catenin Pathway.

    PubMed

    Ge, Jin-Fang; Xu, Ya-Yun; Qin, Gan; Cheng, Jiang-Qun; Chen, Fei-Hu

    2016-01-01

    Metabolic disease subclinical hypothyroidism (SCH) is closely associated with depression-like behavior both in human and animal studies, and our previous studies have identified the antidepressant effect of resveratrol (RES) in stressed rat model. The aim of this study was to investigate whether RES would manifest an antidepressant effect in SCH rat model and explore the possible mechanism. A SCH rat model was induced by hemi-thyroid electrocauterization, after which the model rats in the RES and LT4 groups received a daily intragastric injection of RES at the dose of 15 mg/kg or LT4 at the dose of 60 μg/kg for 16 days. The rats' plasma concentrations of thyroid hormones were measured. Behavioral performance and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) activity were evaluated. The protein expression levels of the Wnt/β-catenin in the hippocampus were detected by western blot. The results showed that RES treatment downregulated the elevated plasma thyroid-stimulating hormone concentration and the hypothalamic mRNA expression of thyrotropin-releasing hormone in the SCH rats. RES-treated rats showed increased rearing frequency and distance in the open-field test, increased sucrose preference in the sucrose preference test, and decreased immobility in the forced swimming test compared with SCH rats. The ratio of the adrenal gland weight to body weight, the plasma corticosterone levels, and the hypothalamic corticotrophin-releasing hormone mRNA expression were reduced in the RES-treated rats. Moreover, RES treatment upregulated the relative ratio of phosphorylated-GSK3β (p-GSK3β)/GSK3β and protein levels of p-GSK3β, cyclin D1, and c-myc, while downregulating the relative ratio of phosphorylated-β-catenin (p-β-catenin)/β-catenin and expression of GSK3β in the hippocampus. These findings suggest that RES exerts anxiolytic- and antidepressant-like effect in SCH rats by downregulating hyperactivity of the HPA axis and regulating both the HPT axis and the Wnt

  15. Resveratrol Ameliorates the Anxiety- and Depression-Like Behavior of Subclinical Hypothyroidism Rat: Possible Involvement of the HPT Axis, HPA Axis, and Wnt/β-Catenin Pathway

    PubMed Central

    Ge, Jin-Fang; Xu, Ya-Yun; Qin, Gan; Cheng, Jiang-Qun; Chen, Fei-Hu

    2016-01-01

    Metabolic disease subclinical hypothyroidism (SCH) is closely associated with depression-like behavior both in human and animal studies, and our previous studies have identified the antidepressant effect of resveratrol (RES) in stressed rat model. The aim of this study was to investigate whether RES would manifest an antidepressant effect in SCH rat model and explore the possible mechanism. A SCH rat model was induced by hemi-thyroid electrocauterization, after which the model rats in the RES and LT4 groups received a daily intragastric injection of RES at the dose of 15 mg/kg or LT4 at the dose of 60 μg/kg for 16 days. The rats’ plasma concentrations of thyroid hormones were measured. Behavioral performance and hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) activity were evaluated. The protein expression levels of the Wnt/β-catenin in the hippocampus were detected by western blot. The results showed that RES treatment downregulated the elevated plasma thyroid-stimulating hormone concentration and the hypothalamic mRNA expression of thyrotropin-releasing hormone in the SCH rats. RES-treated rats showed increased rearing frequency and distance in the open-field test, increased sucrose preference in the sucrose preference test, and decreased immobility in the forced swimming test compared with SCH rats. The ratio of the adrenal gland weight to body weight, the plasma corticosterone levels, and the hypothalamic corticotrophin-releasing hormone mRNA expression were reduced in the RES-treated rats. Moreover, RES treatment upregulated the relative ratio of phosphorylated-GSK3β (p-GSK3β)/GSK3β and protein levels of p-GSK3β, cyclin D1, and c-myc, while downregulating the relative ratio of phosphorylated-β-catenin (p-β-catenin)/β-catenin and expression of GSK3β in the hippocampus. These findings suggest that RES exerts anxiolytic- and antidepressant-like effect in SCH rats by downregulating hyperactivity of the HPA axis and regulating both the HPT axis and the

  16. Comparison of miRNA expression profiles in pituitary–adrenal axis between Beagle and Chinese Field dogs after chronic stress exposure

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Haiping; Xing, Huijie

    2016-01-01

    MicoRNAs (miRNAs), usually as gene regulators, participate in various biological processes, including stress responses. The hypothalamus–pituitary–adrenal axis (HPA axis) is an important pathway in regulating stress response. Although the mechanism that HPA axis regulates stress response has been basically revealed, the knowledge that miRNAs regulate stress response within HPA axis, still remains poor. The object of this study was to investigate the miRNAs in the pituitary and adrenal cortex that regulate chronic stress response with high-throughput sequencing. The pituitary and adrenal cortex of beagles and Chinese Field dogs (CFD) from a stress exposure group (including beagle pituitary 1 (BP1), CFD pituitary 1 (CFDP1), beagle adrenal cortex 1 (BAC1), CFD adrenal cortex 1 (CFDAC1)) and a control group (including beagle pituitary 2 (BP2), CFD pituitary 2 (CFDP2), beagle adrenal cortex 2 (BAC2), CFD adrenal cortex 2 (CFDAC2)), were selected for miRNA-seq comparisons. Comparisons, that were made in pituitary (including BP1 vs. BP2, CFDP1 vs. CFDP2, BP1 vs. CFDP1 and BP2 vs. CFDP2) and adrenal cortex (including BAC1 vs. BAC2, CFDAC1 vs. CFDAC2, BAC1 vs. CFDAC1 and BAC2 vs. CFDAC2), showed that a total of 39 and 18 common differentially expressed miRNAs (DE-miRNAs) (Total read counts > 1,000, Fold change > 2 & p-value < 0.001), that shared in at least two pituitary comparisons and at least two adrenal cortex comparisons, were detected separately. These identified DE-miRNAs were predicted for target genes, thus resulting in 3,959 and 4,010 target genes in pituitary and adrenal cortex, respectively. Further, 105 and 10 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) (Fold change > 2 & p-value < 0.05) from those target genes in pituitary and adrenal cortex were obtained separately, in combination with our previous corresponding transcriptome study. Meanwhile, in line with that miRNAs usually negatively regulated their target genes and the dual luciferase reporter assay, we

  17. Endogenous opioids and attenuated hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis responses to immune challenge in pregnant rats.

    PubMed

    Brunton, Paula J; Meddle, Simone L; Ma, Shuaike; Ochedalski, Tomasz; Douglas, Alison J; Russell, John A

    2005-05-25

    In late pregnant rats, the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis is hyporesponsive to psychogenic stressors. Here, we investigated attenuated HPA responses to an immune challenge and a role for endogenous opioids. ACTH and corticosterone were assayed in blood samples from virgin and 21 d pregnant rats before and after endotoxin [lipopolysaccharide (LPS); 1 microg/kg, i.v.], interleukin-1beta (IL-1beta; 500 ng/kg, i.v.), or vehicle. In virgins, plasma ACTH concentrations increased 1 h after LPS and 15 min after IL-1beta, as did corticosterone, with no responses in pregnant rats. In situ hybridization revealed increased corticotrophin releasing hormone (CRH) mRNA expression in the dorsomedial parvocellular paraventricular nucleus (pPVN) and increased anterior pituitary pro-opiomelanocortin mRNA expression 4 h after IL-1beta in virgins; these responses were absent in pregnant rats. In contrast, immunocytochemistry showed that Fos expression was similarly increased in the nucleus tractus solitarius (NTS) A2 region in virgin and pregnant rats 90 min and 4 h after IL-1beta. Naloxone pretreatment (5 mg/kg, i.v.) restored ACTH and pPVN CRH mRNA responses after IL-1beta in pregnant rats but reduced the CRH mRNA response in virgins without affecting ACTH. Proenkephalin-A and mu-opioid receptor mRNA expression in the NTS was significantly increased in the pregnant rats, indicating upregulated brainstem opioid mechanisms. IL-1beta increased noradrenaline release in the PVN of virgin, but not pregnant, rats. However, naloxone infused directly into the PVN increased noradrenaline release after IL-1beta in pregnant rats. Thus, the HPA axis responses to immune signals are suppressed in pregnancy at the level of pPVN CRH neurons through an opioid mechanism, possibly acting by preterminal autoinhibition of NTS projections to the pPVN. PMID:15917452

  18. GENDER DIFFERENCES IN THE EFFECT OF EARLY LIFE TRAUMA ON HYPOTHALAMIC–PITUITARY–ADRENAL AXIS FUNCTIONING

    PubMed Central

    DeSantis, Stacia M.; Baker, Nathaniel L.; Back, Sudie E.; Spratt, Eve; Ciolino, Jody D.; Maria, Megan Moran-Santa; Dipankar, Bandyopadhyay; Brady, Kathleen T.

    2011-01-01

    Background The objective of this study was to examine the modifying effect of gender on the association between early life trauma and the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis response to a pharmacologic challenge and a social stress task in men and women. Participants (16 men, 23 women) were the control sample of a larger study examining HPA axis function. Individuals with major depressive disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder, bipolar disorder, or psychotic or eating disorders were excluded. Methods In two test sessions, subjects received 1 μg/kg of corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) intravenously and participated in the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST). Primary outcomes included plasma cortisol and corticotropin levels measured at baseline and more than five time points following the challenges. Predictors included gender and early life trauma, as measured by the Early Trauma Index. Using factor analysis, the domains general trauma, severe trauma, and the effects of trauma were established. Using regression, these constructs were used to predict differential HPA reactivity in men and women following the challenges. Results The three factors accounted for the majority of the variance in the ETI. Following the CRH challenge, women had higher overall corticotropin response as dictated by the area under the curve analysis. There were no significant associations between trauma and neuroendocrine response to the TSST. Conclusions CRH challenge results indicate that gender differences in the impact of early trauma may help explain the differential gender susceptibility to psychopathology following adverse childhood events. This may help explain gender differences in some stress-sensitive psychiatric disorders. PMID:21328636

  19. Relational victimization, friendship, and adolescents’ hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis responses to an in vivo social stressor

    PubMed Central

    CALHOUN, CASEY D.; HELMS, SARAH W.; HEILBRON, NICOLE; RUDOLPH, KAREN D.; HASTINGS, PAUL D.; PRINSTEIN, MITCHELL J.

    2014-01-01

    Adolescents’ peer experiences may have significant associations with biological stress-response systems, adding to or reducing allostatic load. This study examined relational victimization as a unique contributor to reactive hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis responses as well as friendship quality and behavior as factors that may promote HPA recovery following a stressor. A total of 62 adolescents (ages 12–16; 73% female) presenting with a wide range of life stressors and adjustment difficulties completed survey measures of peer victimization and friendship quality. Cortisol samples were collected before and after a lab-based interpersonally themed social stressor task to provide measures of HPA baseline, reactivity, and recovery. Following the stressor task, adolescents discussed their performance with a close friend; observational coding yielded measures of friends’ responsiveness. Adolescents also reported positive and negative friendship qualities. Results suggested that higher levels of adolescents’ relational victimization were associated with blunted cortisol reactivity, even after controlling for physical forms of victimization and other known predictors of HPA functioning (i.e., life stress or depressive symptoms). Friendship qualities (i.e., low negative qualities) and specific friendship behaviors (i.e., high levels of responsiveness) contributed to greater HPA regulation; however, consistent with theories of rumination, high friend responsiveness in the context of high levels of positive friendship quality contributed to less cortisol recovery. Findings extend prior work on the importance of relational victimization and dyadic peer relations as unique and salient correlates of adaptation in adolescence. PMID:25047287

  20. Relational victimization, friendship, and adolescents' hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis responses to an in vivo social stressor.

    PubMed

    Calhoun, Casey D; Helms, Sarah W; Heilbron, Nicole; Rudolph, Karen D; Hastings, Paul D; Prinstein, Mitchell J

    2014-08-01

    Adolescents' peer experiences may have significant associations with biological stress-response systems, adding to or reducing allostatic load. This study examined relational victimization as a unique contributor to reactive hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis responses as well as friendship quality and behavior as factors that may promote HPA recovery following a stressor. A total of 62 adolescents (ages 12-16; 73% female) presenting with a wide range of life stressors and adjustment difficulties completed survey measures of peer victimization and friendship quality. Cortisol samples were collected before and after a lab-based interpersonally themed social stressor task to provide measures of HPA baseline, reactivity, and recovery. Following the stressor task, adolescents discussed their performance with a close friend; observational coding yielded measures of friends' responsiveness. Adolescents also reported positive and negative friendship qualities. Results suggested that higher levels of adolescents' relational victimization were associated with blunted cortisol reactivity, even after controlling for physical forms of victimization and other known predictors of HPA functioning (i.e., life stress or depressive symptoms). Friendship qualities (i.e., low negative qualities) and specific friendship behaviors (i.e., high levels of responsiveness) contributed to greater HPA regulation; however, consistent with theories of rumination, high friend responsiveness in the context of high levels of positive friendship quality contributed to less cortisol recovery. Findings extend prior work on the importance of relational victimization and dyadic peer relations as unique and salient correlates of adaptation in adolescence. PMID:25047287

  1. Polymorphisms of genes related to the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis influence the cortisol awakening response as well as self-perceived stress.

    PubMed

    Li-Tempel, Ting; Larra, Mauro F; Winnikes, Ulrike; Tempel, Tobias; DeRijk, Roel H; Schulz, André; Schächinger, Hartmut; Meyer, Jobst; Schote, Andrea B

    2016-09-01

    The hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis is a crucial endocrine system for coping with stress. A reliable and stable marker for the basal state of that system is the cortisol awakening response (CAR). We examined the influence of variants of four relevant candidate genes; the mineralocorticoid receptor gene (MR), the glucocorticoid receptor gene (GR), the serotonin transporter gene (5-HTT) and the gene encoding the brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) on CAR and self-perceived stress in 217 healthy subjects. We found that polymorphisms of GR influenced both, the basal state of the HPA axis as well as self-perceived stress. MR only associated with self-perceived stress and 5-HTT only with CAR. BDNF did not affected any of the investigated indices. In summary, we suggest that GR variants together with the CAR and supplemented with self reports on perceived stress might be useful indicators for the basal HPA axis activity. PMID:27427534

  2. Relevance of perceived childhood neglect, 5-HTT gene variants and hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis dysregulation to substance abuse susceptibility.

    PubMed

    Gerra, G; Zaimovic, A; Castaldini, L; Garofano, L; Manfredini, M; Somaini, L; Leonardi, C; Gerra, M L; Donnini, C

    2010-04-01

    The hypotheses of (1) gene x environment interaction in the susceptibility to experiment with drugs and (2) hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis involvement in mediating the effects of early adverse experiences and gene variants affecting serotonin function on substance abuse vulnerability were tested by investigating in 187 healthy adolescents the possible relevance of 5-HTT "S" polymorphism, childhood parental neglect reported retrospectively and HPA axis function to the susceptibility to experiment with illicit drugs. Higher frequency of the 5-HTT SS genotype seems to be associated with an increased susceptibility to use illegal psychotropic drugs among the adolescents. At the same time, reduced maternal care perception was found to represent a key intermediate factor of the association between SS polymorphism and drug use, suggesting that genetic factors and parental behavior concur to drug use susceptibility. Our results also confirm the relationship between basal plasma levels of cortisol and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) on the one hand, and retrospective measures of neglect during childhood: the higher the mother and father neglect CECA-Q scores, the higher the plasma levels of the two HPA hormones. Such positive relationship has been proved to be particularly effective and important when associated to the S-allele, both in homozygote and heterozygote individuals. However, when tested together with genotype and parental neglect, the effect of HPA hormones such as cortisol and ACTH was not found to improve significantly the explanatory power of the risk model. PMID:19824018

  3. Neonatal amygdala lesions lead to increased activity of brain CRF systems and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis of juvenile rhesus monkeys.

    PubMed

    Raper, Jessica; Stephens, Shannon B Z; Henry, Amy; Villarreal, Trina; Bachevalier, Jocelyne; Wallen, Kim; Sanchez, Mar M

    2014-08-20

    The current study examined the long-term effects of neonatal amygdala (Neo-A) lesions on brain corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) systems and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis function of male and female prepubertal rhesus monkeys. At 12-months-old, CSF levels of CRF were measured and HPA axis activity was characterized by examining diurnal cortisol rhythm and response to pharmacological challenges. Compared with controls, Neo-A animals showed higher cortisol secretion throughout the day, and Neo-A females also showed higher CRF levels. Hypersecretion of basal cortisol, in conjunction with blunted pituitary-adrenal responses to CRF challenge, suggest HPA axis hyperactivity caused by increased CRF hypothalamic drive leading to downregulation of pituitary CRF receptors in Neo-A animals. This interpretation is supported by the increased CRF CSF levels, suggesting that Neo-A damage resulted in central CRF systems overactivity. Neo-A animals also exhibited enhanced glucocorticoid negative feedback, as reflected by an exaggerated cortisol suppression following dexamethasone administration, indicating an additional effect on glucocorticoid receptor (GR) function. Together these data demonstrate that early amygdala damage alters the typical development of the primate HPA axis resulting in increased rather than decreased activity, presumably via alterations in central CRF and GR systems in neural structures that control its activity. Thus, in contrast to evidence that the amygdala stimulates both CRF and HPA axis systems in the adult, our data suggest an opposite, inhibitory role of the amygdala on the HPA axis during early development, which fits with emerging literature on "developmental switches" in amygdala function and connectivity with other brain areas. PMID:25143624

  4. Depletion of FKBP51 in Female Mice Shapes HPA Axis Activity

    PubMed Central

    Hoeijmakers, Lianne; Harbich, Daniela; Schmid, Bianca; Lucassen, Paul J.; Wagner, Klaus V.; Schmidt, Mathias V.; Hartmann, Jakob

    2014-01-01

    Psychiatric disorders such as depressive disorders and posttraumatic stress disorder are a major disease burden worldwide and have a higher incidence in women than in men. However, the underlying mechanism responsible for the sex-dependent differences is not fully understood. Besides environmental factors such as traumatic life events or chronic stress, genetic variants contribute to the development of such diseases. For instance, variations in the gene encoding the FK506 binding protein 51 (FKBP51) have been repeatedly associated with mood and anxiety. FKBP51 is a negative regulator of the glucocorticoid receptor and thereby of the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis that also interacts with other steroid hormone receptors such as the progesterone and androgen receptors. Thus, the predisposition of women to psychiatric disorders and the interaction of female hormones with FKBP51 and the glucocorticoid receptor implicate a possible difference in the regulation of the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis in female FKBP51 knockout (51KO) mice. Therefore, we investigated neuroendocrine, behavioural and physiological alterations relevant to mood disorders in female 51KO mice. Female 51KOs and wild type littermates were subjected to various behavioural tests, including the open field, elevated plus maze and forced swim test. The neuroendocrine profile was investigated under basal conditions and in response to an acute stressor. Furthermore, we analysed the mRNA expression levels of the glucocorticoid receptor and corticotrophin release hormone in different brain regions. Overall, female 51KO mice did not display any overt behavioural phenotype under basal conditions, but showed a reduced basal hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis activity, a blunted response to, and an enhanced recovery from, acute stress. These characteristics strongly overlap with previous studies in male 51KO mice indicating that FKBP51 shapes the behavioural and neuroendocrine phenotype

  5. A bioactive compound from Polygala tenuifolia regulates efficiency of chronic stress on hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis.

    PubMed

    Hu, Yuan; Liao, Hong-Bo; Liu, Ping; Guo, Dai-Hong; Rahman, K

    2009-09-01

    3,6'-Disinapoyl sucrose (DISS) is the active oligosaccharide ester component from roots of Polygala tenuifolia, and its antidepressant effects was found in the forced swimming test (FST) and tail suspension test (TST). We aimed to study the antidepressant effects of DISS in the chronic unpredictable mild stress (CMS) model in rats and explore the underlying mechanisms in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. We found that when subjected to the chronic stress protocol for 28 days, animals showed reduced sensitivity to reward and abnormality in the HPA axis. DISS (10 or 20 mg/kg, i.g.) improved the reward reaction as measured by increasing sucrose consumption, remarkably reduced serum CORT, ACTH and CRH levels in the CMS-treated rats. In addition, DISS enhanced the expression of glucocorticoid receptor (GR) and mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) mRNA. These results indicated that the antidepressant effects of DISS in chronically stressed animals might relate to the modulating effects on the HPA axis, which might be an important mechanism for its antidepressant effect. PMID:19827305

  6. Psychological Stress and the Cutaneous Immune Response: Roles of the HPA Axis and the Sympathetic Nervous System in Atopic Dermatitis and Psoriasis.

    PubMed

    Hall, Jessica M F; Cruser, Desanges; Podawiltz, Alan; Mummert, Diana I; Jones, Harlan; Mummert, Mark E

    2012-01-01

    Psychological stress, an evolutionary adaptation to the fight-or-flight response, triggers a number of physiological responses that can be deleterious under some circumstances. Stress signals activate the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and the sympathetic nervous system. Elements derived from those systems (e.g., cortisol, catecholamines and neuropeptides) can impact the immune system and possible disease states. Skin provides a first line of defense against many environmental insults. A number of investigations have indicated that the skin is especially sensitive to psychological stress, and experimental evidence shows that the cutaneous innate and adaptive immune systems are affected by stressors. For example, psychological stress has been shown to reduce recovery time of the stratum corneum barrier after its removal (innate immunity) and alters antigen presentation by epidermal Langerhans cells (adaptive immunity). Moreover, psychological stress may trigger or exacerbate immune mediated dermatological disorders. Understanding how the activity of the psyche-nervous -immune system axis impinges on skin diseases may facilitate coordinated treatment strategies between dermatologists and psychiatrists. Herein, we will review the roles of the HPA axis and the sympathetic nervous system on the cutaneous immune response. We will selectively highlight how the interplay between psychological stress and the immune system affects atopic dermatitis and psoriasis. PMID:22969795

  7. Function of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and the sympathetic nervous system in models of acute stress in domestic farm animals.

    PubMed

    Minton, J E

    1994-07-01

    In response to stressors, the central nervous system of livestock (and other mammalian species) evokes physiological responses that ultimately result in activation of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis and the sympatho-adrenal axis. The responses of these major systems are presumed to have adaptive and homeostatic value during periods of stress. The major hormone regulating the synthesis and secretion of adrenal glucocorticoids is ACTH. In sheep, cattle, and pigs, both corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) and vasopressin (VP) participate in the regulation of secretion of ACTH, and the two peptides seem to interact to enhance that secretion. In cattle and pigs, CRH is the more potent peptide, whereas VP is the more potent in sheep. In addition to its better-known role in regulating pituitary function, CRH also may participate as a neurotransmitter acting centrally to enhance sympathetic activation of the adrenal medulla. Many experimental models of stress have been evaluated that reliably activate the HPA axis and the sympatho-adrenal medullary axis, and some of these model systems also reduce functions of cells of the immune system. Recent data support an important role of stressor-activation of the sympathetics rather than increased glucocorticoids per se in modulating some measures of immune function in response to stress. Thus, current dogma of glucocorticoids as the primary mediator of stressor-associated alteration in immune function of domestic livestock may require reevaluation. PMID:7928769

  8. Vaginal hypersensitivity and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis dysfunction as a result of neonatal maternal separation in female mice.

    PubMed

    Pierce, A N; Ryals, J M; Wang, R; Christianson, J A

    2014-03-28

    Early life stress can permanently alter functioning of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, which regulates the stress response and influences the perception of pain. Chronic pelvic pain patients commonly report having experienced childhood neglect or abuse, which increases the likelihood of presenting with comorbid chronic pain and/or mood disorders. Animal models of neonatal stress commonly display enhanced anxiety-like behaviors, colorectal hypersensitivity, and disruption of proper neuro-immune interactions in adulthood. Here, we tested the hypothesis that early life stress impacts vaginal sensitivity by exposing mice to neonatal maternal separation (NMS) for 3h/day during the first two (NMS14) or three (NMS21) postnatal weeks. As adults, female mice underwent vaginal balloon distension (VBD), which was also considered an acute stress. Before or after VBD, mice were assessed for anxiety-like behavior, hindpaw sensitivity, and changes in gene and protein expression related to HPA axis function and regulation. NMS21 mice displayed significantly increased vaginal sensitivity compared to naïve mice, as well as significantly reduced anxiety-like behavior at baseline, which was heightened following VBD. NMS21 mice exhibited significant thermal and mechanical hindpaw hypersensitivity at baseline and following VBD. NMS14 mice displayed no change in anxiety-like behavior and only exhibited significantly increased hindpaw mechanical and thermal sensitivity following VBD. Centrally, a significant decrease in negative regulation of the HPA axis was observed in the hypothalamus and hippocampus of NMS21 mice. Peripherally, NMS and VBD affected the expression of inflammatory mediators in the vagina and bladder. Corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) receptor and transient receptor potential (TRP) channel protein expression was also significantly, and differentially, affected in vagina, bladder, and colon by both NMS and VBD. Together these data indicate that NMS

  9. Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and behavioral dysfunction following early binge-like prenatal alcohol exposure in mice.

    PubMed

    Wieczorek, Lindsay; Fish, Eric W; O'Leary-Moore, Shonagh K; Parnell, Scott E; Sulik, Kathleen K

    2015-05-01

    The range of defects that fall within fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD) includes persistent behavioral problems, with anxiety and depression being two of the more commonly reported issues. Previous studies of rodent FASD models suggest that interference with hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis structure and/or function may be the basis for some of the prenatal alcohol (ethanol) exposure (PAE)-induced behavioral abnormalities. Included among the previous investigations are those illustrating that maternal alcohol treatment limited to very early stages of pregnancy (i.e., gestational day [GD]7 in mice; equivalent to the third week post-fertilization in humans) can cause structural abnormalities in areas such as the hypothalamus, pituitary gland, and other forebrain regions integral to controlling stress and behavioral responses. The current investigation was designed to further examine the sequelae of prenatal alcohol insult at this early time period, with particular attention to HPA axis-associated functional changes in adult mice. The results of this study reveal that GD7 PAE in mice causes HPA axis dysfunction, with males and females showing elevated corticosterone (CORT) and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) levels, respectively, following a 15-min restraint stress exposure. Males also showed elevated CORT levels following an acute alcohol injection of 2.0 g/kg, while females displayed blunted ACTH levels. Furthermore, analysis showed that anxiety-like behavior was decreased after GD7 PAE in female mice, but was increased in male mice. Collectively, the results of this study show that early gestational alcohol exposure in mice alters long-term HPA axis activity and behavior in a sexually dimorphic manner. PMID:25709101

  10. Effects of mild calorie restriction on anxiety and hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis responses to stress in the male rat

    PubMed Central

    Kenny, Rachel; Dinan, Tara; Cai, Guohui; Spencer, Sarah J.

    2014-01-01

    Abstract Chronic calorie restriction (CR) is one of the few interventions to improve longevity and quality of life in a variety of species. It also reduces behavioral indices of anxiety and influences some stress hormones under basal conditions. However, it is not known how CR influences hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis function or if those on a CR diet have heightened HPA axis responses to stress. We hypothesized elevated basal glucocorticoid levels induced by CR would lead to exacerbated HPA axis responses to the psychological stress, restraint, in the male rat. We first confirmed rats fed 75% of their normal calorie intake for 3 weeks were less anxious than ad libitum‐fed (AD) rats in the elevated plus maze test for anxiety. The anxiolytic effect was mild, with only grooming significantly attenuated in the open field and no measured behavior affected in the light/dark box. Despite elevated basal glucocorticoids, CR rats had very similar hormonal and central responses to 15‐min restraint to the AD rats. Both CR and AD rats responded to restraint stress with a robust increase in glucocorticoids that was resolved by 60 min. Both groups also showed robust neuronal activation in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus and in other stress‐ and feeding‐sensitive brain regions that was not substantially affected by calorie intake. Our findings thus demonstrate chronic mild CR is subtly anxiolytic and is not likely to affect HPA axis responses to psychological stress. These findings support research suggesting a beneficial effect of mild CR. PMID:24760519

  11. Future Directions in the Study of Social Relationships as Regulators of the HPA Axis across Development

    PubMed Central

    Hostinar, Camelia E.; Gunnar, Megan R.

    2014-01-01

    Many promising findings support the notion that social relationships can dampen HPA axis stress responses and protect individuals from maladaptive psychological and physical disease states. Despite the public health relevance of this topic, little is known about developmental changes in the social regulation of the HPA system, with most prior research having focused on early childhood and adulthood. This gap is particularly striking with regards to adolescence, an age period when it seems likely that reliance on parents as sources of stress-buffering decreases, even as the security of friends and relationship partners as stress buffers may not yet be certain. Furthermore, we speculate that early life stress or abnormal social experiences may impact the propensity to draw mental and physical health benefits from social relationships, but more empirical support for these ideas is needed. Lastly, research linking social support to cumulative life stress has mostly relied on self-report measures of stress, making it difficult to show that social support impacts the type of chronic stress exposure that is associated with increased allostatic load or “wear and tear” on the body and on psychological functioning. Recent advancements in methodology (e.g., assessing hair cortisol levels) as well as composite measures of allostatic load using biomarkers that capture the activity of multiple neuroendocrine, cardiovascular, immune, and metabolic systems will allow us to ask new questions about the extent to which social relationships can impact cumulative life stress and health. PMID:23746193

  12. A naturally hypersensitive glucocorticoid receptor elicits a compensatory reduction of hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis activity early in ontogeny.

    PubMed

    Muráni, Eduard; Ponsuksili, Siriluck; Jaeger, Alexandra; Görres, Andreas; Tuchscherer, Armin; Wimmers, Klaus

    2016-07-01

    We comprehensively characterized the effects of a unique natural gain-of-function mutation in the glucocorticoid receptor (GR), GRAla610Val, in domestic pigs to expand current knowledge of the phenotypic consequences of GR hypersensitivity. Cortisol levels were consistently reduced in one-week-old piglets, at weaning and in peripubertal age, probably due to a reduced adrenal capacity to produce glucocorticoids (GC), which was indicated by an adrenocortical thinning in GRAla610Val carriers. Adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH) levels were significantly reduced in one-week-old piglets only. Expression analyses in peripubertal age revealed significant downregulation of hypothalamic expression of CRH and AVP, the latter only in females, and upregulation of hepatic expression of SERPINA6, by GRAla610Val Transcriptional repression of proinflammatory genes in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from GRAla610Val carriers was more sensitive to dexamethasone treatment ex vivo However, no significant effects on growth, body composition, blood chemistry or cell counts were observed under baseline conditions. These results suggest that GRAla610Val-induced GR hypersensitivity elicits a compensatory reduction in endogenous, bioactive glucocorticoid levels via readjustment of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis early in ontogeny to maintain an adequate response, but carriers are more sensitive to exogenous GC. Therefore, GRAla610Val pigs represent a valuable animal model to explore GR-mediated mechanisms of HPA axis regulation and responses to glucocorticoid-based drugs. PMID:27440422

  13. A naturally hypersensitive glucocorticoid receptor elicits a compensatory reduction of hypothalamus–pituitary–adrenal axis activity early in ontogeny

    PubMed Central

    Muráni, Eduard; Ponsuksili, Siriluck; Jaeger, Alexandra; Görres, Andreas; Tuchscherer, Armin; Wimmers, Klaus

    2016-01-01

    We comprehensively characterized the effects of a unique natural gain-of-function mutation in the glucocorticoid receptor (GR), GRAla610Val, in domestic pigs to expand current knowledge of the phenotypic consequences of GR hypersensitivity. Cortisol levels were consistently reduced in one-week-old piglets, at weaning and in peripubertal age, probably due to a reduced adrenal capacity to produce glucocorticoids (GC), which was indicated by an adrenocortical thinning in GRAla610Val carriers. Adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH) levels were significantly reduced in one-week-old piglets only. Expression analyses in peripubertal age revealed significant downregulation of hypothalamic expression of CRH and AVP, the latter only in females, and upregulation of hepatic expression of SERPINA6, by GRAla610Val. Transcriptional repression of proinflammatory genes in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from GRAla610Val carriers was more sensitive to dexamethasone treatment ex vivo. However, no significant effects on growth, body composition, blood chemistry or cell counts were observed under baseline conditions. These results suggest that GRAla610Val-induced GR hypersensitivity elicits a compensatory reduction in endogenous, bioactive glucocorticoid levels via readjustment of the hypothalamus–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis early in ontogeny to maintain an adequate response, but carriers are more sensitive to exogenous GC. Therefore, GRAla610Val pigs represent a valuable animal model to explore GR-mediated mechanisms of HPA axis regulation and responses to glucocorticoid-based drugs. PMID:27440422

  14. Effects of Carbenoxolone on the Canine Pituitary-Adrenal Axis

    PubMed Central

    Teshima, Takahiro; Matsumoto, Hirotaka; Okusa, Tomoko; Nakamura, Yumi; Koyama, Hidekazu

    2015-01-01

    Cushing’s disease caused by pituitary corticotroph adenoma is a common endocrine disease in dogs. A characteristic biochemical feature of corticotroph adenomas is their relative resistance to suppressive negative feedback by glucocorticoids. The abnormal expression of 11beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (11HSD), which is a cortisol metabolic enzyme, is found in human and murine corticotroph adenomas. Our recent studies demonstrated that canine corticotroph adenomas also have abnormal expression of 11HSD. 11HSD has two isoforms in dogs, 11HSD type1 (HSD11B1), which converts cortisone into active cortisol, and 11HSD type2 (HSD11B2), which converts cortisol into inactive cortisone. It has been suggested that glucocorticoid resistance in corticotroph tumors is related to the overexpression of HSD11B2. Therefore it was our aim to investigate the effects of carbenoxolone (CBX), an 11HSD inhibitor, on the healthy dog’s pituitary-adrenal axis. Dogs were administered 50 mg/kg of CBX twice each day for 15 days. During CBX administration, no adverse effects were observed in any dogs. The plasma adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), and serum cortisol and cortisone concentrations were significantly lower at day 7 and 15 following corticotropin releasing hormone stimulation. After completion of CBX administration, the HSD11B1 mRNA expression was higher, and HSD11B2 mRNA expression was significantly lower in the pituitaries. Moreover, proopiomelanocortin mRNA expression was lower, and the ratio of ACTH-positive cells in the anterior pituitary was also significantly lower after CBX treatment. In adrenal glands treated with CBX, HSD11B1 and HSD11B2 mRNA expression were both lower compared to normal canine adrenal glands. The results of this study suggested that CBX inhibits ACTH secretion from pituitary due to altered 11HSD expressions, and is potentially useful for the treatment of canine Cushing’s disease. PMID:26262685

  15. Childhood maltreatment, pubertal development, HPA axis functioning, and psychosocial outcomes: An integrative biopsychosocial model.

    PubMed

    Negriff, Sonya; Saxbe, Darby E; Trickett, Penelope K

    2015-12-01

    The timing and pace of pubertal development has been associated with psychosocial functioning, with pubertal variables represented both as predictors (e.g., earlier puberty linked with poor outcomes) and as sequelae (e.g., early stress linked with earlier puberty). However, the literature has largely not tested mediational models or prospective mechanisms of associations between puberty and psychosocial variables. In a longitudinal study including 454 youth followed over four timepoints (mean ages 10-18), structural equation modeling tested a hypothesized path from childhood maltreatment to cortisol (Time 1) to pubertal stage (Time 2), and psychosocial outcomes (Times 3 and 4). There was not support for the full hypothesized pathway in either gender. However, for boys, maltreatment was associated with attenuated cortisol, and more pubertal change predicted subsequent delinquency. For girls, cortisol predicted more pubertal change which then predicted substance use. This study demonstrates links between HPA axis function, pubertal development, and risky outcomes. PMID:26358357

  16. Repeated exposure to immobilization or two different footshock intensities reveals differential adaptation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis.

    PubMed

    Rabasa, Cristina; Muñoz-Abellán, Cristina; Daviu, Núria; Nadal, Roser; Armario, Antonio

    2011-05-01

    Factors involved in adaptation to repeated stress are not well-characterized. For instance, acute footshock (FS) of high intensity appears to be less severe than immobilization (IMO) in light of the speed of post-stress recovery of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and other physiological variables. However, repeated exposure to IMO consistently resulted in reduction of the HPA response to the same stressor (adaptation), whereas failure to adapt has been usually reported after FS. Thus, in the present work we directly compared the activation of HPA axis and other physiological changes in response to both acute and repeated exposure to IMO and two intensities of FS (medium and high) in adult male rats. Control rats were exposed to the FS boxes but they did not receive shocks. Daily repeated exposure to IMO resulted in significant adaptation of the overall ACTH and corticosterone responses to the stressor. Such a reduction was also observed with repeated exposure to FS boxes and FS-medium, whereas repeated exposure to FS-high only resulted in a small reduction of the corticosterone response during the post-stress period. This suggests that some properties of FS-high make adaptation to it difficult. Interestingly, overall changes in food intake and body weight gain throughout the week of exposure to the stressors reveal a greater impact of IMO than FS-high, indicating that factors other than the intensity of a stressor, at least when evaluated in function of the above physiological variables, can influence HPA adaptation. Since FS exposure is likely to cause more pain than IMO, activation of nociceptive signals above a certain level may negatively affect HPA adaptation to repeated stressors. PMID:21352836

  17. HPA and SAM axis responses as correlates of self- vs parental ratings of anxiety in boys with an Autistic Disorder.

    PubMed

    Bitsika, Vicki; Sharpley, Christopher F; Sweeney, John A; McFarlane, James R

    2014-03-29

    Anxiety and Autistic Disorder (AD) are both neurological conditions and both disorders share some features that make it difficult to precisely allocate specific symptoms to each disorder. HPA and SAM axis activities have been conclusively associated with anxiety, and may provide a method of validating anxiety rating scale assessments given by parents and their children with AD about those children. Data from HPA axis (salivary cortisol) and SAM axis (salivary alpha amylase) responses were collected from a sample of 32 high-functioning boys (M age=11yr) with an Autistic Disorder (AD) and were compared with the boys' and their mothers' ratings of the boys' anxiety. There was a significant difference between the self-ratings given by the boys and ratings given about them by their mothers. Further, only the boys' self-ratings of their anxiety significantly predicted the HPA axis responses and neither were significantly related to SAM axis responses. Some boys showed cortisol responses which were similar to that previously reported in children who had suffered chronic and severe anxiety arising from stressful social interactions. As well as suggesting that some boys with an AD can provide valid self-assessments of their anxiety, these data also point to the presence of very high levels of chronic HPA-axis arousal and consequent chronic anxiety in these boys. PMID:24412722

  18. HPA-Axis Hyperactivity and Mortality in Psychotic Depressive Disorder: Preliminary Findings

    PubMed Central

    Coryell, William; Fiedorowicz, Jess; Zimmerman, Mark; Young, Elizabeth

    2008-01-01

    Background The excess mortality associated with depressive disorders has been most often attributed to risks for suicide but diverse findings indicate that depressive disorders also increase risks for cardiovascular (CV) mortality. Among the possible mediators is the HPA-axis hyperactivity that characterizes many cases of relatively severe depressive disorder and severity is characteristic of psychotic depressive disorder. Methods The following describes a 17-year mortality follow-up of 54 patients with Research Diagnostic Criteria (RDC) psychotic major depression or schizoaffective, mainly affective, depression. All had baseline assessments that included a 1mg dexamethasone suppression test with post-dexamethasone samples at 8 a.m., 4 p.m. and 11 p.m. Results Regression analyses showed that both greater age and higher maximum post-dexamethasone cortisol concentrations predicted deaths due to cardiovascular (CV) causes (t = 4.01, p < .001 and t = 3.03, p = .004, respectively); the 11 p.m. cortisol concentration predicted death due to suicide (t = 2.05, p = 0.048). The 4 who died from CV disease had a mean (SD) post-dexamethasone cortisol concentration of 18.0 (6.0) μg/dl while the mean (SD) value for the remaining 50 patients was 7.6 (6.6) μg/dl (t = 3.03, df = 53, p = 0.004). Regression analyses showed the 11 p.m. post-dexamethasone value to be predictive of suicide (t = 2.05, p = 0.048). Conclusions Conclusions should be tentative because an earlier follow-up of a more heterogeneous, but larger, sample did not find a relationship between DST results and CV mortality, and because only 4 CV deaths occurred in the present study. HPA-axis hyperactivity is probably only one of a number of factors that link depressive disorder to CV mortality. PMID:18378097

  19. The caffeine-binding adenosine A2A receptor induces age-like HPA-axis dysfunction by targeting glucocorticoid receptor function

    PubMed Central

    Batalha, Vânia L.; Ferreira, Diana G.; Coelho, Joana E.; Valadas, Jorge S.; Gomes, Rui; Temido-Ferreira, Mariana; Shmidt, Tatiana; Baqi, Younis; Buée, Luc; Müller, Christa E.; Hamdane, Malika; Outeiro, Tiago F.; Bader, Michael; Meijsing, Sebastiaan H.; Sadri-Vakili, Ghazaleh; Blum, David; Lopes, Luísa V.

    2016-01-01

    Caffeine is associated with procognitive effects in humans by counteracting overactivation of the adenosine A2A receptor (A2AR), which is upregulated in the human forebrain of aged and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) patients. We have previously shown that an anti-A2AR therapy reverts age-like memory deficits, by reestablishment of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis feedback and corticosterone circadian levels. These observations suggest that A2AR over-activation and glucocorticoid dysfunction are key events in age-related hippocampal deficits; but their direct connection has never been explored. We now show that inducing A2AR overexpression in an aging-like profile is sufficient to trigger HPA-axis dysfunction, namely loss of plasmatic corticosterone circadian oscillation, and promotes reduction of GR hippocampal levels. The synaptic plasticity and memory deficits triggered by GR in the hippocampus are amplified by A2AR over-activation and were rescued by anti-A2AR therapy; finally, we demonstrate that A2AR act on GR nuclear translocation and GR-dependent transcriptional regulation. We provide the first demonstration that A2AR is a major regulator of GR function and that this functional interconnection may be a trigger to age-related memory deficits. This supports the idea that the procognitive effects of A2AR antagonists, namely caffeine, on Alzheimer’s and age-related cognitive impairments may rely on its ability to modulate GR actions. PMID:27510168

  20. The caffeine-binding adenosine A2A receptor induces age-like HPA-axis dysfunction by targeting glucocorticoid receptor function.

    PubMed

    Batalha, Vânia L; Ferreira, Diana G; Coelho, Joana E; Valadas, Jorge S; Gomes, Rui; Temido-Ferreira, Mariana; Shmidt, Tatiana; Baqi, Younis; Buée, Luc; Müller, Christa E; Hamdane, Malika; Outeiro, Tiago F; Bader, Michael; Meijsing, Sebastiaan H; Sadri-Vakili, Ghazaleh; Blum, David; Lopes, Luísa V

    2016-01-01

    Caffeine is associated with procognitive effects in humans by counteracting overactivation of the adenosine A2A receptor (A2AR), which is upregulated in the human forebrain of aged and Alzheimer's disease (AD) patients. We have previously shown that an anti-A2AR therapy reverts age-like memory deficits, by reestablishment of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis feedback and corticosterone circadian levels. These observations suggest that A2AR over-activation and glucocorticoid dysfunction are key events in age-related hippocampal deficits; but their direct connection has never been explored. We now show that inducing A2AR overexpression in an aging-like profile is sufficient to trigger HPA-axis dysfunction, namely loss of plasmatic corticosterone circadian oscillation, and promotes reduction of GR hippocampal levels. The synaptic plasticity and memory deficits triggered by GR in the hippocampus are amplified by A2AR over-activation and were rescued by anti-A2AR therapy; finally, we demonstrate that A2AR act on GR nuclear translocation and GR-dependent transcriptional regulation. We provide the first demonstration that A2AR is a major regulator of GR function and that this functional interconnection may be a trigger to age-related memory deficits. This supports the idea that the procognitive effects of A2AR antagonists, namely caffeine, on Alzheimer's and age-related cognitive impairments may rely on its ability to modulate GR actions. PMID:27510168

  1. Recovery of HPA Axis Function After Successful Gonadotropin-Induced Pregnancy and Delivery in a Woman With Panhypopituitarism: Case Report and Review.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yi; Zhang, Qiongyue; Yang, Jianzhi; Zhao, Xiaolong; He, Min; Shou, Xuefei; Li, Shiqi; Li, Yiming; Wang, Yongfei; Ye, Hongying

    2015-09-01

    Hypopituitarism is defined as the partial or complete defect of anterior pituitary hormone secretion. Patients with hypopituitarism usually need life-long hormone replacement therapy. However, in this case, we report a patient with panhypopituitarism whose hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis function was completely recovered after pregnancy and delivery. In this case study, we reported the case management and conducted a review of literature to identify the possible mechanism of pituitary function recovery. The patient who suffered from secondary amenorrhea was found a nonfunctioning pituitary macroadenoma, and the hormone test showed serum cortisol, FT3, FT4, thyrotropic hormone, and prolactin were at normal range. After surgical removal of the tumor which invasion in the sellar region, the patient had panhypopituitarism confirmed by the routine hormone test. Though spontaneous pregnancy is impossible in female patients with panhypopituitarism, the patient was restored fertility by the help of artificial reproductive techniques. After the confirmation of the pregnancy, levothyroixine was increased to 75 μg daily and readjusted to 150 μg daily before delivery according to the monthly measurement thyroid function. Hydrocortisone 10 mg daily replaced cortisone acetate; the dose was increased according to the symptoms of morning sickness. A single stress dose of hydrocortisone (200 mg) was used before elective cesarean delivery and was tapered to the dose of 10 mg per day in 1 week. Levothyroixine was reduced to 75 μg daily after delivery. During follow-up, her hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis function was completely recovered. The peak serum cortisol level could increase to 19.08 μg/dL by insulin-induced hypoglycemia. However, growth hormone remained unresponsive to the insulin-tolerance test, and thyroid hormone still needed exogenous supplementation. Hormone replacement therapy needed closely followed by endocrinologist and multidisciplinary

  2. Childhood maltreatment and adult psychopathology: pathways to hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis dysfunction

    PubMed Central

    Mello, Marcelo F.; Faria, Alvaro A.; Mello, Andrea F.; Carpenter, Linda L.; Tyrka, Audrey R.; Price, Lawrence H.

    2015-01-01

    Objective The aim of this paper was to examine the relationship between childhood maltreatment and adult psychopathology, as reflected in hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis dysfunction. Method A selective review of the relevant literature was undertaken in order to identify key and illustrative research findings. Results There is now a substantial body of preclinical and clinical evidence derived from a variety of experimental paradigms showing how early-life stress is related to hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis function and psychological state in adulthood, and how that relationship can be modulated by other factors. Discussion The risk for adult psychopathology and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis dysfunction is related to a complex interaction among multiple experiential factors, as well as to susceptibility genes that interact with those factors. Although acute hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis responses to stress are generally adaptive, excessive responses can lead to deleterious effects. Early-life stress alters hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis function and behavior, but the pattern of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal dysfunction and psychological outcome in adulthood reflect both the characteristics of the stressor and other modifying factors. Conclusion Research to date has identified multiple determinants of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis dysfunction seen in adults with a history of childhood maltreatment or other early-life stress. Further work is needed to establish whether hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis abnormalities in this context can be used to develop risk endophenotypes for psychiatric and physical illnesses. PMID:19967199

  3. Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activity is not elevated in a songbird (Junco hyemalis) preparing for migration.

    PubMed

    Bauer, Carolyn M; Needham, Katie B; Le, Chuong N; Stewart, Emily C; Graham, Jessica L; Ketterson, Ellen D; Greives, Timothy J

    2016-06-01

    During spring, increasing daylengths stimulate gonadal development in migratory birds. However, late-stage reproductive development is typically postponed until migration has been completed. The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis regulates the secretion of glucocorticoids, which have been associated with pre-migratory hyperphagia and fattening. The HPA-axis is also known to suppress the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis, suggesting the possibility that final transition into the breeding life history stage may be slowed by glucocorticoids. We hypothesized that greater HPA-axis activity in individuals preparing for migration may foster preparation for migration while simultaneously acting as a "brake" on the development of the HPG-axis. To test this hypothesis, we sampled baseline corticosterone (CORT), stress-induced CORT, and negative feedback efficacy of Dark-eyed Juncos (Junco hyemalis) in an overwintering population that included both migratory (J.h. hyemalis) and resident (J.h. carolinensis) individuals. We predicted that compared to residents, migrants would have higher baseline CORT, higher stress-induced CORT, and weaker negative feedback. Juncos were sampled in western Virginia in early March, which was about 2-4wk before migratory departure for migrants and 4-5wk before first clutch initiation for residents. Contrary to our predictions, we found that migrants had lower baseline and stress-induced CORT and similar negative feedback efficacy compared with residents, which suggests that delayed breeding in migrants is influenced by other physiological mechanisms. Our findings also suggest that baseline CORT is not elevated during pre-migratory fattening, as migrants had lower baseline CORT and were fatter than residents. PMID:26718082

  4. Antidepressant-like effect of geniposide on chronic unpredictable mild stress-induced depressive rats by regulating the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis.

    PubMed

    Cai, Li; Li, Rong; Tang, Wen-jian; Meng, Gang; Hu, Xiang-yang; Wu, Ting-ni

    2015-08-01

    Geniposide as the major active component of Gardenia jasminoides Ellis has neuroprotective activity. This study elucidated the potential antidepressant-like effect of geniposide and its related mechanisms using a depression rat model induced by 3 consecutive weeks of chronic unpredictable mild stress (CUMS). Sucrose preference test, open field test (OFT) and forced swimming test (FST) were applied to evaluate the antidepressant effect of geniposide. Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and corticosterone (CORT) serum levels, adrenal gland index and hypothalamic corticotrophin-releasing hormone (CRH) mRNA expression were measured to assess the activity of hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. Hypothalamic glucocorticoid receptor α (GRα) mRNA expression and GRα protein expression in hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus (PVN) were also determined by real-time PCR and immunohistochemistry, respectively. We found that geniposide (25, 50, 100mg/kg) treatment reversed the CUMS-induced behavioral abnormalities, as suggested by increased sucrose intake, improved crossing and rearing behavior in OFT, shortened immobility and prolonged swimming time in FST. Additionally, geniposide treatment normalized the CUMS-induced hyperactivity of HPA axis, as evidenced by reduced CORT serum level, adrenal gland index and hypothalamic CRH mRNA expression, with no significant effect on ACTH serum level. Moreover, geniposide treatment upregulated the hypothalamic GRα mRNA level and GRα protein expression in PVN, suggesting geniposide could recover the impaired GRα negative feedback on CRH expression and HPA axis. These aforementioned therapeutic effects of geniposide were essentially similar to fluoxetine. Our results indicated that geniposide possessed potent antidepressant-like properties that may be mediated by its effects on the HPA axis. PMID:25914157

  5. Physiological Basis for the Etiology, Diagnosis, and Treatment of Adrenal Disorders: Cushing’s Syndrome, Adrenal Insufficiency, and Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia

    PubMed Central

    Raff, Hershel; Sharma, Susmeeta T.; Nieman, Lynnette K.

    2014-01-01

    The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis is a classic neuroendocrine system. One of the best ways to understand the HPA axis is to appreciate its dynamics in the variety of diseases and syndromes that affect it. Excess glucocorticoid activity can be due to endogenous cortisol overproduction (spontaneous Cushing’s syndrome) or exogenous glucocorticoid therapy (iatrogenic Cushing’s syndrome). Endogenous Cushing’s syndrome can be subdivided into ACTH-dependent and ACTH-independent, the latter of which is usually due to autonomous adrenal overproduction. The former can be due to a pituitary corticotroph tumor (usually benign) or ectopic ACTH production from tumors outside the pituitary; both of these tumor types overexpress the proopiomelanocortin gene. The converse of Cushing’s syndrome is the lack of normal cortisol secretion and is usually due to adrenal destruction (primary adrenal insufficiency) or hypopituitarism (secondary adrenal insufficiency). Secondary adrenal insufficiency can also result from a rapid discontinuation of long-term, pharmacological glucocorticoid therapy because of HPA axis suppression and adrenal atrophy. Finally, mutations in the steroidogenic enzymes of the adrenal cortex can lead to congenital adrenal hyperplasia and an increase in precursor steroids, particularly androgens. When present in utero, this can lead to masculinization of a female fetus. An understanding of the dynamics of the HPA axis is necessary to master the diagnosis and differential diagnosis of pituitary-adrenal diseases. Furthermore, understanding the pathophysiology of the HPA axis gives great insight into its normal control. PMID:24715566

  6. The role of oestradiol in sexually dimorphic hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis responses to intracerebroventricular ethanol administration in the rat

    PubMed Central

    Larkin, John W.; Binks, Spencer L.; Li, Yu; Selvage, Dan

    2009-01-01

    Systemic ethanol (EtOH) administration activates the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis of rats in a sexually dimorphic manner. The present studies tested the role played by the CNS in this phenomenon. In order to localize the effects of the drug to the brain, we utilized an EtOH administration paradigm whereby a small, non-toxic amount of the drug was delivered intracerebroventricularly (icv). Icv EtOH rapidly diffuses throughout the CSF and brain, and does not cause neuronal damage or have any long-term physiological or behavioral effects. Experimental groups included intact males, intact cycling females, and ovariectomized (OVX) animals with or without replacement estradiol (E2). Icv EtOH- induced HPA hormonal activation was determined by measuring plasma adrenocorticotropin (ACTH) levels. Activation of brain areas that both regulate HPA function and are responsive to gonadal hormones was determined using expression of the transcription factor c-fos (Fos) as a marker of neuronal activity. We observed sex- and estrous cycle- dependent differences in HPA activation by EtOH as measured by both these parameters. ACTH secretion was highest in females in proestrus or estrus, just prior to and after the endogenous peak of E2, as was Fos expression in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus (PVN) and the locus coreuleus (LC) of the brainstem. In OVX animals, E2 replacement caused an increase in PVN and LC Fos expression in response to icv EtOH as compared to OVX controls, but a decrease in ACTH secretion. Taken together these results indicate that at the level of the CNS, EtOH stimulates HPA activity more robustly at times when the effects of E2 are high, but that E2 alone is not responsible for the effect. The data further suggest that the LC plays an important role in the circuitry, which appears to be different from that activated following the systemic administration of EtOH. PMID:19912475

  7. Salsolinol: a potential modulator of the activity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis in nursing and postweaning sheep.

    PubMed

    Hasiec, M; Herman, A P; Misztal, T

    2015-10-01

    The most well-known physiological action of salsolinol (1-methyl-6,7-dihydroxy-1,2,3,4-tetrahydroisoquinoline) is the stimulation of prolactin secretion, especially during lactation. In addition, our recent work demonstrated that salsolinol inhibits the stress-induced activity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis in lactating sheep. Here, we investigated whether salsolinol regulates the basal activity of the HPA axis in lactating sheep and whether its inhibitory action on the stress-induced activity of the HPA axis is present during the postweaning period. The first experiment was performed during the fifth week of lactation, in which unstressed sheep received an intracerebroventricular infusion of an antagonistic analogue of salsolinol, 1-MeDIQ (1-methyl-3,4-dihydroisoquinoline). Simultaneously, the infundibular nucleus and/or median eminence was perfused using the push-pull method. Sheep that received 1-MeDIQ infusion showed significantly higher concentration of plasma ACTH during the second, third, and fourth hour (P < 0.001, P < 0.01, and P < 0.001, respectively) and cortisol during the third and fourth hour (P < 0.001 and P < 0.01, respectively) than did sheep that received control infusion. There was no significant difference in the mean perfusate corticotropin-releasing hormone concentration between the 1-MeDIQ and control treatments. In the second experiment, sheep received an intracerebroventricular infusion of salsolinol during the ninth week of lactation and 48 h after lamb weaning. A comparison between the control groups in the first and second experiments revealed that sheep after weaning (ninth week of lactation) had significantly higher mean ACTH (P < 0.001) and cortisol (P < 0.001) concentrations during the first 2 h of the experiment than the nursing females (fifth week of lactation) had. Salsolinol significantly reduced the increased concentrations of ACTH and cortisol (P < 0.01) in sheep after lamb weaning. However, there was no

  8. Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal stress axis function and the relationship with chronic widespread pain and its antecedents.

    PubMed

    McBeth, John; Chiu, Yee H; Silman, Alan J; Ray, David; Morriss, Richard; Dickens, Chris; Gupta, Anindya; Macfarlane, Gary J

    2005-01-01

    In clinic studies, altered hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis function has been associated with fibromyalgia, a syndrome characterised by chronic widespread body pain. These results may be explained by the associated high rates of psychological distress and somatisation. We address the hypothesis that the latter, rather than the pain, might explain the HPA results. A population study ascertained pain and psychological status in subjects aged 25 to 65 years. Random samples were selected from the following three groups: satisfying criteria for chronic widespread pain; free of chronic widespread pain but with strong evidence of somatisation ('at risk'); and a reference group. HPA axis function was assessed from measuring early morning and evening salivary cortisol levels, and serum cortisol after physical (pain pressure threshold exam) and chemical (overnight 0.25 mg dexamethasone suppression test) stressors. The relationship between HPA function with pain and the various psychosocial scales assessed was modelled using appropriate regression analyses, adjusted for age and gender. In all 131 persons with chronic widespread pain (participation rate 74%), 267 'at risk' (58%) and 56 controls (70%) were studied. Those in the chronic widespread pain and 'at risk' groups were, respectively, 3.1 (95% CI (1.3, 7.3)) and 1.8 (0.8, 4.0) times more likely to have a saliva cortisol score in the lowest third. None of the psychosocial factors measured were, however, associated with saliva cortisol scores. Further, those in the chronic widespread pain (1.9 (0.8, 4.7)) and 'at risk' (1.6 (0.7, 3.6)) groups were also more likely to have the highest serum cortisol scores. High post-stress serum cortisol was related to high levels of psychological distress (p = 0.05, 95% CI (0.02, 0.08)). After adjusting for levels of psychological distress, the association between chronic widespread pain and post-stress cortisol scores remained, albeit slightly attenuated. This is the first

  9. HPA-axis function and grey matter volume reductions: imaging the diathesis-stress model in individuals at ultra-high risk of psychosis.

    PubMed

    Valli, I; Crossley, N A; Day, F; Stone, J; Tognin, S; Mondelli, V; Howes, O; Valmaggia, L; Pariante, C; McGuire, P

    2016-01-01

    The onset of psychosis is thought to involve interactions between environmental stressors and the brain, with cortisol as a putative mediator. We examined the relationship between the cortisol stress response and brain structure in subjects at ultra-high risk (UHR) for psychosis. Waking salivary cortisol was measured in 22 individuals at UHR for psychosis and 17 healthy controls. Grey matter volume was assessed using magnetic resonance imaging at 3 T. The relationship between the stress response and grey matter volume was investigated using voxel-based analyses. Our predictions of the topography of cortisol action as a structural brain modulator were informed by measures of brain glucocorticoid and mineralcorticoid receptor distribution obtained from the multimodal neuroanatomical and genetic Allen Brain Atlas. Across all subjects, reduced responsivity of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis was correlated with smaller grey matter volumes in the frontal, parietal and temporal cortex and in the hippocampus. This relationship was particularly marked in the UHR subjects in the right prefrontal, left parahippocampal/fusiform and parietal cortices. The subgroup that subsequently developed psychosis showed a significant blunting of HPA stress response, observed at trend level also in the whole UHR sample. Altered responses to stress in people at high risk of psychosis are related to reductions in grey matter volume in areas implicated in the vulnerability to psychotic disorders. These areas may represent the neural components of a stress vulnerability model. PMID:27138796

  10. Psychobiological Mechanisms Underlying the Social Buffering of the HPA Axis: A Review of Animal Models and Human Studies across Development

    PubMed Central

    Hostinar, Camelia E.; Sullivan, Regina M.; Gunnar, Megan R.

    2013-01-01

    Discovering the stress-buffering effects of social relationships has been one of the major findings in psychobiology in the last century. However, an understanding of the underlying neurobiological and psychological mechanisms of this buffering is only beginning to emerge. An important avenue of this research concerns the neurocircuitry that can regulate the activity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis. The present review is a translational effort aimed at integrating animal models and human studies of the social regulation of the HPA axis from infancy to adulthood, specifically focusing on the process that has been named social buffering. This process has been noted across species and consists of a dampened HPA axis stress response to threat or challenge that occurs with the presence or assistance of a conspecific. We describe aspects of the relevant underlying neurobiology when enough information exists and expose major gaps in our understanding across all domains of the literatures we aimed to integrate. We provide a working conceptual model focused on the role of oxytocinergic systems and prefrontal neural networks as two of the putative biological mediators of this process, and propose that the role of early experiences is critical in shaping later social buffering effects. This synthesis points to both general future directions and specific experiments that need to be conducted to build a more comprehensive model of the HPA social buffering effect across the lifespan that incorporates multiple levels of analysis: neuroendocrine, behavioral, and social. PMID:23607429

  11. Glucocorticoid receptor haploinsufficiency causes hypertension and attenuates hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and blood pressure adaptions to high-fat diet.

    PubMed

    Michailidou, Z; Carter, R N; Marshall, E; Sutherland, H G; Brownstein, D G; Owen, E; Cockett, K; Kelly, V; Ramage, L; Al-Dujaili, E A S; Ross, M; Maraki, I; Newton, K; Holmes, M C; Seckl, J R; Morton, N M; Kenyon, C J; Chapman, K E

    2008-11-01

    Glucocorticoid hormones are critical to respond and adapt to stress. Genetic variations in the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) gene alter hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activity and associate with hypertension and susceptibility to metabolic disease. Here we test the hypothesis that reduced GR density alters blood pressure and glucose and lipid homeostasis and limits adaption to obesogenic diet. Heterozygous GR(betageo/+) mice were generated from embryonic stem (ES) cells with a gene trap integration of a beta-galactosidase-neomycin phosphotransferase (betageo) cassette into the GR gene creating a transcriptionally inactive GR fusion protein. Although GR(betageo/+) mice have 50% less functional GR, they have normal lipid and glucose homeostasis due to compensatory HPA axis activation but are hypertensive due to activation of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS). When challenged with a high-fat diet, weight gain, adiposity, and glucose intolerance were similarly increased in control and GR(betageo/+) mice, suggesting preserved control of intermediary metabolism and energy balance. However, whereas a high-fat diet caused HPA activation and increased blood pressure in control mice, these adaptions were attenuated or abolished in GR(betageo/+) mice. Thus, reduced GR density balanced by HPA activation leaves glucocorticoid functions unaffected but mineralocorticoid functions increased, causing hypertension. Importantly, reduced GR limits HPA and blood pressure adaptions to obesogenic diet. PMID:18697839

  12. Stress sensitivity in metastatic breast cancer: analysis of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis function.

    PubMed

    Spiegel, David; Giese-Davis, Janine; Taylor, C Barr; Kraemer, Helena

    2006-11-01

    The normal diurnal cortisol cycle has a peak in the morning, decreasing rapidly over the day, with low levels during the night, then rising rapidly again to the morning peak. A pattern of flatter daytime slopes has been associated with more rapid cancer progression in both animals and humans. We studied the relationship between the daytime slopes and other daytime cortisol responses to both pharmacological and psychosocial challenges of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis function as well as DHEA in a sample of 99 women with metastatic breast cancer, in hopes of elucidating the dysregulatory process. We found that the different components of HPA regulation: the daytime cortisol slope, the rise in cortisol from waking to 30 min later, and cortisol response to various challenges, including dexamethasone (DEX) suppression, corticotrophin releasing factor (CRF) activation, and the Trier Social Stress Task, were at best modestly associated. Escape from suppression stimulated by 1mg of DEX administered the night before was moderately but significantly associated with flatter daytime cortisol slopes (r=0.28 to .30 at different times of the post DEX administration day, all p<.01). Daytime cortisol slopes were also moderately but significant associated with the rise in cortisol from waking to 30 min after awakening (r=.29, p=.004, N=96), but not with waking cortisol level (r=-0.13, p=.19). However, we could not detect any association between daytime cortisol slope and activation of cortisol secretion by either CRF infusion or the Trier Social Stress Task. The CRF activation test (following 1.5mg of DEX to assure that the effect was due to exogenous CRF) produced ACTH levels that were correlated (r=0.66, p<.0001, N=74) with serum cortisol levels, indicating adrenal responsiveness to ACTH stimulation. Daytime cortisol slopes were significantly correlated with the slope of DHEA (r=.21, p=.04, N=95). Our general findings suggest that flatter daytime cortisol slopes among

  13. Mechanisms underlying the effects of prenatal psychosocial stress on child outcomes: beyond the HPA axis.

    PubMed

    Beijers, Roseriet; Buitelaar, Jan K; de Weerth, Carolina

    2014-10-01

    Accumulating evidence from preclinical and clinical studies indicates that maternal psychosocial stress and anxiety during pregnancy adversely affect child outcomes. However, knowledge on the possible mechanisms underlying these relations is limited. In the present paper, we review the most often proposed mechanism, namely that involving the HPA axis and cortisol, as well as other less well-studied but possibly relevant and complementary mechanisms. We present evidence for a role of the following mechanisms: compromised placental functioning, including the 11β-HSD2 enzyme, increased catecholamines, compromised maternal immune system and intestinal microbiota, and altered health behaviors including eating, sleep, and exercise. The roles of (epi)genetics, the postnatal environment and the fetus are also discussed. We conclude that maternal prenatal psychosocial stress is a complex phenomenon that affects maternal emotions, behavior and physiology in many ways, and may influence the physiology and functioning of the fetus through a network of different pathways. The review concludes with recommendations for future research that helps our understanding of the mechanisms by which maternal prenatal stress exerts its effect on the fetus. PMID:24875898

  14. Psychological and environmental correlates of HPA axis functioning in parentally bereaved children: preliminary findings.

    PubMed

    Kaplow, Julie B; Shapiro, Danielle N; Wardecker, Britney M; Howell, Kathryn H; Abelson, James L; Worthman, Carol M; Prossin, Alan R

    2013-04-01

    This study examined bereaved children's HPA-axis functioning (cortisol awakening response; CAR) in relation to psychological distress, coping, and surviving parents' grief reactions. Participants included 38 children (20 girls) with recent parental loss (previous 6 months) and 28 of their surviving caregivers (23 women) who were assessed using self-report instruments and in-person, semistructured interviews. Interviews involved discussions about the child's thoughts and feelings related to the loss. Participants provided 3 saliva samples at home (awakening, 30 minutes later, and evening) over 3 successive days, beginning on the day following the interview. Results show a significant relation between dampening of the child's Day 1 CAR and more symptoms of anxiety (r = -.45), depression (r = -.40), posttraumatic stress (r = -.45), and maladaptive grief (r = -.43), as well as higher levels of avoidant coping (r = -.53). Higher levels of parental maladaptive grief were also associated (r = -.47) with a dampening of the child's Day 1 CAR. Our results raise the possibility that blunted CAR may be a result of accumulating allostatic load and/or a result of emotionally challenging events (discussions regarding the deceased) and their subsequent processing (or lack thereof) within the family, which may be particularly stressful for those bereaved children experiencing high levels of psychological distress, avoidant coping, and parental maladaptive grief. PMID:23526635

  15. Stress and Drug Dependence Differentially Modulate Norepinephrine Signaling in Animals with Varied HPA Axis Function

    PubMed Central

    Fox, Megan E; Studebaker, R Isaac; Swofford, Nathaniel J; Wightman, R Mark

    2015-01-01

    Previous work has demonstrated the importance of genetic factors and stress-sensitive circuits in the development of affective disorders. Anxiety and numerous psychological disorders are comorbid with substance abuse, and noradrenergic signaling in the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST) is thought to be a source of this convergence. Here, we examined the effects of different stressors on behavior and norepinephrine dynamics in the BNST of rat strains known to differ in their HPA-axis function. We compared the effects of acute morphine dependence and social isolation in non-anxious Sprague Dawley (SD) rats, and a depression model, Wistar-Kyoto (WKY) rats. We found a shared phenotype in drug-dependent and singly housed SD rats, characterized by slowed norepinephrine clearance, decreased autoreceptor function, and elevated anxiety. WKY rats exhibited changes in anxiety and autoreceptor function only following morphine dependence. To ascertain the influence of LC inhibition on this plasticity, we administered the LC-terminal-selective toxin DSP-4 to SD and WKY rats. DSP-4-treated SD rats demonstrated a dependence-like phenotype, whereas WKY rats were unchanged. Overall, our findings suggest that individuals with varying stress susceptibilities have different noradrenergic signaling changes in response to stress. These changes may establish conditions that favor stress-induced reinstatement and increase the risk for addiction. PMID:25601230

  16. Stress, the HPA axis, and nonhuman primate well-being: A review

    PubMed Central

    Novak, Melinda A.; Hamel, Amanda F.; Kelly, Brian J.; Dettmer, Amanda M.; Meyer, Jerrold S.

    2012-01-01

    Numerous stressors are routinely encountered by wild-living primates (e.g., food scarcity, predation, aggressive interactions, and parasitism). Although many of these stressors are eliminated in laboratory environments, other stressors may be present in that access to space and social partners is often restricted. Stress affects many physiological systems including the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis, which is the focus of this review. The glucocorticoid, cortisol, is the ultimate output of this system in nonhuman primates, and levels of this hormone are used as an index of stress. Researchers can measure cortisol from several sampling matrices that include blood, saliva, urine, faeces, and hair. A comparison of the advantages and disadvantages of each sampling matrix is provided to aid researchers in selecting an optimal strategy for their research. Stress and its relationship to welfare have been examined in nonhuman primates using two complimentary approaches: comparing baseline cortisol levels under different conditions, or determining the reactivity of the system through exposure to a stressor. Much of this work is focused on colony management practices and developmental models of abnormal behaviour. Certain colony practices are known to increase stress at least temporarily. Both blood sampling and relocation are examples of this effect, and efforts have been made to reduce some of the more stressful aspects of these procedures. In contrast, other colony management practices such as social housing and environmental enrichment are hypothesized to reduce stress. Testing this hypothesis by comparing baseline cortisol levels has not proved useful, probably due to “floor” effects; however, social buffering studies have shown the powerful role of social housing in mitigating reactions of nonhuman primates to stressful events. Models of abnormal behaviour come from two sources: experimentally induced alterations in early experience (e.g., nursery

  17. Stress, the HPA axis, and nonhuman primate well-being: A review.

    PubMed

    Novak, Melinda A; Hamel, Amanda F; Kelly, Brian J; Dettmer, Amanda M; Meyer, Jerrold S

    2013-01-31

    Numerous stressors are routinely encountered by wild-living primates (e.g., food scarcity, predation, aggressive interactions, and parasitism). Although many of these stressors are eliminated in laboratory environments, other stressors may be present in that access to space and social partners is often restricted. Stress affects many physiological systems including the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis, which is the focus of this review. The glucocorticoid, cortisol, is the ultimate output of this system in nonhuman primates, and levels of this hormone are used as an index of stress. Researchers can measure cortisol from several sampling matrices that include blood, saliva, urine, faeces, and hair. A comparison of the advantages and disadvantages of each sampling matrix is provided to aid researchers in selecting an optimal strategy for their research. Stress and its relationship to welfare have been examined in nonhuman primates using two complimentary approaches: comparing baseline cortisol levels under different conditions, or determining the reactivity of the system through exposure to a stressor. Much of this work is focused on colony management practices and developmental models of abnormal behaviour. Certain colony practices are known to increase stress at least temporarily. Both blood sampling and relocation are examples of this effect, and efforts have been made to reduce some of the more stressful aspects of these procedures. In contrast, other colony management practices such as social housing and environmental enrichment are hypothesized to reduce stress. Testing this hypothesis by comparing baseline cortisol levels has not proved useful, probably due to "floor" effects; however, social buffering studies have shown the powerful role of social housing in mitigating reactions of nonhuman primates to stressful events. Models of abnormal behaviour come from two sources: experimentally induced alterations in early experience (e.g., nursery

  18. Differential impact of stress on hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis: gene expression changes in Lewis and Fisher rats.

    PubMed

    Ergang, Peter; Vodička, Martin; Soták, Matúš; Klusoňová, Petra; Behuliak, Michal; Řeháková, Lenka; Zach, Petr; Pácha, Jiří

    2015-03-01

    The aim of the present work was to study the influence of variable stress on the expression of 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (11HSD1) and the neuropeptides corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), urocortins 2 and 3(UCN2, UCN3), arginine vasopressin (AVP), oxytocin (OXT) and adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP) in two inbred rat strains: stress hypo-responsive Lewis (LEW) and hyper-responsive Fisher 344 (F344) rats. We found site-specific and strain-dependent differences in the basal and stress-stimulated expression of 11HSD1, CRH, UCN2, UCN3 and PACAP. In LEW rats, stress upregulated 11HSD1 in the prefrontal cortex and lateral amygdala, whereas in F344 rats 11HSD1 was upregulated in the central amygdala and hippocampal CA2 and ventral but not dorsal CA1 region; no effect was observed in the paraventricular nucleus, pituitary gland and adrenal cortex of both strains. The expression of glucocorticoid receptors did not parallel the upregulation of 11HSD1. Stress also stimulated the expression of paraventricular OXT, CRH, UCN3 and PACAP in both strains but amygdalar CRH only in LEW and UCN2/UCN3 in F344 rats, respectively. The upregulation of PACAP and CRH was paralleled only by increased expression of PACAP receptor PAC1 but not CRH receptor type 1. These observations provide evidence that inbred F344 and LEW rats exhibit not only the well-known phenotypic differences in the activity of the HPA axis but also strain- and stress-dependent differences in the expression of genes encoding 11HSD1 and neuropeptides associated with the HPA axis activity. Moreover, the differences in 11HSD1 expression suggest different local concentration of corticosterone and access to GR in canonical and noncanonical structures of the HPA axis. PMID:25591115

  19. Ontogeny of hypothalamic glucocorticoid receptor-mediated inhibition of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis in mice.

    PubMed

    Laryea, Gloria; Arnett, Melinda; Muglia, Louis J

    2015-01-01

    Glucocorticoid receptors (GR) in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus (PVN) are important regulators of negative feedback regulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. Previous evaluation of endogenous PVN GR function in adult mice demonstrated that mice with loss of GR exon 3 in the PVN (Sim1Cre-GRe3Δ) have a hyperactive HPA axis, growth impairment and metabolic disruptions. Here, we hypothesized that lack of negative feedback inhibition of the HPA axis through PVN GR, as demonstrated through loss of PVN GR early in life, will have developmental-stage-specific consequences. Immunofluorescence revealed that Sim1Cre-GRe3Δ mice display PVN GR loss as early as post-natal day 2 compared to control mice. Sim1Cre-GRe3Δ mice compared to controls also displayed increased corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) mRNA in the PVN at post-natal day 10, as shown by in situ hybridization. Corticosterone radioimmunoassay revealed that the disruptions in PVN GR and CRH expression led to elevated basal corticosterone secretion in male Sim1Cre-GRe3Δ mice by early adolescence and increased stress-induced (restraint) corticosterone secretion in late adolescence into adulthood. In comparison, female Sim1Cre-GRe3Δ mice did not display corticosterone disruption until adulthood. Circadian rhythmicity of corticosterone secretion was normal for male and female mice at all age groups regardless of genotype with one exception. In late adolescence, female Sim1Cre-GRe3Δ mice had disrupted circadian corticosterone secretion due to significantly elevated circulating levels at nadir. We conclude that PVN GR function matures at an earlier developmental time point in male than in female mice and thus leads to later differential stress responsiveness between sexes. PMID:26068518

  20. Beyond the HPA Axis: Progesterone-Derived Neuroactive Steroids in Human Stress and Emotion

    PubMed Central

    Wirth, Michelle M.

    2011-01-01

    Stress and social isolation are well-known risk factors for psychopathology. However, more research is needed as to the physiological mechanisms by which social support buffers the impacts of stress. Research in animal models suggests important roles for progesterone (P) and its product, the neuroactive steroid allopregnanolone (ALLO), in stress and psychopathology. These hormones are produced in brain and periphery during stress in rodents, and down-regulate anxiety behavior and hypothalamic-pituitary–adrenal axis activity. Human clinical populations, including depressed patients, have alterations in ALLO levels, but it is unclear whether these basal hormone level differences have clinical import. To begin to address this question, this review examines the role of P and ALLO in stress physiology, and the impact of these hormones on mood, in healthy humans. Evidence largely supports that P and ALLO increase during stress in humans. However, P/ALLO administration appears to cause only mild effects on mood and subjective anxiety, while exerting effects consistent with gamma-aminobutyric acid receptor modulation. Additionally, P is linked to motivation for affiliation/social contact; P (and ALLO) release may be especially responsive to social rejection. These observations lead to the novel hypothesis that stress-related P/ALLO production functions not only to down-regulate stress and anxiety, but also to promote social contact as a long-term coping strategy. Malfunctioning of the P/ALLO system could therefore underlie depression partly by decreasing propensity to affiliate with others. PMID:22649366

  1. Involvement of Nitric Oxide, Neurotrophins and HPA Axis in Neurobehavioural Alterations Induced by Prenatal Stress.

    PubMed

    Maur, Damian G; Pascuan, Cecilia G; Genaro, Ana M; Zorrilla-Zubilete, Maria A

    2015-01-01

    Several studies suggest that negative emotions during pregnancy generate adverse effects on the cognitive, behavioural and emotional development of the descendants. The psychoneuroendocrine pathways involve the transplacentary passage of maternal glucocorticoids in order to influence directly on fetal growth and brain development.Nitric oxide is a gaseous neurotransmitter that plays an important role in the control of neural activity by diffusing into neurons and participates in learning and memory processes. It has been demonstrated that nitric oxide is involved in the regulation of corticosterone secretion. Thus, it has been found that the neuronal isoform of nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) is an endogenous inhibitor of glucocorticoid receptor (GR) in the hippocampus and that nNOS in the hippocampus may participate in the modulation of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activity via GR.Neurotrophins are a family of secreted growth factors consisting of nerve growth factor (NGF), brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), neurotrophin 3 (NT3) and NT4. Although initially described in the nervous system, they regulate processes such as cell survival, proliferation and differentiation in several other compartments. It has been demonstrated that the NO-citrulline cycle acts together with BDNF in maintaining the progress of neural differentiation.In the present chapter, we explore the interrelation between nitric oxide, glucocorticoids and neurotrophins in brain areas that are key structures in learning and memory processes. The participation of this interrelation in the behavioural and cognitive alterations induced in the offspring by maternal stress is also addressed. PMID:25287536

  2. Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis hyperactivity accounts for anxiety- and depression-like behaviors in rats perinatally exposed to bisphenol A.

    PubMed

    Chen, Fang; Zhou, Libin; Bai, Yinyang; Zhou, Rong; Chen, Ling

    2015-05-01

    Accumulating studies have proved that perinatal exposure to environmental dose causes long-term potentiation in anxiety/depression-related behaviors in rats. Hyperactivity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis is one of the most consistent biological findings in anxiety- and depression-related disorders. The HPA axis is reported to be susceptible to developmental reprogramming. The present study focused on HPA reactivity in postnatal day (PND) 80 male rats exposed perinatally to environmental-dose BPA. When female breeders were orally administered 2 μg/(kg.day) BPA from gestation day 10 to lactation day 7, their offspring (PND 80 BPA-exposed rats) showed obvious anxiety/depression-like behaviors. Notably, significant increase in serum corticosterone and adrenocorticotropin, and corticotropin-releasing hormone mRNA were detected in BPA-exposed rats before or after the mild stressor. Additionally, the level of glucocorticoid receptor mRNA in the hippocampus, but not the hypothalamus, was decreased in BPA-exposed rats. The levels of hippocampal mineralocorticoid receptor mRNA, neuronal nitric oxide synthase and phosphorylated cAMP response element binding protein were increased in BPA-exposed rats. In addition, the testosterone level was in BPA-exposed rats. The results indicate that reprogramming-induced hyperactivity of the HPA axis is an important link between perinatal BPA exposure and persistent potentiation in anxiety and depression. PMID:26060449

  3. TPH2 5'- and 3'-regulatory polymorphisms are differentially associated with HPA axis function and self-injurious behavior in rhesus monkeys.

    PubMed

    Chen, G-L; Novak, M A; Meyer, J S; Kelly, B J; Vallender, E J; Miller, G M

    2010-04-01

    Tryptophan hydroxylase-2 (TPH2) synthesizes neuronal serotonin and is linked to numerous behavioral traits. We have previously characterized the functionality of polymorphisms (especially 2051A>C) in 3'-untranslated region (3'-UTR) of rhesus monkey TPH2 (rhTPH2). This study further assessed the functionality of additional polymorphisms (-1605T>C, -1491Tn, -1485(AT)n, -1454A>G, -1325In>Del and -363T>G) in rhTPH2 5'-flanking region (5'-FR), and evaluated the effects of rhTPH2 5' and 3' genotypes on central serotonin turnover, hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis function and self-injurious behavior (SIB) in 32 unrelated adult male monkeys of Indian origin. Haplotypes of the rhTPH2 5'-FR polymorphisms exert a significant, cell-dependent effect on reporter gene expression, primarily conferred by -1485(AT)n. The -1485(AT)n and 2051A>C polymorphisms interact to influence cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) 5-HIAA and plasma adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) in the afternoon. While -1485(AT)n exerts significant main effects on the afternoon cortisol level and nocturnal HPA negative feedback, 2051A>C has significant main effects on the morning cortisol level and cortisol response to ACTH challenge, as well as marginally significant main effects on the daytime HPA negative feedback and self-biting rate. In addition, the genotype/allele frequency of the 5'-FR -1325Ins>Del differed significantly between the self-wounders and non-wounders, whereas 3'-UTR 2128S>L polymorphism differed significantly in genotype/allele frequency between the high- and low-frequency biters. This study shows the functionality of rhTPH2 5'-FR polymorphisms, and provides evidence for the differential association of rhTPH2 5'-FR and 3'-UTR polymorphisms with HPA axis function and SIB. Our findings shed light on the role of TPH2 gene variance in physiology and behavioral traits, and also contribute to the understanding of the pathophysiology and genetics of SIB. PMID:20059554

  4. The Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis Response to Stress in Mice Lacking Functional Vasopressin V1b Receptors

    PubMed Central

    Lolait, Stephen J.; Stewart, Lesley Q.; Jessop, David S.; Young, W. Scott; O'Carroll, Anne-Marie

    2007-01-01

    The role of arginine vasopressin (Avp) as an adrenocorticotropin (ACTH) secretagogue is mediated by the Avp 1b receptor (Avpr1b) found on anterior pituitary corticotropes. Avp also potentiates the actions of corticotropin-releasing hormone (Crh) and appears to be an important mediator of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis response to chronic stress. To investigate the role of Avp in the HPA axis response to stress, we measured plasma ACTH and corticosterone (CORT) levels in Avpr1b knockout (KO) mice and wild-type controls in response to two acute (restraint and insulin administration) and one form of chronic (daily restraint for 14 days) stress. No significant difference was found in the basal plasma levels of ACTH and CORT between the two genotypes. Acute restraint (30 min) increased plasma ACTH and CORT to a similar level in both the Avpr1b mutant and wild-type mice. In contrast, plasma ACTH and CORT levels induced by hypoglycemia were significantly decreased in the Avpr1b KO mice when compared to wild-type littermates. There was no difference in the ACTH response to acute and chronic restraint in wild-type mice. In the Avpr1b KO group subjected to 14 sessions of daily restraint, plasma ACTH was decreased when compared to wild-type mice. On the other hand, the CORT elevations induced by restraint did not adapt in the Avpr1b KO or wild-type mice. The data suggests that the Avpr1b is required for the normal pituitary and adrenal response to some acute stressful stimuli, and is necessary only for a normal ACTH response during chronic stress. PMID:17122081

  5. Estrogen impairs glucocorticoid dependent negative feedback on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis via estrogen receptor alpha within the hypothalamus.

    PubMed

    Weiser, M J; Handa, R J

    2009-03-17

    Numerous studies have established a link between individuals with affective disorders and a dysregulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, most notably characterized by a reduced sensitivity to glucocorticoid negative (-) feedback. Furthermore there is a sex difference in the etiology of mood disorders with incidence in females being two to three times that of males, an association that may be a result of the influence of estradiol (E2) on HPA axis function. In these studies, we have examined the effect of E2 on glucocorticoid-mediated HPA axis (-) feedback during both the diurnal peak and the stress-induced rise in corticosterone (CORT). Young adult female Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats were ovariectomized (OVX) and 1 week later treated subcutaneous (s.c.) with oil or estradiol benzoate (EB) for 4 days. On the 4th day of treatment, animals were injected with a single dose of dexamethasone (DEX), or vehicle. EB treatment significantly increased the evening elevation in CORT and the stress-induced rise in CORT. In contrast, DEX treatment reduced the diurnal and stress induced rise in CORT and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), and this reduction was not apparent following co-treatment with EB. To determine a potential site of E2's action, female SD rats were OVX and 1 week later, wax pellets containing E2, the estrogen receptor beta (ERbeta) agonist diarylpropionitrile (DPN), or the estrogen receptor alpha (ERalpha) agonist propylpyrazoletriol (PPT), was implanted bilaterally and dorsal to the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus (PVN). Seven days later, animals were injected s.c. with a single dose of DEX, or vehicle to test for glucocorticoid-dependent (-) feedback. Results show that E2 and PPT increased, while DPN decreased the diurnal peak and stress-induced CORT and ACTH levels as compared to controls. Furthermore, E2 and PPT impaired the ability of DEX to inhibit both the diurnal and the stress-induced rise in CORT and ACTH, whereas DPN had

  6. CENTRAL 5-ALPHA REDUCTION OF TESTOSTERONE IS REQUIRED FOR TESTOSTERONE’S INHIBITION OF THE HYPOTHALAMO-PITUITARY-ADRENAL AXIS RESPONSE TO RESTRAINT STRESS IN ADULT MALE RATS

    PubMed Central

    Handa, Robert J.; Kudwa, Andrea E.; Donner, Nina C.; McGivern, Robert F.; Brown, Roger

    2013-01-01

    In rodents, the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis is controlled by a precise regulatory mechanism that is influenced by circulating gonadal and adrenal hormones. In males, gonadectomy increases the adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and corticosterone (CORT) response to stressors, and androgen replacement returns the response to that of the intact male. Testosterone (T) actions in regulating HPA activity may be through aromatization to estradiol, or by 5α-reduction to the more potent androgen, dihydrotestosterone (DHT). To determine if the latter pathway is involved, we assessed the function of the HPA axis response to restraint stress following hormone treatments, or after peripheral or central treatment with the 5α-reductase inhibitor, finasteride. Initially, we examined the timecourse whereby gonadectomy alters the CORT response to restraint stress. Enhanced CORT responses were evident within 48hrs following gonadectomy. Correspondingly, treatment of intact male rats with the 5α-reductase inhibitor, finasteride, for 48 hrs, enhanced the CORT and ACTH response to restraint stress. Peripheral injections of gonadectomized male rats with DHT or T for 48 hrs reduced the ACTH and CORT response to restraint stress. The effects of T, but not DHT, could be blocked by the third ventricle administration of finasteride prior to stress application. These data indicate that the actions of T in modulating HPA axis activity involve 5α-reductase within the central nervous system. These results further our understanding of how T acts to modulate the neuroendocrine stress responses and indicate that 5α reduction to DHT is a necessary step for T action. PMID:23880372

  7. Central 5-alpha reduction of testosterone is required for testosterone's inhibition of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis response to restraint stress in adult male rats.

    PubMed

    Handa, Robert J; Kudwa, Andrea E; Donner, Nina C; McGivern, Robert F; Brown, Roger

    2013-09-01

    In rodents, the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis is controlled by a precise regulatory mechanism that is influenced by circulating gonadal and adrenal hormones. In males, gonadectomy increases the adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and corticosterone (CORT) response to stressors, and androgen replacement returns the response to that of the intact male. Testosterone (T) actions in regulating HPA activity may be through aromatization to estradiol, or by 5α-reduction to the more potent androgen, dihydrotestosterone (DHT). To determine if the latter pathway is involved, we assessed the function of the HPA axis response to restraint stress following hormone treatments, or after peripheral or central treatment with the 5α-reductase inhibitor, finasteride. Initially, we examined the timecourse whereby gonadectomy alters the CORT response to restraint stress. Enhanced CORT responses were evident within 48 h following gonadectomy. Correspondingly, treatment of intact male rats with the 5α-reductase inhibitor, finasteride, for 48 h, enhanced the CORT and ACTH response to restraint stress. Peripheral injections of gonadectomized male rats with DHT or T for 48 h reduced the ACTH and CORT response to restraint stress. The effects of T, but not DHT, could be blocked by the third ventricle administration of finasteride prior to stress application. These data indicate that the actions of T in modulating HPA axis activity involve 5α-reductase within the central nervous system. These results further our understanding of how T acts to modulate the neuroendocrine stress responses and indicate that 5α reduction to DHT is a necessary step for T action. PMID:23880372

  8. A Role for the Androgen Metabolite, 5alpha Androstane 3beta, 17beta Diol (3β-Diol) in the Regulation of the Hypothalamo-Pituitary–Adrenal Axis

    PubMed Central

    Handa, Robert J.; Sharma, Dharmendra; Uht, Rosalie

    2011-01-01

    Activation of the hypothalamo-pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis is a basic reaction of animals to environmental perturbations that threaten homeostasis. These responses are ultimately regulated by neurons residing within the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) of the hypothalamus. Within the PVN, corticotrophin-releasing hormone (CRH), vasopressin (AVP), and oxytocin (OT) expressing neurons are critical as they can regulate both neuroendocrine and autonomic responses. Estradiol (E2) and testosterone (T) are well known reproductive hormones; however, they have also been shown to modulate stress reactivity. In rodent models, evidence shows that under some conditions E2 enhances stress activated adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and corticosterone secretion. In contrast, T decreases the gain of the HPA axis. The modulatory role of testosterone was originally thought to be via 5 alpha reduction to the potent androgen dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and its subsequent binding to the androgen receptor, whereas E2 effects were thought to be mediated by estrogen receptors alpha (ERalpha) and beta (ERbeta). However, DHT has been shown to be metabolized to the ERbeta agonist, 5α- androstane 3β, 17β Diol (3β-Diol). The actions of 3β-Diol on the HPA axis are mediated by ERbeta which inhibits the PVN response to stressors. In gonadectomized rats, ERbeta agonists reduce CORT and ACTH responses to restraint stress, an effect that is also present in wild-type but not ERbeta-knockout mice. The neurobiological mechanisms underlying the ability of ERbeta to alter HPA reactivity are not currently known. CRH, AVP, and OT have all been shown to be regulated by estradiol and recent studies indicate an important role of ERbeta in these regulatory processes. Moreover, activation of the CRH and AVP promoters has been shown to occur by 3β-Diol binding to ERbeta and this is thought to occur through alternate pathways of gene regulation. Based on available data, a novel and important role of 3

  9. A role for the androgen metabolite, 5alpha androstane 3beta, 17beta diol (3β-diol) in the regulation of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis.

    PubMed

    Handa, Robert J; Sharma, Dharmendra; Uht, Rosalie

    2011-01-01

    Activation of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis is a basic reaction of animals to environmental perturbations that threaten homeostasis. These responses are ultimately regulated by neurons residing within the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) of the hypothalamus. Within the PVN, corticotrophin-releasing hormone (CRH), vasopressin (AVP), and oxytocin (OT) expressing neurons are critical as they can regulate both neuroendocrine and autonomic responses. Estradiol (E2) and testosterone (T) are well known reproductive hormones; however, they have also been shown to modulate stress reactivity. In rodent models, evidence shows that under some conditions E2 enhances stress activated adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and corticosterone secretion. In contrast, T decreases the gain of the HPA axis. The modulatory role of testosterone was originally thought to be via 5 alpha reduction to the potent androgen dihydrotestosterone (DHT) and its subsequent binding to the androgen receptor, whereas E2 effects were thought to be mediated by estrogen receptors alpha (ERalpha) and beta (ERbeta). However, DHT has been shown to be metabolized to the ERbeta agonist, 5α- androstane 3β, 17β Diol (3β-Diol). The actions of 3β-Diol on the HPA axis are mediated by ERbeta which inhibits the PVN response to stressors. In gonadectomized rats, ERbeta agonists reduce CORT and ACTH responses to restraint stress, an effect that is also present in wild-type but not ERbeta-knockout mice. The neurobiological mechanisms underlying the ability of ERbeta to alter HPA reactivity are not currently known. CRH, AVP, and OT have all been shown to be regulated by estradiol and recent studies indicate an important role of ERbeta in these regulatory processes. Moreover, activation of the CRH and AVP promoters has been shown to occur by 3β-Diol binding to ERbeta and this is thought to occur through alternate pathways of gene regulation. Based on available data, a novel and important role of 3β-Diol in

  10. Influence of early life stress on later hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis functioning and its covariation with mental health symptoms: A study of the allostatic process from childhood into adolescence

    PubMed Central

    Essex, Marilyn J.; Shirtcliff, Elizabeth A.; Burk, Linnea R.; Ruttle, Paula L.; Klein, Marjorie H.; Slattery, Marcia J.; Kalin, Ned H.; Armstrong, Jeffrey M.

    2012-01-01

    The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis is a primary mechanism in the allostatic process through which early life stress (ELS) contributes to disease. Studies of the influence of ELS on children’s HPA axis functioning have yielded inconsistent findings. To address this issue, the present study considers multiple types of ELS (maternal depression, paternal depression, and family expressed anger), mental health symptoms, and two components of HPA functioning (trait-like and epoch-specific activity) in a long-term prospective community study of 357 children. ELS was assessed during the infancy and preschool periods; mental health symptoms and cortisol were assessed at child ages 9, 11, 13, and 15 years. A 3-level hierarchical linear model addressed questions regarding the influences of ELS on HPA functioning and its co-variation with mental health symptoms. ELS influenced trait-like cortisol level and slope, with both hyper- and hypo-arousal evident depending on type of ELS. Further, type(s) of ELS influenced co-variation of epoch-specific HPA functioning and mental health symptoms, with a tighter coupling of HPA alterations with symptom severity among children exposed previously to ELS. Results highlight the importance of examining multiple types of ELS and dynamic HPA functioning in order to capture the allostatic process unfolding across the transition into adolescence. PMID:22018080

  11. Identification of stimulatory and inhibitory inputs to the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis during hypoglycaemia or transport in ewes.

    PubMed

    Smith, R F; French, N P; Saphier, P W; Lowry, P J; Veldhuis, J D; Dobson, H

    2003-06-01

    This study used the novel approach of statistical modelling to investigate the control of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and quantify temporal relationships between hormones. Two experimental paradigms were chosen, insulin-induced hypoglycaemia and 2 h transport, to assess differences in control between noncognitive and cognitive stimuli. Vasopressin and corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) were measured in hypophysial portal plasma, and adrenocorticotropin hormone (ACTH) and cortisol in jugular plasma of conscious sheep, and deconvolution analysis was used to calculate secretory rates, before modelling. During hypoglycaemia, the relationship between plasma glucose and vasopressin or CRH was best described by log10 transforming variables (i.e. a positive power-curve relationship). A negative-feedback relationship with log10 cortisol concentration 2 h previously was detected. Analysis of the "transport" stimulus suggested that the strength of the perceived stimulus decreased over time after accounting for cortisol facilitation and negative-feedback. The time course of vasopressin and CRH responses to each stimulus were different However, at the pituitary level, the data suggested that log10 ACTH secretion rate was related to log10 vasopressin and CRH concentrations with very similar regression coefficients and an identical ratio of actions (2.3 : 1) for both stimuli. Similar magnitude negative-feedback effects of log10 cortisol at -110 min (hypoglycaemia) or -40 min (transport) were detected, and both models contained a stimulatory relationship with cortisol at 0 min (facilitation). At adrenal gland level, cortisol secretory rates were related to simultaneously measured untransformed ACTH concentration but the regression coefficient for the hypoglycaemia model was 2.5-fold greater than for transport. No individual sustained maximum cortisol secretion for longer than 20 min during hypoglycaemia and 40 min during transport. These unique models demonstrate

  12. Schisandra chinensis and Rhodiola rosea exert an anti-stress effect on the HPA axis and reduce hypothalamic c-Fos expression in rats subjected to repeated stress

    PubMed Central

    XIA, NAN; LI, JIE; WANG, HONGWEI; WANG, JIAN; WANG, YANGTIAN

    2016-01-01

    The aim of the present study was to investigate the effects of Schisandra chinensis (S. chinensis) and Rhodiola rosea (R. rosea) on rats subjected to 5 h of stress, induced by water-floating followed by treadmill exercise. Hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) activity and c-Fos and Fos-related antigen 2 (Fra-2) mRNA expression levels in the hypothalamus of the rats were evaluated. Rats were distributed into four groups: S. chinensis (n=12), R. rosea (n=10), stress control (n=10) and quiet control (n=8). Following a training period of 6 consecutive days, the S. chinensis, R. rosea and stress control groups underwent a 3-h water-floating session in the presence of feline predators immediately followed by 2 h treadmill running to induce psychological and physical stress. Following compound stress induction, the serum levels of corticosterone (CORT), adrenocorticotropic hormone and interleukin-1β and the mRNA expression levels of hypothalamic corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), neuropeptide-Y, c-Fos and Fra-2 were evaluated using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, radioimmunoassay and quantitative polymerase chain reaction, respectively. The results indicated that S. chinensis and R. rosea markedly decreased the stress-induced elevation of CRH and peripheral CORT levels. The mRNA expression levels of c-Fos and Fra-2 in the hypothalamus were significantly increased after 5 h compound stress, and reduced levels of c-Fos expression were detected in rats treated with R. rosea. Thus, S. chinensis and R. rosea exert an anti-stress effect in rats subjected to stress by balancing the HPA axis, and possibly by reducing the expression of c-Fos in the hypothalamus. PMID:26889268

  13. Sensitivity to stress-induced reproductive dysfunction is associated with a selective but not a generalized increase in activity of the adrenal axis.

    PubMed

    Herod, S M; Dettmer, A M; Novak, M A; Meyer, J S; Cameron, J L

    2011-01-01

    Stress-induced reproductive dysfunction is a relatively common cause of infertility in women. In response to everyday life stress, some individuals readily develop reproductive dysfunction (i.e., they are stress sensitive), whereas others are more stress resilient. Female cynomolgus monkeys, when exposed to mild combined psychosocial and metabolic stress (change in social environment + 20% reduced calorie diet), can be categorized as stress sensitive (SS; they rapidly become anovulatory in response to stress), medium stress resilient (MSR; they slowly become anovulatory in response to prolonged stress), or highly stress resilient (HSR; they maintain normal menstrual cycles in response to stress). In this study, we examined whether increased sensitivity to stress-induced reproductive dysfunction is associated with elevated adrenal axis activity by measuring 1) the diurnal release of ACTH and cortisol, 2) ACTH and cortisol in response to an acute psychological stress, 3) the percent suppression of cortisol in response to dexamethasone negative feedback, 4) the diurnal release of ACTH and cortisol following exposure to mild psychosocial and metabolic stress, 5) the concentration of cortisol in hair, and 6) adrenal weight. SS monkeys (n = 5) did not differ from MSR (n = 5) or HSR (n = 7) monkeys in any measurement of baseline HPA axis activity or the integrated measurements of chronic HPA axis activity. However, MSR + SS monkeys (n = 10) did secrete more cortisol than HSR monkeys during the daytime hours (1000-1800) following exposure to a novel social environment and reduced diet. We conclude that increased activity of the HPA axis is unlikely to be the primary mechanism causing increased sensitivity to stress-induced reproductive dysfunction. PMID:20959528

  14. Stress-dependent and gender-specific neuroregulatory roles of the apelin receptor in the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis response to acute stress

    PubMed Central

    Newson, M J F; Pope, G R; Roberts, E M; Lolait, S J; O'Carroll, A-M

    2013-01-01

    The neuropeptide apelin is expressed in hypothalamic paraventricular and supraoptic nuclei and mediates its effects via activation of the apelin receptor (APJ). Evidence suggests a role for apelin and APJ in mediating the neuroendocrine response to stress. To understand the physiological role of APJ in regulation of the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis, we measured ACTH and corticosterone (CORT) plasma levels in male and female mice lacking APJ (APJ knockout, APJ KO) and in wild-type controls, in response to a variety of acute stressors. Exposure to mild restraint, systemic injection of lipopolysaccharide (LPS), insulin-induced hypoglycaemia and forced swim (FS) stressors, elevated plasma ACTH and CORT levels in wild-type mice. Acute mild restraint significantly increased plasma ACTH and CORT to a similar level in APJ KO mice as in wild-type mice. However, an intact APJ was required for a conventional ACTH, but not CORT, response to LPS administration in male mice and to insulin-induced hypoglycaemia in male and female mice. In contrast, APJ KO mice displayed an impaired CORT response to acute FS stress, regardless of gender. These data indicate that APJ has a role in regulation of the HPA axis response to some acute stressors and has a gender-specific function in peripheral immune activation of the HPA axis. PMID:23086141

  15. Impact of N-acetylcysteine and sesame oil on lipid metabolism and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis homeostasis in middle-aged hypercholesterolemic mice

    PubMed Central

    Korou, Laskarina-Maria; Agrogiannis, George; Koros, Christos; Kitraki, Efthimia; Vlachos, Ioannis S.; Tzanetakou, Irene; Karatzas, Theodore; Pergialiotis, Vasilios; Dimitroulis, Dimitrios; Perrea, Despina N.

    2014-01-01

    Hyperlipidemia and stress are important factors affecting cardiovascular health in middle-aged individuals. We investigated the effects of N-acetylcysteine (NAC) and sesame oil on the lipidemic status, liver architecture and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis of middle-aged mice fed a cholesterol-enriched diet. We randomized 36 middle-aged C57bl/6 mice into 6 groups: a control group, a cholesterol/cholic acid diet group, a cholesterol/cholic acid diet group with NAC supplementation, a cholesterol/cholic acid diet enriched with 10% sesame oil and two groups receiving a control diet enriched with NAC or sesame oil. NAC administration prevented the onset of the disturbed lipid profile, exhibiting decreased lipid peroxidation and alkaline phosphatase (ALP) levels, restored nitric oxide bioavailability and reduced hepatic damage, compared to non-supplemented groups. High-cholesterol feeding resulted in increased hypothalamic glucocorticoid receptors (GR) levels, while NAC supplementation prevented this effect. NAC supplementation presented significant antioxidant capacity by means of preventing serum lipid status alterations, hepatic damage, and HPA axis disturbance due to high-cholesterol feeding in middle-aged mice. These findings suggest a beneficial preventive action of plant-derived antioxidants, such as NAC, on lipid metabolism and on the HPA axis. PMID:25348324

  16. Hypothalamic-Ptuitary-Adrenal (HPA) Axis Activity in Adults with Intellectual Disabilities: A Preliminary Investigation

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Presland, A. D.; Clare, I. C. H.; Broughton, S.; Luke, L.; Wheeler, E.; Fairchild, G.; Watson, P. C.; Chan, W. Y. S.; Kearns, A.; Ring, H. A.

    2013-01-01

    Background: Cortisol is a marker of physiological arousal, exhibiting a characteristic pattern of diurnal activity. The daily cortisol profile has been examined extensively and is atypical in a number of clinical disorders. However, there are very few studies focussing on the cortisol profile in adults with intellectual disabilities (ID). This…

  17. Effects of Acupuncture, RU-486 on the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis in Chronically Stressed Adult Male Rats.

    PubMed

    Eshkevari, Ladan; Mulroney, Susan E; Egan, Rupert; Lao, Lixing

    2015-10-01

    We have recently reported that pretreatment with electroacupuncture (EA) at stomach meridian point 36 (St36) prevents the chronic cold-stress increase in the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA), an action that may be under central control. Given that treatment for stress-related symptoms usually begins after onset of the stress responses, the objectives of the present study were to determine the efficacy of EA St36 on HPA hormones when EA St36 is given after stress was initiated, if the results are long lasting, and if blocking the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) using RU-486 had the same effects as EA St36. Adult male rats were placed in 4 groups of animals, 3 of which were exposed to cold and 1 of which was a nontreatment control group. After exposure to the cold stress, 2 groups were treated with either EA St36 or sham-EA, repeated over 10 days. The increase in ACTH and corticosterone observed in stress-only rats was prevented in EA St36 animals, and the effects remained intact 4 days after withdrawal of EA but continuation of cold stress. When the GR was blocked with RU-486, the efficacy of EA St36 remained unchanged. GR blockade did significantly elevate ACTH, which is not seen with EA St36, suggesting that EA St36 does act centrally. The elevated HPA hormones in stress-only rats were associated with a significant increase in depressive and anxious behavior; this was not observed in the stressed EA St36 animals. The results indicate that EA specifically at St36 vs sham-EA is effective in treating chronic poststress exposure. PMID:26196540

  18. Folliculo-stellate cells - potential mediators of the inflammaging-induced hyperactivity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis in healthy elderly individuals.

    PubMed

    Jovanović, Ivan; Ugrenović, Slađana; Ljubomirović, Miljana; Vasović, Ljiljana; Cukuranović, Rade; Stefanović, Vladisav

    2014-10-01

    Some evidence has suggested that, with age, the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis becomes less resilient, leading to higher glucocorticoids nocturnal levels and a flattening of the circadian profiles. Such age-related changes in the activity of the HPA axis has overexposed the brain and peripheral organs to the effects of the glucocorticoids, increasing the morbidity and mortality rates of the elderly. Debate among scientists regarding the contributions of HPA axis age-related changes of impaired feedback regulation vs. direct overactivation persists. Supporters of impaired feedback regulation assumed that this effect might be the consequence of the hippocampal age-related neuronal loss and the reduction of the number of mineralocorticoid and glucocorticoid receptors. On the other hand, healthy elderly individuals are characterized by an increase of proinflammatory cytokines, including IL-1, IL-6, and TNF-α, and the development of a chronic low-grade inflammatory state, known as inflammaging. Cytokines central to inflammaging send signals to the brain, activate HPA axis, and, by increased cortisol secretion, down-regulate inflammaging in a process known as anti-inflammaging. Even as these cytokines act at the level of the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus, they are hampered by the intact blood-brain barrier. Further, the corticotropes in the anterior pituitary do not express cytokine receptors, and the density of folliculo-stellate cells generally increases with age. Therefore, we assumed that folliculo-stellate cells were the target structures through which the elevated levels of cytokines, as a part of the inflammaging phenomenon, would cause the overactivation of the HPA axis in healthy elderly individuals. Folliculo-stellate cells are non-endocrine cells that were originally considered to act as supporting cells for the endocrine cells. Despite the fact that FS cells do not produce any of the established hormones of the anterior pituitary, they

  19. Multi-Level Risk Factors for Suicidal Ideation Among at-Risk Adolescent Females: The Role of Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis Responses to Stress

    PubMed Central

    Calhoun, Casey D.; Hastings, Paul D.; Rudolph, Karen D.; Nock, Matthew K.; Prinstein, Mitchell J.

    2014-01-01

    Adopting a multi-level approach, this study examined risk factors for adolescent suicidal ideation, with specific attention to (a) hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis stress responses and (b) the interplay between HPA-axis and other risk factors from multiple domains (i.e., psychological, interpersonal and biological). Participants were 138 adolescent females (Mage=14.13 years, SD=1.40) at risk for suicidal behaviors. At baseline, lifetime suicidal ideation and a number of risk factors were assessed (i.e., depressive symptoms, impulsiveness, pubertal status and peer stress). Participants were exposed to a psychosocial stress task and HPA-axis responses were assessed by measuring cortisol levels pre- and post-stressor. At 3 months post-baseline, suicidal ideation again was assessed. Using group-based trajectory modeling, three groups of cortisol stress-response patterns were identified (i.e., hyporesponsive, normative, and hyperresponsive). As compared to females in the normative and hyporesponsive group, females in the hyperresponsive group were more likely to report a lifetime history of suicidal ideation at baseline, above and beyond the effects of the other predictors. Moreover, as compared to females in the normative group, females in the hyperresponsive group were at increased risk for reporting suicidal ideation 3 months later, after controlling for prior ideation. No interactions between cortisol group and the other risk factors were significant, with the exception of a non-significant trend between impulsiveness and cortisol group on lifetime suicidal ideation. Findings highlight the importance of HPA-axis responses to acute stressors as a risk factor for suicidal ideation among adolescents. PMID:24958308

  20. Multi-Level Risk Factors for Suicidal Ideation Among at-Risk Adolescent Females: The Role of Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis Responses to Stress.

    PubMed

    Giletta, Matteo; Calhoun, Casey D; Hastings, Paul D; Rudolph, Karen D; Nock, Matthew K; Prinstein, Mitchell J

    2015-07-01

    Adopting a multi-level approach, this study examined risk factors for adolescent suicidal ideation, with specific attention to (a) hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis stress responses and (b) the interplay between HPA-axis and other risk factors from multiple domains (i.e., psychological, interpersonal and biological). Participants were 138 adolescent females (M(age) = 14.13 years, SD = 1.40) at risk for suicidal behaviors. At baseline, lifetime suicidal ideation and a number of risk factors were assessed (i.e., depressive symptoms, impulsiveness, pubertal status and peer stress). Participants were exposed to a psychosocial stress task and HPA-axis responses were assessed by measuring cortisol levels pre- and post-stressor. At 3 months post-baseline, suicidal ideation again was assessed. Using group-based trajectory modeling, three groups of cortisol stress-response patterns were identified (i.e., hyporesponsive, normative, and hyperresponsive). As compared to females in the normative and hyporesponsive group, females in the hyperresponsive group were more likely to report a lifetime history of suicidal ideation at baseline, above and beyond the effects of the other predictors. Moreover, as compared to females in the normative group, females in the hyperresponsive group were at increased risk for reporting suicidal ideation 3 months later, after controlling for prior ideation. No interactions between cortisol group and the other risk factors were significant, with the exception of a non-significant trend between impulsiveness and cortisol group on lifetime suicidal ideation. Findings highlight the importance of HPA-axis responses to acute stressors as a risk factor for suicidal ideation among adolescents. PMID:24958308

  1. Effect of a 14-day course of systemic corticosteroids on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal-axis in patients with acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease

    PubMed Central

    Schuetz, Philipp; Christ-Crain, Mirjam; Schild, Ursula; Süess, Erika; Facompre, Michael; Baty, Florent; Nusbaumer, Charly; Brutsche, Martin; Müller, Beat

    2008-01-01

    Background As supra-physiological intake of corticosteroids is a well known risk factor for the development of adrenal insufficiency, we investigated the function of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis during a 14-day course of systemic corticosteroids in patients with acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease using clinical and laboratory measures. Methods A systematic clinical and laboratory assessment including measurement of basal cortisol levels and the response to low dose (1 μg) ACTH stimulation was performed in nine patients before, on the first and the last day of treatment, as well as 2, 7 and 21 days after corticosteroid withdrawal. Results At baseline, all nine patients had normal responses to 1 μg ACTH. On the first day of steroid treatment, 78% had a blunted peak cortisol response. This percentage increased to 89% after 14 days of steroid treatment. 78%, 33% and 33% of the patients had a blunted cortisol response to ACTH 2, 7, and 21 days after corticosteroid withdrawal, respectively. ROC curve analysis revealed that only basal cortisol concentrations (AUC 0.89), but not ACTH concentrations (AUC 0.49) or clinical signs (AUC 0.47) were predictive of an impaired function of the HPA axis. Basal cortisol levels of > 400 and < 150 nmol/l were 96% and 100% sensitive for a normal or pathological response to the ACTH stimulation test, respectively. Conclusion Immediate and prolonged suppression of the HPA axis is a common finding in otherwise asymptomatic patients undergoing systemic steroid treatment for acute exacerbation of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and can reliably be assessed with the low-dose ACTH test. PMID:18221550

  2. Role of the dorsomedial hypothalamus in glucocorticoid-mediated feedback inhibition of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis.

    PubMed

    Stamper, Christopher E; Hennessey, Patrick A; Hale, Matthew W; Lukkes, Jodi L; Donner, Nina C; Lowe, Kenneth R; Paul, Evan D; Spencer, Robert L; Renner, Kenneth J; Orchinik, Miles; Lowry, Christopher A

    2015-01-01

    Previous studies suggest that multiple corticolimbic and hypothalamic structures are involved in glucocorticoid-mediated feedback inhibition of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, including the dorsomedial hypothalamus (DMH), but a potential role of the DMH has not been directly tested. To investigate the role of the DMH in glucocorticoid-mediated negative feedback, adult male Sprague Dawley rats were implanted with jugular cannulae and bilateral guide cannulae directed at the DMH, and finally were either adrenalectomized (ADX) or were subjected to sham-ADX. ADX rats received corticosterone (CORT) replacement in the drinking water (25 μg/mL), which, based on initial studies, restored a rhythm of plasma CORT concentrations in ADX rats that was similar in period and amplitude to the diurnal rhythm of plasma CORT concentrations in sham-ADX rats, but with a significant phase delay. Following recovery from surgery, rats received microinjections of either CORT (10 ng, 0.5 μL, 0.25 μL/min, per side) or vehicle (aCSF containing 0.2% EtOH), bilaterally, directly into the DMH, prior to a 40-min period of restraint stress. In sham-ADX rats, bilateral intra-DMH microinjections of CORT, relative to bilateral intra-DMH microinjections of vehicle, decreased restraint stress-induced elevation of endogenous plasma CORT concentrations 60 min after the onset of intra-DMH injections. Intra-DMH CORT decreased the overall area under the curve for plasma CORT concentrations during the intermediate time frame of glucocorticoid negative feedback, from 0.5 to 2 h following injection. These data are consistent with the hypothesis that the DMH is involved in feedback inhibition of HPA axis activity at the intermediate time frame. PMID:25556980

  3. Role of the dorsomedial hypothalamus in glucocorticoid-mediated feedback inhibition of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis

    PubMed Central

    Stamper, Christopher E.; Hennessey, Patrick A.; Hale, Matthew W.; Lukkes, Jodi L.; Donner, Nina C.; Lowe, Kenneth R.; Paul, Evan D.; Spencer, Robert L.; Renner, Kenneth J.; Orchinik, Miles; Lowry, Christopher A.

    2015-01-01

    Previous studies suggest that multiple corticolimbic and hypothalamic structures are involved in glucocorticoid-mediated feedback inhibition of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, including the dorsomedial hypothalamus (DMH), but a potential role of the DMH has not been directly tested. To investigate the role of the DMH in glucocorticoid-mediated negative feedback, adult male Sprague Dawley rats were implanted with jugular cannulae and bilateral guide cannulae directed at the DMH, and finally were either adrenalectomized (ADX) or were subjected to sham-ADX. Adrenalectomized rats received CORT replacement in the drinking water (25 µg/ml), which, based on initial studies, restored a rhythm of plasma CORT concentrations in ADX rats that was similar in period and amplitude to the diurnal rhythm of plasma CORT concentrations in sham-ADX rats, but with a significant phase delay. Following recovery from surgery, rats received microinjections of either CORT (10 ng, 0.5 µL, 0.25 µL/min, per side) or vehicle (aCSF containing 0.2% EtOH), bilaterally, directly into the DMH, prior to a 40 min period of restraint stress. In sham-ADX rats, bilateral intra-DMH microinjections of CORT, relative to bilateral intra-DMH microinjections of vehicle, decreased restraint stress-induced elevation of endogenous plasma CORT concentrations 60 minutes after the onset of intra-DMH injections. Intra-DMH CORT decreased the overall area under the curve for plasma CORT concentrations during the intermediate time frame of glucocorticoid negative feedback, from 0.5–2 h following injection. These data are consistent with the hypothesis that the DMH is involved in feedback inhibition of HPA axis activity at the intermediate time frame. PMID:25556980

  4. Maternal early-life trauma and affective parenting style: the mediating role of HPA-axis function.

    PubMed

    Juul, Sarah H; Hendrix, Cassandra; Robinson, Brittany; Stowe, Zachary N; Newport, D Jeffrey; Brennan, Patricia A; Johnson, Katrina C

    2016-02-01

    A history of childhood trauma is associated with increased risk for psychopathology and interpersonal difficulties in adulthood and, for those who have children, impairments in parenting and increased risk of negative outcomes in offspring. Physiological and behavioral mechanisms are poorly understood. In the current study, maternal history of childhood trauma was hypothesized to predict differences in maternal affect and HPA axis functioning. Mother-infant dyads (N = 255) were assessed at 6 months postpartum. Mothers were videotaped during a 3-min naturalistic interaction, and their behavior was coded for positive, neutral, and negative affect. Maternal salivary cortisol was measured six times across the study visit, which also included an infant stressor paradigm. Results showed that childhood trauma history predicted increased neutral affect and decreased mean cortisol in the mothers and that cortisol mediated the association between trauma history and maternal affect. Maternal depression was not associated with affective measures or cortisol. Results suggest that early childhood trauma may disrupt the development of the HPA axis, which in turn impairs affective expression during mother-infant interactions in postpartum women. Interventions aimed at treating psychiatric illness in postpartum women may benefit from specific components to assess and treat trauma-related symptoms and prevent secondary effects on parenting. PMID:25956587

  5. Views on the co-evolution of the melanocortin-2 receptor, MRAPs, and the hypothalamus/pituitary/adrenal-interrenal axis.

    PubMed

    Dores, Robert M; Garcia, Yesenia

    2015-06-15

    A critical regulatory component of the hypothalamus/pituitary/adrenal axis (HPA) in mammals, reptiles and birds, and in the hypothalamus/pituitary/interrenal (HPI) axis of amphibians and teleosts (modern bony fishes) is the strict ligand selectivity of the melanocortin-2 receptor (MC2R). Tetrapod and teleost MC2R orthologs can only be activated by the anterior pituitary hormone, ACTH, but not by any of the MSH-sized ligands coded in POMC. In addition, both tetrapod and teleost MC2R orthologs require co-expression with the accessory protein, MRAP. However, the MC2R ortholog of the elephant shark, a cartilaginous fish, can be activated by either ACTH or the MSH-sized ligands, and the elephant shark MC2R ortholog does not require co-expression with an MRAP for activation. Given these observations, this review will provide a scenario for the co-evolution of MC2R and MRAP, based on the assumption that the obligate interaction between MC2R and MRAP evolved during the early radiation of the ancestral bony fishes. PMID:25573240

  6. Beyond the HPA-axis: The role of the gonadal steroid hormone receptors in modulating stress-related responses in an animal model of PTSD.

    PubMed

    Fenchel, Daphna; Levkovitz, Yechiel; Vainer, Ella; Kaplan, Zeev; Zohar, Joseph; Cohen, Hagit

    2015-06-01

    The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, which plays a major role in the response to stress, and the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis are closely linked with the ability to inhibit the other. Testosterone, a product of the HPG, has many beneficial effects beyond its functions as a sex hormone including anti-anxiety properties. In this study we examined the effect of stress exposure on gonadal hormones, and their efficacy in modulating anxiety-like response in an animal model of PTSD. Male rats were exposed to predator scent stress, followed by analysis of brain expression of androgen receptor (AR) receptor and estrogen receptor α (ERα). The behavioral effects of immediate treatment with testosterone, testosterone receptor antagonist (flutamide) or vehicle were evaluated using the elevated plus-maze, acoustic startle response and trauma-cue response. Levels of circulating corticosterone and testosterone were also measured after treatment. The behavioral effects of delayed testosterone treatment were explored in the same manner. We report that animals whose behavior was extremely disrupted (EBR) selectively displayed significant down-regulation of AR and ERα in the hippocampus. Immediate treatment with flutamide or delayed treatment with testosterone significantly increased prevalence rates of minimal behavioral response (MBR) and decreased prevalence of EBR with favorable behavioral results. Testosterone levels were higher in control un-exposed animals, while corticosterone was higher in control exposed animals. This study suggests that gonadal steroid hormones are involved in the neurobiological response to predator scent stress and thus warrant further study as a potential therapeutic avenue for the treatment of anxiety-related disorders. PMID:25771251

  7. Functional test of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis of sows housed in various environments

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The objective of this study was to assess the behavioral state of sows housed in various housing systems, and determine if the regulation of their hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis had been altered. In Experiment 1, 33 sows were housed in either gestation stalls, group housed with no bedding, or ...

  8. Magnocellular hypothalamic system and its interaction with the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis.

    PubMed

    Sivukhina, Elena V; Jirikowski, Gustav F

    2016-07-01

    The hypothalamo-neurohypophyseal system plays a key role in maintaining homeostasis and in regulation of numerous adaptive reactions, e.g., endocrine stress response. Nonapeptides vasopressin and oxytocin are the major hormones of this system. They are synthesized by magnocellular neurons of the paraventricular and supraoptic hypothalamic nuclei. Magnocellular vasopressin is known to be one of the main physiological regulators of water-electrolyte balance. Its importance for control of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis has been widely described. Magnocellular oxytocin is secreted predominantly during lactation and parturition. The complex actions of oxytocin within the brain include control of reproductive behavior and its involvement in central stress response to different stimuli. It's neuroendocrine basis is activation of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis: corticotropin-releasing hormone is synthesized in parvocellular neurons of the paraventricular hypothalamic nuclei. The transitory coexpression of vasopressin in these cells upon stress has been described. Glucocorticoids, the end products of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis have both central and peripheral actions. Their availability to target tissues is mainly dependent on systemic levels of corticosteroid-binding globulin. Intrinsic expression of this protein in different brain regions in neurons and glial cells has been recently demonstrated. Regulation of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis and hypothalamo-neurohypophyseal system is highly complex. The role of both systems in the pathogenesis of various chronic ailments in humans has extensively been studied. Their disturbed functioning seems to be linked to various psychiatric, autoimmune and cardiovascular pathologies. PMID:26827626

  9. OPRM1 gene variation influences hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis function in response to a variety of stressors in rhesus macaques

    PubMed Central

    Schwandt, Melanie L.; Lindell, Stephen G.; Higley, James D.; Suomi, Stephen J.; Heilig, Markus; Barr, Christina S.

    2011-01-01

    The endogenous opioid system is involved in modulating a number of behavioral and physiological systems, including the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. In humans, a functional variant in the OPRM1 gene (OPRM1 A118G) is associated with a number of outcomes, including attenuated HPA axis responses to stress. A nonsynonymous variant (OPRM1 C77G) in the rhesus macaque has been shown to have similar effects in vivo to the human variant. The current study investigated whether OPRM1 C77G influences HPA axis response to stress in rhesus macaques. We analyzed plasma adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and cortisol levels measured in response to three different stressors: 1) maternal separation in infant subjects at 6 months of age, 2) acute ethanol administration in adolescent subjects at 4 years of age, and 3) postpartum HPA axis function in adult rhesus macaque females. For the maternal separation paradigm, ACTH and cortisol levels were determined at baseline as well as peak levels during each of 4 consecutive separation episodes. For the acute ethanol administration paradigm, hormone levels were determined at baseline and again at 5 minutes, 10 minutes, and 60 minutes following the ethanol infusion. For postpartum sampling, hormone levels were determined at postpartum days 7, 14, 21, 30, 60, 90, 120, and 150. Infants carrying the 77G allele exhibited lower levels of cortisol across all 4 separation episodes. Furthermore, adolescents carrying the 77G allele exhibited lower cortisol levels at 5 and 10 minutes following acute ethanol administration. Adult females with prior reproductive experience and who carry the 77G allele exhibited lower cortisol levels across the postpartum period. No significant genotype effects were found for ACTH, although there were some trends for lower ACTH levels in 77G allele carriers. These data are consistent with human studies that have demonstrated attenuated cortisol responses to stress among carriers of the OPRM1 118G allele

  10. New Directions for the Treatment of Adrenal Insufficiency

    PubMed Central

    Ruiz-Babot, Gerard; Hadjidemetriou, Irene; King, Peter James; Guasti, Leonardo

    2015-01-01

    Adrenal disease, whether primary, caused by defects in the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis, or secondary, caused by defects outside the HPA axis, usually results in adrenal insufficiency, which requires lifelong daily replacement of corticosteroids. However, this kind of therapy is far from ideal as physiological demand for steroids varies considerably throughout the day and increases during periods of stress. The development of alternative curative strategies is therefore needed. In this review, we describe the latest technologies aimed at either isolating or generating de novo cells that could be used for novel, regenerative medicine application in the adrenocortical field. PMID:25999916

  11. QCM-4, a 5-HT₃ receptor antagonist ameliorates plasma HPA axis hyperactivity, leptin resistance and brain oxidative stress in depression and anxiety-like behavior in obese mice.

    PubMed

    Kurhe, Yeshwant; Mahesh, Radhakrishnan; Devadoss, Thangaraj

    2015-01-01

    Several preclinical studies have revealed antidepressant and anxiolytic-like effect of 5-HT3 receptor antagonists. In our earlier study, we have reported the antidepressive-like effect of 3-methoxy-N-p-tolylquinoxalin-2-carboxamide (QCM-4) in obese mice subjected to chronic stress. The present study deals with the biochemical mechanisms associated with depression co-morbid with obesity. Mice were fed with high fat diet (HFD) for 14 weeks, further subjected for treatment with QCM-4 (1 and 2mg/kg p.o.) and standard antidepressant escitalopram (ESC) (10mg/kg p.o.) for 28 days. Behavioral assays for depression such as sucrose preference test (SPT), forced swim test (FST) and for anxiety such as light and dark test (LDT) and hole board test (HBT) were performed in obese mice. Biochemical assessments including plasma leptin and corticosterone concentration followed by brain oxidative stress parameters malonaldehyde (MDA) and reduced glutathione (GSH) were performed. Results confirmed that QCM-4 exhibits antidepressive effect by increasing the sucrose consumption in SPT, reducing immobility time in FST and anxiolytic effect by increasing transitions and time in light chamber in LDT, increasing head dip and crossing score in HBT. Furthermore, QCM-4 attenuated the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis hyperactivity by reducing the plasma corticosterone, reversing altered plasma leptin, restoring the imbalance of brain MDA and GSH concentration. In conclusion, QCM-4 showed antidepressive and anxiolytic effect by reversing the behavioral alterations that were supported by biochemical estimations in obese mice. PMID:25446100

  12. Sex differences in the adult HPA axis and affective behaviors are altered by perinatal exposure to a low dose of bisphenol A.

    PubMed

    Chen, Fang; Zhou, Libin; Bai, Yinyang; Zhou, Rong; Chen, Ling

    2014-07-01

    Bisphenol A (BPA), an estrogen-mimicking endocrine disrupter, when administered perinatally can affect affective behaviors in adult rodents, however the underlying mechanisms remain largely unclear. Postnatal day (PND) 80 vehicle-injected control female rats showed more obvious depression- and anxiety-like behaviors than males, indicative of sexually dimorphic affective behaviors. When female breeders were subcutaneously injected with BPA (2µg/kg) from gestation day 10 to lactation day 7, sex difference of affective behaviors was impaired in their offspring (PND80 BPA-rats), as results that female BPA-rats showed a visible "antianxiety-like" behavior, and male BPA-rats increased depression-like behavior compared to vehicle-injected controls. Notably, basal levels of serum corticosterone and adrenocorticotropin (ACTH), and corticotropin-releasing hormone mRNA were increased in male BPA-rats, but not in female BPA-rats, in comparison with vehicle-injected controls. Following mild-stressor the elevation of corticosterone or ACTH levels was higher in male BPA-rats, whereas it was lower in female BPA-rats than vehicle-injected controls. In comparison with vehicle-injected controls, the level of glucocorticoid receptor (GR) mRNA in hippocampus or hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus was increased in female BPA-rats, while decreased in male BPA-rats. In addition, the levels of hippocampal mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) mRNA, neuronal nitric oxide synthase (nNOS) and phospho-cAMP response element binding protein (p-CREB) were increased in female BPA-rats, but were decreased in male BPA-rats. Furthermore, the testosterone level was reduced in male BPA-rats. The results indicate that the perinatal exposure to BPA through altering the GR and MR expression disrupts the GR-mediated feedback of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and MR-induced nNOS-CREB signaling, which alters sex difference in affective behaviors. PMID:24857958

  13. [Adrenalitis].

    PubMed

    Saeger, W

    2016-05-01

    Inflammation of the adrenal glands is caused by autoimmunopathies or infections and can induce adrenal insufficiency. Autoimmune lymphocytic adrenalitis is often combined with other autoimmune diseases and the most frequent cause of Addison's disease; however, it only becomes clinically apparent when more than 90 % of the adrenal cortex has been destroyed. Histological features are characterized by lymphoplasmacytic inflammation leading to an increased destruction of adrenocortical tissue but less severe courses can also occur. The second most frequent form of adrenalitis is adrenal tuberculosis, showing typical granulomatous findings that are nearly always caused by spreading from a tuberculous pulmonary focus. Other bacterial as well as viral infections, such as Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), cytomegalovirus (CMV) and others, generally affect the adrenal glands only in patients with immunodeficiency disorders. In these infections, the adrenal cortex and medulla are frequently involved to roughly the same extent. Although surgical specimens from inflammatory adrenal lesions are extremely rare, the various forms of adrenalitis play an important role in the post-mortem examination of the adrenal glands for clarification of unclear causes of death (e.g. death during an Addisonian crisis). PMID:27099224

  14. Attachment security and HPA axis reactivity to positive and challenging emotional situations in child-mother dyads in naturalistic settings.

    PubMed

    Roque, Lisa; Veríssimo, Manuela; Oliveira, Tania F; Oliveira, Rui F

    2012-05-01

    This study investigated adrenocortical activity in response to different challenging and positive affect emotional contexts in child-mother dyads, as function of attachment security (children's secure base behaviors and mothers' attachment representations). Fifty-one children ranging in age from 18 to 26 months and their mothers participated in this study. Secure children showed significant increases in their cortisol levels after fear episodes and significant decreases, after positive affect ones. No significant changes were found for frustration/anger episodes. Insecure children did not show significant differences in cortisol levels in any of the episodes, which suggests that insecure attachment may be related to hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis suppression in response to challenging and positive contexts. Mothers of insecure children showed significantly higher cortisol concentrations in pre- and post-session samples, than mothers of secure children. Mothers' personal attachment representations influenced their own cortisol responses, as well as their children's (in a marginal significant way). PMID:22487942

  15. Role of the pituitary–adrenal axis in granulocyte-colony stimulating factor-induced neuroprotection against hypoxia–ischemia in neonatal rats

    PubMed Central

    Charles, Mélissa S.; Ostrowski, Robert P.; Manaenko, Anatol; Duris, Kamil; Zhang, John H.; Tang, Jiping

    2013-01-01

    Several reports indicate that the activity of the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis (HPA) is increased after a brain insult and that its down-regulation can improve detrimental outcomes associated with ischemic brain injuries. Granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) is a neuroprotective drug shown in the naïve rat to regulate hormones of the HPA axis. In this study we investigate whether G-CSF confers its neuroprotective properties by influencing the HPA response after neonatal hypoxia–ischemia (HI). Following the Rice–Vannucci model, seven day old rats (P7) were subjected to unilateral carotid ligation followed by 2.5 h of hypoxia. To test our hypothesis, metyrapone was administered to inhibit the release of rodent specific glucocorticoid, corticosterone, at the adrenal level. Dexamethasone, a synthetic glucocorticoid, was administered to agonize the effects of corticosterone. Our results show that both G-CSF and metyrapone significantly reduced infarct volume while dexamethasone treatment did not reduce infarct size even when combined with G-CSF. The protective effects of G-CSF do not include blood brain barrier preservation as suggested by the brain edema results. G-CSF did not affect the pituitary released adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) levels in the blood plasma at 4 h, but suppressed the increase of corticosterone in the blood. The administration of G-CSF and metyrapone increased weight gain, and significantly reduced the Bax/Bcl-2 ratio in the brain while dexamethasone reversed the effects of G-CSF. The combination of G-CSF and metyrapone significantly decreased caspase-3 protein levels in the brain, and the effect was antagonized by dexamethasone. We report that G-CSF is neuroprotective in neonatal HI by reducing infarct volume, by suppressing the HI-induced increase of the Bax/Bcl-2 ratio, and by decreasing corticosterone in the blood. Metyrapone was able to confer similar neuroprotection as G-CSF while dexamethasone reversed the

  16. Disruption of the neuregulin 1 gene in the rat alters HPA axis activity and behavioral responses to environmental stimuli.

    PubMed

    Taylor, S B; Taylor, A R; Markham, J A; Geurts, A M; Kanaskie, B Z; Koenig, J I

    2011-08-01

    Exposure to stress can result in an increased risk for psychiatric disorders, especially among genetically predisposed individuals. Neuregulin 1 (NRG1) is a susceptibility gene for schizophrenia and is also associated with psychotic bipolar disorder. In the rat, the neurons of the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus show strong expression of Nrg1 mRNA. In patients with schizophrenia, a single nucleotide polymorphism in the 5' region of NRG1 interacts with psychosocial stress to affect reactivity to expressed emotion. However, there is virtually no information on the role of NRG1 in hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis function, and whether the protein is expressed in the paraventricular nucleus is unknown. The present studies utilize a unique line of Nrg1 hypomorphic rats (Nrg1(Tn)) generated by gene trapping with the Sleeping Beauty transposon. We first established that the Nrg1(Tn) rats displayed reduced expression of both the mRNA and protein corresponding to the Type II NRG1 isoform. After confirming, using wild type animals, that Type II NRG1 is expressed in the neurocircuitry involved in regulating hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis responses to environmental stimuli, the Nrg1(Tn) rats were then used to test the hypothesis that altered expression of Type II NRG1 disrupts stress regulation and reactivity. In support of this hypothesis, Nrg1(Tn) rats have disrupted basal and acute stress recovery corticosterone secretion, differential changes in expression of glucocorticoid receptors in the pituitary, paraventricular nucleus and hippocampus, and a failure to habituate to an open field. Together, these findings point to NRG1 as a potential novel regulator of neuroendocrine responses to stress as well as behavioral reactivity. PMID:21092742

  17. A hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis-associated neuroendocrine metabolic programmed alteration in offspring rats of IUGR induced by prenatal caffeine ingestion

    SciTech Connect

    Xu, D.; Wu, Y.; Liu, F.; Liu, Y.S.; Shen, L.; Lei, Y.Y.; Liu, J.; Ping, J.; Qin, J.; Zhang, C.; Chen, L.B.; Magdalou, J.; Wang, H.

    2012-11-01

    Caffeine is a definite factor of intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR). Previously, we have confirmed that prenatal caffeine ingestion inhibits the development of hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis, and alters the glucose and lipid metabolism in IUGR fetal rats. In this study, we aimed to verify a programmed alteration of neuroendocrine metabolism in prenatal caffeine ingested-offspring rats. The results showed that prenatal caffeine (120 mg/kg.day) ingestion caused low body weight and high IUGR rate of pups; the concentrations of blood adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and corticosterone in caffeine group were significantly increased in the early postnatal period followed by falling in late stage; the level of blood glucose was unchanged, while blood total cholesterol (TCH) and triglyceride (TG) were markedly enhanced in adult. After chronic stress, the concentrations and the gain rates of blood ACTH and corticosterone were obviously increased, meanwhile, the blood glucose increased while the TCH and TG decreased in caffeine group. Further, the hippocampal mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) expression in caffeine group was initially decreased and subsequently increased after birth. After chronic stress, the 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase-1, glucocorticoid receptor (GR), MR as well as the MR/GR ratio were all significantly decreased. These results suggested that prenatal caffeine ingestion induced the dysfunction of HPA axis and associated neuroendocrine metabolic programmed alteration in IUGR offspring rats, which might be related with the functional injury of hippocampus. These observations provide a valuable experimental basis for explaining the susceptibility of IUGR offspring to metabolic syndrome and associated diseases. -- Highlights: ► Prenatal caffeine ingestion induced HPA axis dysfunction in IUGR offspring rats. ► Caffeine induced a neuroendocrine metabolic programmed alteration in offspring rats. ► Caffeine induced a functional injury

  18. The relationship between alcohol consumption, perceived stress, and CRHR1 genotype on the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis in rural African Americans

    PubMed Central

    Obasi, Ezemenari M.; Shirtcliff, Elizabeth A.; Brody, Gene H.; MacKillop, James; Pittman, Delishia M.; Cavanagh, Lucia; Philibert, Robert A.

    2015-01-01

    Objective: Rurally situated African Americans suffer from stress and drug-related health disparities. Unfortunately, research on potential mechanisms that underlie this public health problem have received limited focus in the scientific literature. This study investigated the effects of perceived stress, alcohol consumption, and genotype on the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) Axis. Methods: A rural sample of African American emerging adults (n = 84) completed a battery of assessments and provided six samples of salivary cortisol at wakeup, 30 min post wakeup, 90 min post wakeup, 3:00 PM, 3:30 PM, and 4:30 PM. Results: Participants with a TT genotype of the CRHR1 (rs4792887) gene tended to produce the most basal cortisol throughout the day while participants with a CC genotype produced the least amount. Increased levels of perceived stress or alcohol consumption were associated with a blunted cortisol awakening response (CAR). Moreover, the CAR was obliterated for participants who reported both higher stress and alcohol consumption. Conclusion: Perceived stress and alcohol consumption had a deleterious effect on the HPA-Axis. Furthermore, genotype predicted level of cortisol production throughout the day. These findings support the need to further investigate the relationship between stress dysregulation, drug-use vulnerability, and associated health disparities that affect this community. PMID:26150798

  19. Alterations in hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activity and in levels of proopiomelanocortin and corticotropin-releasing hormone-receptor 1 mRNAs in the pituitary and hypothalamus of the rat during chronic 'binge' cocaine and withdrawal.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Yan; Spangler, Rudolph; Schlussman, Stefan D; Ho, Ann; Kreek, Mary Jeanne

    2003-02-28

    Tolerance to the stimulatory effects of cocaine on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis develops after chronic 'binge' cocaine exposure in the rat. This blunting of HPA axis activity in response to cocaine is associated with a cocaine-induced reduction of corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) mRNA level in the hypothalamus. There is limited information about the effects of withdrawal from chronic cocaine on HPA activity. The present studies were undertaken to determine levels of the HPA hormones adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and corticosterone across 10 days of withdrawal following chronic 'binge' pattern cocaine administration (3 x 15 mg/kg/day at hourly intervals) for 14 days. Male Fischer rats showed a significantly attenuated HPA axis response to chronic 'binge' pattern cocaine administration 30 min after the last injection on the 14th day, as measured by both plasma ACTH and corticosterone levels at the nadir time point. Twenty-four hours following the final administration of 'binge' cocaine (the 1st day of withdrawal), a significant elevation of plasma ACTH levels and a modest, but significant, elevation of plasma corticosterone levels were found at the nadir time point. This acute withdrawal-related activation of the hormones of the HPA axis was no longer found on the 10th day of withdrawal. In the anterior pituitary, levels of both proopiomelanocortin (POMC) and CRH-receptor 1 (R1) mRNAs were significantly higher than saline controls on the 14th day of chronic 'binge' cocaine and were at control levels on the 4th day of withdrawal. In the neurointermediate lobe of the pituitary, a sustained reduction in POMC mRNA levels was observed on the 3rd, 7th and 14th day of chronic 'binge' cocaine, but POMC mRNA was at control levels by the 4th day of withdrawal. In the hypothalamus, POMC mRNA levels showed a transient decrease on the 1st day of 'binge' cocaine with no change during chronic 'binge' cocaine or its withdrawal. CRH mRNA levels in the

  20. Sex-specific prenatal stress effects on the rat reproductive axis and adrenal gland structure.

    PubMed

    Ashworth, Cheryl J; George, Susan O; Hogg, Charis O; Lai, Yu-Ting; Brunton, Paula J

    2016-06-01

    Social stress during pregnancy has profound effects on offspring physiology. This study examined whether an ethologically relevant social stress during late pregnancy in rats alters the reproductive axis and adrenal gland structure in post-pubertal male and female offspring. Prenatally stressed (PNS) pregnant rats (n=9) were exposed to an unfamiliar lactating rat for 10 min/day from day 16 to 20 of pregnancy inclusive, whereas control pregnant rats (n=9) remained in their home cages. Gonads, adrenal glands and blood samples were obtained from one female and one male from each litter at 11 to 12-weeks of age. Anogenital distance was measured. There was no treatment effect on body, adrenal or gonad weight at 11-12 weeks. PNS did not affect the number of primordial, secondary or tertiary ovarian follicles, numbers of corpora lutea or ovarian FSH receptor expression. There was an indication that PNS females had more primary follicles and greater ovarian aromatase expression compared with control females (both P=0.09). PNS males had longer anogenital distances (0.01±0.0 cm/g vs 0.008±0.00 cm/g; P=0.007) and higher plasma FSH concentrations (0.05 ng/mL vs 0.006 ng/mL; s.e.d.=0.023; P=0.043) compared with control males. There were no treatment effects on the number of Sertoli cells or seminiferous tubules, seminiferous tubule area, plasma testosterone concentration or testis expression of aromatase, FSH receptor or androgen receptor. PNS did not affect adrenal size. These data suggest that the developing male reproductive axis is more sensitive to maternal stress and that PNS may enhance aspects of male reproductive development. PMID:27026714

  1. Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis Function in Dissociative Disorders, PTSD, and Healthy Volunteers

    PubMed Central

    Simeon, Daphne; Knutelska, Margaret; Yehuda, Rachel; Putnam, Frank; Schmeidler, James; Smith, Lisa M.

    2007-01-01

    Background This study investigated basal and stress-induced HPA axis alterations in dissociative disorders (DD). Methods Forty-six subjects with DD without lifetime PTSD, 35 subjects with PTSD, and 58 HC subjects, free of current major depression, were studied as inpatients. After a 24-hour urine collection and hourly blood sampling for ambient cortisol determination, a low-dose dexamethasone suppression test was administered, followed by the Trier Social Stress Test. Results The DD group had significantly elevated urinary cortisol compared to the HC group, more pronounced in the absence of lifetime major depression, whereas the PTSD and HC groups did not differ. The DD group demonstrated significantly greater resistance to, and faster escape from, dexamethasone suppression compared to the HC group, whereas the PTSD and HC groups did not differ. The three groups did not differ in cortisol stress reactivity, but both psychiatric groups demonstrated a significant inverse correlation between dissociation severity and cortisol reactivity, after controlling for all other symptomatology. The PTSD subgroup with comorbid DD tended to have blunted reactivity compared to the HC group. Conclusions The study demonstrates a distinct pattern of HPA axis dysregulation in DD, emphasizing the importance of further study of stress response systems in dissociative psychopathology. PMID:17137559

  2. Anxiety and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis responses to psychological stress are attenuated in male rats made lean by large litter rearing.

    PubMed

    Bulfin, Lauren J; Clarke, Melanie A; Buller, Kathryn M; Spencer, Sarah J

    2011-08-01

    An excellent strategy to treat overactive responses to stress is to exploit the body's inherent stress-inhibitory mechanisms. Stress responses are known to differ between individuals depending upon their level and distribution of adiposity and their experiences in early life. For instance, we have recently shown that female rats made obese by overfeeding during the neonatal period have exacerbated responses to psychological stress. The converse may be true for those that are underfed during this period. In this investigation we hypothesized that rats made lean by neonatal underfeeding would have reduced anxiety and attenuated hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis responses to psychological stress. Our findings show that male (but not female) rats, made smaller by being suckled in a large litter, show reduced anxiety-related behaviour compared with those from normal litters when tested in the elevated plus maze. These smaller males also have attenuated activation of the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus in response to the psychological stress, restraint, and corticosterone responses to restraint that return more quickly to baseline than controls. These findings are exciting from the perspective of understanding and potentially exploiting the body's inherent stress-inhibitory mechanisms to treat overactive responses to stress. They also provide an indication that being lean may be able to ameliorate overactive stress responses. Understanding the mechanisms by which these stress responses are attenuated in lean animals will be important for future strategies to treat diseases associated with overactive HPA axes in humans. PMID:21349647

  3. In search of the HPA axis activity in unipolar depression patients with childhood trauma: Combined cortisol awakening response and dexamethasone suppression test.

    PubMed

    Lu, Shaojia; Gao, Weijia; Huang, Manli; Li, Lingjiang; Xu, Yi

    2016-07-01

    The aim of the present study was to examine the impact of childhood trauma on HPA axis activity both in depression patients and healthy controls in order to determine the role of HPA axis abnormalities in depression and to find the differences in HPA axis functioning that may lead certain individuals more susceptible to the depressogenic effects of childhood trauma. Eighty subjects aged 18-45 years were recruited into four study groups (n = 18, depression patients with childhood trauma exposures, CTE/MDD; n = 17, depression patients without childhood adversity, non-CTE/MDD; n = 23, healthy persons with childhood trauma, CTE/non-MDD; and n = 22, healthy persons without childhood adversity, non-CTE/non-MDD). Each participant collected salivary samples in the morning at four time points: immediately upon awakening, 30, 45, and 60 min after awakening for the assessment of CAR and underwent a 1 mg-dexamethasone suppression test (DST). Regardless of depression, subjects with CTE exhibited an enhanced CAR and the CAR areas under the curve to ground (AUCg) were associated with their childhood trauma questionnaire (CTQ) physical neglect scores and CTQ total scores. In addition, the CTE/MDD group also showed a highest post-DST cortisol concentration and a decreased glucocorticoid feedback inhibition among four groups of subjects. The present findings suggested that childhood trauma was associated with hyperactivity of HPA axis as measured with CAR, potentially reflecting the vulnerability for developing depression after early life stress exposures. Moreover, dysfunction of the GR-mediated negative feedback control might contribute to the development of depression after CTE. PMID:27049575

  4. Lithium attenuated the depressant and anxiogenic effect of juvenile social stress through mitigating the negative impact of interlukin-1β and nitric oxide on hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis function.

    PubMed

    Haj-Mirzaian, A; Amiri, S; Kordjazy, N; Momeny, M; Razmi, A; Rahimi-Balaei, M; Amini-Khoei, H; Haj-Mirzaian, A; Marzban, H; Mehr, S E; Ghaffari, S H; Dehpour, A R

    2016-02-19

    The neuroimmune-endocrine dysfunction has been accepted as one of fundamental mechanisms contributing to the pathophysiology of psychiatric disorders including depression and anxiety. In this study, we aimed to evaluate the involvement of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, interleukin-1β, and nitrergic system in mediating the negative behavioral impacts of juvenile social isolation stress (SIS) in male mice. We also investigated the possible protective effects of lithium on behavioral and neurochemical changes in socially isolated animals. Results showed that experiencing 4-weeks of juvenile SIS provoked depressive and anxiety-like behaviors that were associated with hyper responsiveness of HPA axis, upregulation of interleukin-1β, and nitric oxide (NO) overproduction in the pre-frontal cortex and hippocampus. Administration of lithium (10 mg/kg) significantly attenuated the depressant and anxiogenic effects of SIS in behavioral tests. Lithium also restored the negative effects of SIS on cortical and hippocampal interleukin-1β and NO as well as HPA axis deregulation. Unlike the neutralizing effects of l-arginine (NO precursor), administration of l-NAME (3 mg/kg) and aminoguanidine (20 mg/kg) potentiated the positive effects of lithium on the behavioral and neurochemical profile of isolated mice. In conclusion, our results revealed that juvenile SIS-induced behavioral deficits are associated with abnormalities in HPA-immune function. Also, we suggest that alleviating effects of lithium on behavioral profile of isolated mice may be partly mediated by mitigating the negative impact of NO on HPA-immune function. PMID:26708749

  5. Investigations of HPA Function and the Enduring Consequences of Stressors in Adolescence in Animal Models

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    McCormick, Cheryl M.; Mathews, Iva Z.; Thomas, Catherine; Waters, Patti

    2010-01-01

    Developmental differences in hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis responsiveness to stressors and ongoing development of glucocorticoid-sensitive brain regions in adolescence suggest that similar to the neonatal period of ontogeny, adolescence may also be a sensitive period for programming effects of stressors on the central nervous system.…

  6. Stimulation of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis in the rat by the type 4 phosphodiesterase (PDE-4) inhibitor, denbufylline.

    PubMed Central

    Hadley, A. J.; Kumari, M.; Cover, P. O.; Osborne, J.; Poyser, R.; Flack, J. D.; Buckingham, J. C.

    1996-01-01

    1. Preliminary studies in our laboratories showed that the synthetic xanthine analogue denbufylline, a selective type 4 phosphodiesterase (PDE-4) inhibitor, is a potent activator of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis when given orally to adult male rats. This paper describes the results of experiments in which well established in vivo and in vitro models were used to (a) examine further the effects of denbufylline on HPA function and (b) identify the site and mode of action of the drug within the axis. 2. In vivo, administration of denbufylline (0.1-2.5 mg kg-1, i.p.) produced a significant increase in the serum corticosterone concentration; maximal responses were attained at a dose of 1.0 mg kg-1 (P < 0.01 vs. vehicle control, Scheffe's test). However, when denbufylline was administered by intracerebroventricular injection (0.05-1 micrograms kg-1) it failed to influence significantly the serum corticosterone concentration (P > 0.05 vs. vehicle control, Scheffe's test). The adrenocortical responses to peripheral injections of denbufylline (1 mg kg-1, i.p.) were reduced in rats in which the secretion of endogenous corticotrophin releasing factors (CRFs) from the hypothalamus was blocked pharmacologically (P < 0.01 vs. controls, Scheffe's test). However, denbufylline (0.1 mg kg-1, i.p.) potentiated the significant (P < 0.01) increases in serum corticosterone concentration provoked in "CRF blocked rats' by hypothalamic extract (5 hypothalamic extracts kg-1, i.v.) although it failed to influence (P > 0.05) the relatively moderate increases in corticosterone secretion evoked by CRH-41 (2 mg kg-1, i.v.). 3. In vitro, denbufylline (0.01-1 mM) evoked small but significant (P < 0.05) increases in the release of ACTH from rat anterior pituitary segments; furthermore, at these and lower concentrations (0.01 microM-1 mM), it potentiated the adrenocorticotrophic responses to sub-maximal concentrations of hypothalamic extract (P < 0.01) and forskolin (0.1 mM, P < 0

  7. Chronic insomnia is associated with nyctohemeral activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis: clinical implications.

    PubMed

    Vgontzas, A N; Bixler, E O; Lin, H M; Prolo, P; Mastorakos, G; Vela-Bueno, A; Kales, A; Chrousos, G P

    2001-08-01

    Although insomnia is, by far, the most commonly encountered sleep disorder in medical practice, our knowledge in regard to its neurobiology and medical significance is limited. Activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis leads to arousal and sleeplessness in animals and humans; however, there is a paucity of data regarding the activity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis in insomniacs. We hypothesized that chronic insomnia is associated with increased plasma levels of ACTH and cortisol. Eleven young insomniacs (6 men and 5 women) and 13 healthy controls (9 men and 4 women) without sleep disturbances, matched for age and body mass index, were monitored in the sleep laboratory for 4 consecutive nights, whereas serial 24-h plasma measures of ACTH and cortisol were obtained during the fourth day. Insomniacs, compared with controls, slept poorly (significantly higher sleep latency and wake during baseline nights). The 24-h ACTH and cortisol secretions were significantly higher in insomniacs, compared with normal controls (4.2 +/- 0.3 vs. 3.3 +/- 0.3 pM, P = 0.04; and 218.0 +/- 11.0 vs. 190.4 +/- 8.3 nM, P = 0.07). Within the 24-h period, the greatest elevations were observed in the evening and first half of the night. Also, insomniacs with a high degree of objective sleep disturbance (% sleep time < 70), compared with those with a low degree of sleep disturbance, secreted a higher amount of cortisol. Pulsatile analysis revealed a significantly higher number of peaks per 24 h in insomniacs than in controls (P < 0.05), whereas cosinor analysis showed no differences in the temporal pattern of ACTH or cortisol secretion between insomniacs and controls. We conclude that insomnia is associated with an overall increase of ACTH and cortisol secretion, which, however, retains a normal circadian pattern. These findings are consistent with a disorder of central nervous system hyperarousal rather than one of sleep loss, which is usually associated with no change or

  8. Neuroactive steroids and stress axis regulation: Pregnancy and beyond.

    PubMed

    Brunton, Paula J

    2016-06-01

    The hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis plays a critical role in regulating responses to stress and long term dysregulation of the HPA axis is associated with higher rates of mood disorders. There are circumstances where the HPA axis is more or less responsive to stress. For example, during late pregnancy ACTH and corticosterone responses to stress are markedly suppressed, whereas in offspring born to mothers that experienced repeated stress during pregnancy, the HPA axis is hyper-responsive to stress. Neuroactive steroids such as allopregnanolone, tetrahydrodeoxycorticosterone (THDOC) and androstanediol can modulate HPA axis activity and concentrations of some neuroactive steroids in the brain are altered during pregnancy and following stress. Thus, here altered neurosteroidogenesis is proposed as a mechanism that could underpin the dynamic changes in HPA axis regulation typically observed in late pregnant and in prenatally stressed individuals. In support of this hypothesis, evidence in rats demonstrates that elevated levels of allopregnanolone in pregnancy induce a central inhibitory opioid mechanism that serves to minimize stress-induced HPA axis activity. Conversely, in prenatally stressed rodents, where HPA axis stress responses are enhanced, evidence indicates the capacity of the brain for neurosteroidogenesis is reduced. Understanding the mechanisms involved in adaptations in HPA axis regulation may provide insights for manipulating stress sensitivity and for developing therapies for stress-related disorders in humans. PMID:26259885

  9. Long-term effects of early adolescent stress: dysregulation of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and central corticotropin releasing factor receptor 1 expression in adult male rats.

    PubMed

    Li, Chuting; Liu, Yuan; Yin, Shiping; Lu, Cuiyan; Liu, Dexiang; Jiang, Hong; Pan, Fang

    2015-07-15

    Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a stress-related mental disorder caused by traumatic experiences. Studies have found that exposure to early stressful events is a risk factor for developing PTSD. However, a limited number of studies have explored the effects of traumatic stress in early adolescence on behavior, hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis function, central corticotropin releasing factor receptor 1 (CRFR1) expression and the relative vulnerability of PTSD in adulthood. The current study aims to explore these issues using inescapable electric foot shock to induce a PTSD model in early adolescent rats. Meanwhile, running on a treadmill for six weeks and administration of the antagonist with 3.2mg/kg/day of CP-154, 526 for 14 consecutive days were used as therapeutic measures. Presently, the stress (S) group showed more anxiety and depression in the open field (OF) test and elevated plus maze (EPM) test, memory damage in the Y maze test, decreased basal CORT level, increased DEX negative feedback inhibition and exacerbated and longer-lasting reaction to CRH challenge in the DEX/CRH test compared with the control group. Central CRFR1 expression was also changed in the S group, as evidenced by the increased CRFR1 expression in the hypothalamus, amygdala and the prefrontal cortex (PFC). However, treadmill exercise alleviated early adolescent stress-induced behavior abnormalities and improved the functional state of the HPA axis, performing a more powerful effect than the CRFR1 antagonist CP-154, 526. Additionally, this study revealed that the alteration of central CRFR1 expression might play an important role in etiology of PTSD in adulthood. PMID:25882722

  10. Adipose Tissue and Adrenal Glands: Novel Pathophysiological Mechanisms and Clinical Applications

    PubMed Central

    Kargi, Atil Y.; Iacobellis, Gianluca

    2014-01-01

    Hormones produced by the adrenal glands and adipose tissues have important roles in normal physiology and are altered in many disease states. Obesity is associated with changes in adrenal function, including increase in adrenal medullary catecholamine output, alterations of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, elevations in circulating aldosterone together with changes in adipose tissue glucocorticoid metabolism, and enhanced adipocyte mineralocorticoid receptor activity. It is unknown whether these changes in adrenal endocrine function are in part responsible for the pathogenesis of obesity and related comorbidities or represent an adaptive response. In turn, adipose tissue hormones or “adipokines” have direct effects on the adrenal glands and interact with adrenal hormones at several levels. Here we review the emerging evidence supporting the existence of “cross talk” between the adrenal gland and adipose tissue, focusing on the relevance and roles of their respective hormones in health and disease states including obesity, metabolic syndrome, and primary disorders of the adrenals. PMID:25018768

  11. The Moderating Role of Sensory Overresponsivity in HPA Activity: A Pilot Study with Children Diagnosed with ADHD

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Reynolds, Stacey; Lane, Shelly J.; Gennings, Chris

    2010-01-01

    Objective: To determine if sensory overresponsivity (SOR) is a moderating condition impacting the activity of the Hypothalamic Pituitary Adrenal (HPA) Axis in children with ADHD. Method: Participants were children with (n = 24) and without ADHD (n = 24). Children in the ADHD group were divided into SOR (ADHDs) and non-SOR (ADHDt) groups using the…

  12. Intra-articular methylprednisolone acetate injection at the knee joint and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis: a randomized controlled study.

    PubMed

    Habib, George; Jabbour, Adel; Artul, Suheil; Hakim, Geries

    2014-01-01

    The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of intra-articular corticosteroid injection (IACI) of methylprednisolone acetate (MPA) on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee. Patients with symptomatic osteoarthritis of the knee who failed to respond to nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications and physical therapy were randomized between group 1 and group 2. Group 1 patients had an IACI of 80 mg of MPA at the knee joint and group 2 patients had an intra-articular injection (IAI) of 6 ml (60 mg) of sodium hyaluronate (control group). Immediately prior to the IAI and on weeks 1, 2, 3, 4, and 8 following IAI, patients from both groups underwent a low-dose (1 μg) adrenocorticotropin hormone (ACTH) stimulation test. Demographic, clinical, laboratory, and radiologic variables were documented in all patients. Both criteria of <7 μg/dl increase in the serum cortisol level and absolute levels of <18 μg/dl 30 min following the ACTH stimulation test were used to define secondary adrenal insufficiency (SAI). Twenty patients were randomized in each group. In group 1, 25 % of patients had SAI vs. none in group 2 (p = 0.0471). The earliest SAI was observed at week 2, and latest SAI was observed at week 4. SAI was observed at one time point, two consecutive time points, or two separate time points in the same patient. There was no correlation between SAI and any of the demographic, clinical, or laboratory variables. An IACI of 80 mg MPA at the knee joint induced a transient SAI in 25 % of the patients, an effect that was observed between week 2 and week 4 following the IACI. PMID:23982564

  13. Association of pain intensity, pain-related disability, and depression with hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis function in female patients with chronic temporomandibular disorders.

    PubMed

    Jo, Kyung B; Lee, Young J; Lee, Il G; Lee, Sang C; Park, Jai Y; Ahn, Ryun S

    2016-07-01

    Patients with temporomandibular disorders (TMD) commonly experience myofascial and joint pain, pain-related disability, and other pain conditions including depression. The present study was carried out to explore the function of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis in relation to variables of the Research Diagnostic Criteria for Temporomandibular Disorders (RDC/TMD) Axis II and comorbid depression in female patients with TMD. Cortisol and dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) levels were determined in saliva samples that had been collected at various periods after waking (0, 30, and 60min) and at nighttime (2100-2200h) from 52 female patients with chronic TMD pain and age- and gender-matched controls (n=54, 20-40 years old). There were no significant differences in the levels and diurnal patterns of cortisol and DHEA secretion between groups of patients with TMD and controls. In patients, the cortisol awakening response (CAR) or diurnal cortisol rhythm were not associated with any variables of the RDC/TMD Axis II or the Beck Depression Inventory (BDI)-II total scores. However, the ratio of overall cortisol secretion within the first hour after waking (CARauc) to overall DHEA secretion during the post-waking period (Daucawk), defined as CARauc/Daucawk, was significantly associated with pain-related RDC/TMD variables (pain intensity and pain-related disability) and BDI-II total scores. Pain intensity and pain-related disability scores were also significantly associated with BDI-II total scores. These results indicated that an increase in molar cortisol/DHEA ratio due to the dissociation between cortisol and DHEA secretion was associated with pain intensity, pain-related disability, and depression in female patients with TMD. PMID:27082645

  14. En Masse Resection of Pancreas, Spleen, Celiac Axis, Stomach, Kidney, Adrenal, and Colon for Invasive Pancreatic Corpus and Tail Tumor

    PubMed Central

    Kutluturk, Koray; Alam, Abdul Hamid; Kayaalp, Cuneyt; Otan, Emrah; Aydin, Cemalettin

    2013-01-01

    Providing a more comfortable life and a longer survival for pancreatic corpus/tail tumors without metastasis depends on the complete resection. Recently, distal pancreatectomy with celiac axis resection was reported as a feasible and favorable method in selected pancreatic corpus/tail tumors which had invaded the celiac axis. Additional organ resections to the celiac axis were rarely required, and when necessary it was included only a single extra organ resection such as adrenal or intestine. Here, we described a distal pancreatic tumor invading most of the neighboring organs—stomach, celiac axis, left renal vein, left adrenal gland, and splenic flexure were treated by en bloc resection of all these organs. The patient was a 60-year-old man without any severe medical comorbidities. Postoperative course of the patient was uneventful, and he was discharged on postoperative day eight without any complication. Histopathology and stage of the tumor were adenocarcinoma and T4 N1 M0, respectively. Preoperative back pain of the patient was completely relieved in the postoperative period. As a result, celiac axis resection for pancreatic cancer is an extensive surgery, and a combined en masse resection of the invaded neighboring organs is a more extensive surgery than the celiac axis resection alone. This more extensive surgery is safe and feasible for selected patients with pancreatic cancer. PMID:24159408

  15. En masse resection of pancreas, spleen, celiac axis, stomach, kidney, adrenal, and colon for invasive pancreatic corpus and tail tumor.

    PubMed

    Kutluturk, Koray; Alam, Abdul Hamid; Kayaalp, Cuneyt; Otan, Emrah; Aydin, Cemalettin

    2013-01-01

    Providing a more comfortable life and a longer survival for pancreatic corpus/tail tumors without metastasis depends on the complete resection. Recently, distal pancreatectomy with celiac axis resection was reported as a feasible and favorable method in selected pancreatic corpus/tail tumors which had invaded the celiac axis. Additional organ resections to the celiac axis were rarely required, and when necessary it was included only a single extra organ resection such as adrenal or intestine. Here, we described a distal pancreatic tumor invading most of the neighboring organs-stomach, celiac axis, left renal vein, left adrenal gland, and splenic flexure were treated by en bloc resection of all these organs. The patient was a 60-year-old man without any severe medical comorbidities. Postoperative course of the patient was uneventful, and he was discharged on postoperative day eight without any complication. Histopathology and stage of the tumor were adenocarcinoma and T4 N1 M0, respectively. Preoperative back pain of the patient was completely relieved in the postoperative period. As a result, celiac axis resection for pancreatic cancer is an extensive surgery, and a combined en masse resection of the invaded neighboring organs is a more extensive surgery than the celiac axis resection alone. This more extensive surgery is safe and feasible for selected patients with pancreatic cancer. PMID:24159408

  16. Disruption of the HPA-axis through corticosterone-release pellets induces robust depressive-like behavior and reduced BDNF levels in mice.

    PubMed

    Demuyser, Thomas; Bentea, Eduard; Deneyer, Lauren; Albertini, Giulia; Massie, Ann; Smolders, Ilse

    2016-07-28

    The corticosterone mouse model is widely used in preclinical research towards a better understanding of mechanisms of major depression. One particular administration procedure is the subcutaneous implantation of corticosterone slow-release pellets. In this report we want to provide basic evidence, regarding behavioral changes, neurotransmitter and -modulator levels and some other relevant biomolecules after hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal-axis distortion. We show that three weeks of corticosterone pellet exposure robustly induces depressive-like but not anxiety-like behavior in mice, accompanied by a significant decrease in hippocampal brain-derived neurotrophic factor levels, at five weeks after the start of treatment. Furthermore there is an overall decrease in plasma corticosterone levels after three weeks of treatment that lasts up until the five weeks' time point. On the other hand, no differences are observed in total monoamine, glutamate or d-serine levels, nor in glucocorticoid receptor expression, in various depression-related brain areas. Altogether this characterization delivers vital information, supplementary to existing literature, regarding the phenotyping of pellet-induced hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal-axis disruption in mice following three weeks of continuous corticosterone exposure. PMID:27208833

  17. Suckling and salsolinol attenuate responsiveness of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis to stress: focus on catecholamines, corticotrophin-releasing hormone, adrenocorticotrophic hormone, cortisol and prolactin secretion in lactating sheep.

    PubMed

    Hasiec, M; Tomaszewska-Zaremba, D; Misztal, T

    2014-12-01

    In mammals, the responsiveness of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis to stress is reduced during lactation and this mainly results from suckling by the offspring. The suckling stimulus causes a release of the hypothalamic 1-metyl-6,7-dihydroxy-1,2,3,4-tetrahydroisoquinoline (salsolinol) (a derivative of dopamine), one of the prolactin-releasing factors. To investigate the involvement of salsolinol in the mechanism suppressing stress-induced HPA axis activity, we conducted a series of experiments on lactating sheep, in which they were treated with two kinds of isolation stress (isolation from the flock with lamb present or absent), combined with suckling and/or i.c.v infusion of salsolinol and 1-methyl-3,4-dihydro-isoqinoline (1-MeDIQ; an antagonistic analogue of salsolinol). Additionally, a push-pull perfusion of the infundibular nucleus/median eminence (IN/ME) and blood sample collection with 10-min intervals were performed during the experiments. Concentrations of perfusate corticotrophin-releasing hormone (CRH) and catecholamines (noradrenaline, dopamine and salsolinol), as well as concentrations of plasma adenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH), cortisol and prolactin, were assayed. A significant increase in perfusate noradrenaline, plasma ACTH and cortisol occurred in response to both kinds of isolation stress. Suckling and salsolinol reduced the stress-induced increase in plasma ACTH and cortisol concentrations. Salsolinol also significantly reduced the stress-induced noradrenaline and dopamine release within the IN/ME. Treatment with 1-MeDIQ under the stress conditions significantly diminished the salsolinol concentration and increased CRH and cortisol concentrations. Stress and salsolinol did not increase the plasma prolactin concentration, in contrast to the suckling stimulus. In conclusion, salsolinol released in nursing sheep may have a suppressing effect on stress-induced HPA axis activity and peripheral prolactin does not appear to participate in

  18. Early Life Stress Increases Metabolic Risk, HPA Axis Reactivity, and Depressive-Like Behavior When Combined with Postweaning Social Isolation in Rats.

    PubMed

    Vargas, Javier; Junco, Mariana; Gomez, Carlos; Lajud, Naima

    2016-01-01

    Early-life stress is associated with depression and metabolic abnormalities that increase the risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Such associations could be due to increased glucocorticoid levels. Periodic maternal separation in the neonate and rearing in social isolation are potent stressors that increase hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis activity. Moreover, social isolation promotes feed intake and body weight gain in rats subjected to periodic maternal separation; however, its effects on metabolic risks have not been described. In the present study, we evaluated whether periodic maternal separation, social isolation rearing, and a combination of these two stressors (periodic maternal separation + social isolation rearing) impair glucose homeostasis and its relation to the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis and depressive-like behavior. Periodic maternal separation increased basal corticosterone levels, induced a passive coping strategy in the forced swimming test, and was associated with a mild (24%) increase in fasting glucose, insulin resistance, and dyslipidemia. Rearing in social isolation increased stress reactivity in comparison to both controls and in combination with periodic maternal separation, without affecting the coping strategy associated with the forced swimming test. However, social isolation also increased body weight gain, fasting glucose (120%), and insulin levels in rats subjected to periodic maternal separation. Correlation analyses showed that stress-induced effects on coping strategy on the forced swimming test (but not on metabolic risk markers) are associated with basal corticosterone levels. These findings suggest that maternal separation and postweaning social isolation affect stress and metabolic vulnerability differentially and that early-life stress-related effects on metabolism are not directly dependent on glucocorticoid levels. In conclusion, our study supports the cumulative stress hypothesis, which suggests that

  19. Analysis of the pituitary-thyroid axis in bilaterally adrenalectomized or adrenal transplanted rats.

    PubMed

    Sarria, R; Losada, J; Doñate Oliver, F

    1994-09-01

    The percentage, distribution, shape, intensity of staining and morphometrical parameters of the pituitary TSH immunoreactive cells and the histological features of the thyroid glands, were compared between adult rats with intact adrenals, without adrenals and biadrenalectomized animals with neonatal adrenal grafts. After the removal of the adrenal glands, TSH immunoreactive cells increased in percentage and exhibited a higher complexity of the cellular outline, than that of the intact animals. The nuclear, cytoplasmic and cell areas were significantly increased. However the bigger enhancement of the cytoplasmic area relative to the nuclear area, produced a decrease in the nuclear/cell area ratio. The thyroid glands showed some histological evidences of activation. After the transplantation of neonatal adrenal glands to adult rats, several adrenocortical nodules were present in the lumen of the small bowel segment. These adrenal masses induced a great decrease in the TSH cell area, which coupled with a smaller but significant variation of the nuclear area, led to an increase in the nuclear/cell area ratio relative to that observed in adrenalectomized animals. In addition, the distribution, shape and intensity of the immunoreactive material was similar to that observed in intact animals. In this experimental group, thyroid histology was observed to be similar to that of the intact animals. PMID:7864399

  20. Differences in hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis functioning among children with ADHD predominantly inattentive and combined types.

    PubMed

    van West, Dirk; Claes, Stephan; Deboutte, Dirk

    2009-09-01

    Some evidence suggests that the HPA axis may be dysfunctional in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The aim of this study was to investigate whether a different pattern of HPA axis activity is found between the inattentive (I) and combined (C) subtypes of ADHD, in comparison with healthy control children. A total of 100 prepubertal subjects [52 children with ADHD combined type (ADHD-C), 23 children with ADHD predominantly inattentive type (ADHD-I), and 25 healthy control subjects] were studied. The effects of stress were studied by comparing cortisol responses to a psychosocial stressor, consisting of a public speaking task. Children with ADHD-I showed an elevated cortisol response to the psychosocial stressor, in contrast to children with ADHD-C who showed a blunted cortisol response to the psychosocial stressor. When a distinction was made between responders and non-responders (a subject was classified as a responder when there was an increase in cortisol reactivity), hyperactivity symptoms were clearly related to a lower cortisol reactivity to stress. The results indicate that a low-cortisol responsivity to stress may be a neurobiological marker for children with ADHD-C, but not for those with ADHD-I. Directions for future research and clinical implications are discussed. PMID:19294447

  1. Hypothalamus-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis, Hair Cortisol and the Metabolic Syndrome.

    PubMed

    Gaete, Helen Patricia

    2015-09-01

    In this paper we discuss the possibility of using Hair Cortisol in Clinical Practice to monitor HPA status in patents at risk of developing the Metabolic Syndrome, and also its possible use to assess effectiveness of the effectiveness of treatment in patients with the Metabolic Syndrome. PMID:26417828

  2. Highly Palatable Food during Adolescence Improves Anxiety-Like Behaviors and Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis Dysfunction in Rats that Experienced Neonatal Maternal Separation

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Jong-Ho; Kim, Jin Young

    2014-01-01

    Background This study was conducted to examine the effects of ad libitum consumption of highly palatable food (HPF) during adolescence on the adverse behavioral outcome of neonatal maternal separation. Methods Male Sprague-Dawley pups were separated from dam for 3 hours daily during the first 2 weeks of birth (maternal separation, MS) or left undisturbed (nonhandled, NH). Half of MS pups received free access to chocolate cookies in addition to ad libitum chow from postnatal day 28 (MS+HPF). Pups were subjected to behavioral tests during young adulthood. The plasma corticosterone response to stress challenge was analyzed by radioimmunoassay. Results Daily caloric intake and body weight gain did not differ among the experimental groups. Ambulatory activities were decreased defecation activity and rostral grooming were increased in MS controls (fed with chow only) compared with NH rats. MS controls spent less time in open arms, and more time in closed arms during the elevated plus maze test, than NH rats. Immobility duration during the forced swim test was increased in MS controls compared with NH rats. Cookie access normalized the behavioral scores of ambulatory and defecation activities and grooming, but not the scores during the elevated plus maze and swim tests in MS rats. Stress-induced corticosterone increase was blunted in MS rats fed with chow only, and cookie access normalized it. Conclusion Prolonged access to HPF during adolescence and youth partly improves anxiety-related, but not depressive, symptoms in rats that experienced neonatal maternal separation, possibly in relation with improved function of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. PMID:25031890

  3. A short-term extremely low frequency electromagnetic field exposure increases circulating leukocyte numbers and affects HPA-axis signaling in mice.

    PubMed

    de Kleijn, Stan; Ferwerda, Gerben; Wiese, Michelle; Trentelman, Jos; Cuppen, Jan; Kozicz, Tamas; de Jager, Linda; Hermans, Peter W M; Verburg-van Kemenade, B M Lidy

    2016-10-01

    There is still uncertainty whether extremely low frequency electromagnetic fields (ELF-EMF) can induce health effects like immunomodulation. Despite evidence obtained in vitro, an unambiguous association has not yet been established in vivo. Here, mice were exposed to ELF-EMF for 1, 4, and 24 h/day in a short-term (1 week) and long-term (15 weeks) set-up to investigate whole body effects on the level of stress regulation and immune response. ELF-EMF signal contained multiple frequencies (20-5000 Hz) and a magnetic flux density of 10 μT. After exposure, blood was analyzed for leukocyte numbers (short-term and long-term) and adrenocorticotropic hormone concentration (short-term only). Furthermore, in the short-term experiment, stress-related parameters, corticotropin-releasing hormone, proopiomelanocortin (POMC) and CYP11A1 gene-expression, respectively, were determined in the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus, pituitary, and adrenal glands. In the short-term but not long-term experiment, leukocyte counts were significantly higher in the 24 h-exposed group compared with controls, mainly represented by increased neutrophils and CD4 ± lymphocytes. POMC expression and plasma adrenocorticotropic hormone were significantly lower compared with unexposed control mice. In conclusion, short-term ELF-EMF exposure may affect hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activation in mice. Changes in stress hormone release may explain changes in circulating leukocyte numbers and composition. Bioelectromagnetics. 37:433-443, 2016. © 2016 The Authors. Bioelectromagnetics Published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. PMID:27553635

  4. Do topical ophthalmic corticosteroids suppress the hypothalmic-pituitary-adrenal axis in post-penetrating keratoplasty patients?

    PubMed Central

    Sandhu, S S; Smith, J M; Doherty, M; James, A; Figueiredo, F C

    2012-01-01

    Purpose To establish whether hypothalmic-pituitary-adrenal axis suppression is possible secondary to long-term topical ophthalmic corticosteroid use in patients who have undergone penetrating keratoplasty (PKP). Methods Patients who had undergone a PKP and had been using corticosteroid-based eye drops continuously for more than 6 months, with no history of concomitant steroid (oral, inhaled, or cutaneous) use, were included within the study. A low-dose short Synacthen (LDSST) test was performed in each patient followed later by a short Synacthen test (SST). The mean SST and LDSST after 30 min were calculated along with their corresponding 95% confidence intervals (CIs). Correlation between both baseline SST and baseline LDSST with duration of treatment was determined using Spearman's correlation. Results In all, 20 patients were included within the study. The mean duration treatment was 28.2 months (range 11–96 months). All patients had normal baseline cortisol levels in both SST and LDSST tests. The mean 30 min SST was 753.8 nmol/l (95%CI: 696.6 nmol/l, 811.0 nmol/l) and no patients displayed inadequate adrenal response. The mean 30 min LDSST was 709.8 nmol/l (95%CI: 665.1 nmol/l, 754.5 nmol/l) and only one patient had an inadequate adrenal response. There was no correlation between baseline SST or LDSST and duration of treatment. Conclusions This study found no evidence that patients using continuous long-term corticosteroid eye drops after PKP experienced inadequate adrenal response. We did not find any evidence of a negative correlation between length of treatment and SST or LDSST measurements at baseline. PMID:22344184

  5. Antidepressant-like effects of salidroside on olfactory bulbectomy-induced pro-inflammatory cytokine production and hyperactivity of HPA axis in rats.

    PubMed

    Yang, Shui-Jin; Yu, Hai-Yang; Kang, Dan-Yu; Ma, Zhan-Qiang; Qu, Rong; Fu, Qiang; Ma, Shi-Ping

    2014-09-01

    Salidroside (SA) is the primary bioactive marker compound in the standardized extracts from Rhodiola rosea. Although it has potential antidepressant activity in a rat behavioral despair model, the mechanisms of antidepressant effect for SA remain unclear. The objective of this study was to evaluate the antidepressant effects of SA and to discuss the potential mechanisms in olfactory bulbectomized (OBX) rats. SA of 20, 40 mg/kg (p.o.) for 2 weeks notably alleviated OBX-induced hyperactivity in open field test, decreased immobility time in TST and FST. Chronic treatment with SA could remarkably reduce TNF-α and IL-1β levels in hippocampus. Western blot showed that SA could markedly increase glucocorticoid receptor (GR) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) expression in the hippocampus. Besides, SA could also attenuate corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) expression in hypothalamus, as well as reducing significantly the levels of serum corticosterone. In conclusion, this study demonstrated that OBX rats treated with SA could significantly improve the depressive-like behaviors. The antidepressant mechanisms of SA might be associated with its anti-inflammatory effects and the regulation of HPA axis activity. Reversal of abnormalities of GR may be partly responsible for those effects. These findings suggested that SA might become a beneficial agent to prevent and treat the depression. PMID:25101546

  6. A Novel Aerosol Foam Formulation of Calcipotriol and Betamethasone Has No Impact on HPA Axis and Calcium Homeostasis in Patients With Extensive Psoriasis Vulgaris

    PubMed Central

    Taraska, Victoria; Tuppal, Raj; Olesen, Martin; Bang Pedersen, Claus; Papp, Kim

    2016-01-01

    Background: Fixed combination calcipotriol 50 µg/g (Cal; as hydrate) plus betamethasone 0.5 mg/g (as dipropionate; BD) has been formulated in an innovative aerosol foam. Objective: To assess systemic safety of Cal/BD aerosol foam. Methods: In a multicentre, single-arm, open-label, maximal-use systemic-exposure trial, adult patients with moderate to severe, extensive psoriasis (15%-30% of body surface area, including ≥30% of scalp) applied Cal/BD foam once daily. Endpoints were week 4 abnormal adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) challenge test and change in albumin-corrected serum calcium, 24-hour urinary calcium excretion, and urinary calcium-creatinine ratio. Results: 35 patients reaching week 4 exhibited normal ACTH responses. At week 4, changes in calcium homeostasis were minor and not clinically relevant; no patients experienced elevations above normal. Disease severity generally improved, and 49% of patients achieved treatment success according to the Physician’s Global Assessment of Disease Severity. Conclusion: No clinically relevant HPA axis or calcium homeostasis impact was observed with 4 weeks of once-daily Cal/BD foam in patients with extensive psoriasis vulgaris. PMID:26224733

  7. Recovery of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis after short term high dose corticosteroid treatment in neurosurgical practice.

    PubMed

    Hedner, P; Kullberg, G; Bostedt, I

    1984-01-01

    The recovery of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis after high-dose short-term steroid treatment was investigated in 18 patients undergoing stereotactic thalamotomy during local anaesthesia, in whom perioperative betamethasone was given in a high dose for 4-5 days and withdrawn without tapering. There were no untoward clinical effects of the abrupt withdrawal of the steroid. Seven patients undergoing the same operation without steroid treatment served as controls. The recovery of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis after steroid treatment was studied by basal plasma cortisol levels. In 12 patients the reserve capacity of the system was investigated by the cortisol response to insulin induced hypoglycemia as well. It was found that the basal plasma cortisol levels had normalized 2 days after the abrupt withdrawal of betamethasone. In spite of normalized basal cortisol levels the capacity to respond to stress was reduced for a further 3 days. Six to seven days after the steroid withdrawal the stress response was, however, completely restored. It is concluded that high dose, short term steroid treatment can be withdrawn abruptly, omitting the usual tapering of the dose. During the first week after steroid withdrawal the cortisol response to stress is reduced even in the presence of normal basal cortisol levels. During this period extra corticosteroids must be supplied in case of an emergency situation or an operation. PMID:6393724

  8. Spectrum of Adrenal Dysfunction in Patients with Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome Evaluation of Adrenal and Pituitary Reserve with ACTH and Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone Testing.

    PubMed

    Freda, P U; Papadopoulos, A D; Wardlaw, S L; Goland, R S

    1997-07-01

    Patients with acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) have been reported to develop abnormalities of the endocrine system and in particular of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. To define the abnormalities of HPA function in AIDS patients better, we performed ACTH and ovine corticotropin-releasing hormone (oCRH) testing in a group of AIDS patients and oCRH testing in a group of healthy subjects. Our study found that in AIDS patients with normal ACTH testing, oCRH testing revealed a variety of subclinical abnormalities of ACTH and cortisol responses. Although we did not find frank adrenal insufficiency in any of these AIDS patients, it remains to be determined if any of the subclinical abnormalities we identified are predictive of clinically significant adrenal insufficiency; it may be that as AIDS patients live longer, the subclinical abnormalities will progress to adrenal insufficiency. (Trends Endocrinol Metab 1997;8:173-180). (c) 1997, Elsevier Science Inc. PMID:18406803

  9. Antidepressant-like activity of resveratrol treatment in the forced swim test and tail suspension test in mice: the HPA axis, BDNF expression and phosphorylation of ERK.

    PubMed

    Wang, Zhen; Gu, Jianhua; Wang, Xueer; Xie, Kai; Luan, Qinsong; Wan, Nianqing; Zhang, Qun; Jiang, Hong; Liu, Dexiang

    2013-11-01

    Resveratrol is a natural polyphenol enriched in Polygonum cuspidatum and has diverse biological activities. There is only limited information about the antidepressant-like effect of resveratrol. The present study assessed whether resveratrol treatment (20, 40 and 80mg/kg, i.p., 21days) has an antidepressant-like effect on the forced swim test (FST) and tail suspension test (TST) in mice and examined what its molecular targets might be. The results showed that resveratrol administration produced antidepressant-like effects in mice, evidenced by the reduced immobility time in the FST and TST, while it had no effect on the locomotor activity in the open field test. Resveratrol treatment significantly reduced serum corticosterone levels, which had been elevated by the FST and TST. Moreover, resveratrol increased brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) protein and extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) phosphorylation levels in the prefrontal cortex and hippocampus. All of these antidepressant-like effects of resveratrol were essentially similar to those observed with the clinical antidepressant, fluoxetine. These results suggest that the antidepressant-like effects of resveratrol in the FST and TST are mediated, at least in part, by modulating hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, BDNF and ERK phosphorylation expression in the brain region of mice. PMID:24125781

  10. The relationship between stress, HPA axis functioning and brain structure in first episode psychosis over the first 12 weeks of treatment.

    PubMed

    Reniers, Renate L E P; Garner, Belinda; Phassouliotis, Christina; Phillips, Lisa J; Markulev, Connie; Pantelis, Christos; Bendall, Sarah; McGorry, Patrick D; Wood, Stephen J

    2015-02-28

    Stress and abnormal hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis functioning have been implicated in the early phase of psychosis and may partly explain reported changes in brain structure. This study used magnetic resonance imaging to investigate whether biological measures of stress were related to brain structure at baseline and to structural changes over the first 12 weeks of treatment in first episode patients (n=22) compared with matched healthy controls (n=22). At baseline, no significant group differences in biological measures of stress, cortical thickness or hippocampal volume were observed, but a significantly stronger relationship between baseline levels of cortisol and smaller white matter volumes of the cuneus and anterior cingulate was found in patients compared with controls. Over the first 12 weeks of treatment, patients showed a significant reduction in thickness of the posterior cingulate compared with controls. Patients also showed a significant positive relationship between baseline cortisol and increases in hippocampal volume over time, suggestive of brain swelling in association with psychotic exacerbation, while no such relationship was observed in controls. The current findings provide some support for the involvement of stress mechanisms in the pathophysiology of early psychosis, but the changes are subtle and warrant further investigation. PMID:25492856