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Sample records for adrenal axis hpa

  1. 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

  2. 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).

  3. Environmental stressors and epigenetic control of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal-axis (HPA-axis)

    PubMed Central

    Lee, Richard; Sawa, Akira

    2015-01-01

    In this review, we provide a brief summary of several key studies that broaden our understanding of stress and its epigenetic control of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA)-axis function and behavior. Clinical and animal studies suggest a link among exposure to stress, dysregulation of the HPA-axis, and susceptibility to neuropsychiatric illnesses. Recent studies have supported the notion that exposure to glucocorticoids and stress in various forms, duration, and intensity during different periods of development leads to long-lasting maladaptive HPA-axis response in the brain. They demonstrate that this maladaptive response is comprised of persistent epigenetic changes in the function of HPA-axis-associated genes that govern homeostatic levels of glucocorticoids. Stressors and/or disruption of glucocorticoid dynamics also target genes such as brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) that are important for neuronal function and behavior. While a definitive role for epigenetic mechanisms remains unclear, these emerging studies implicate glucocorticoid signaling and its ability to alter the epigenetic landscape as one of the key mechanisms that alter the function of the HPA-axis and its associated cascades. We also suggest some of the requisite studies and techniques that are important, such as additional candidate gene approaches, genome-wide epigenomic screens, and innovative functional and behavioral studies in order to further explore and define the relationship between epigenetics and HPA-axis biology. Additional studies examining stress-induced epigenetic changes of HPA-axis genes, aided by innovative techniques and methodologies are needed to advance our understanding of this relationship and lead to better preventive, diagnostic, and corrective measures. PMID:25427939

  4. Predictive modeling of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis response to acute and chronic stress.

    PubMed

    Marković, Vladimir M; Čupić, Željko; Vukojević, Vladana; Kolar-Anić, Ljiljana

    2011-01-01

    Detailed dynamics of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis is complex, depending on the individual metabolic load of an organism, its current status (healthy/ill, circadian phase (day/night), ultradian phase) and environmental impact. Therefore, it is difficult to compare the HPA axis activity between different individuals or draw unequivocal conclusions about the overall status of the HPA axis in an individual using single time-point measurements of cortisol levels. The aim of this study is to identify parameters that enable us to compare different dynamic states of the HPA axis and use them to investigate self-regulation mechanisms in the HPA axis under acute and chronic stress. In this regard, a four-dimensional stoichiometric model of the HPA axis was used. Acute stress was modeled by inducing an abrupt change in cortisol level during the course of numerical integration, whereas chronic stress was modeled by changing the mean stationary state concentrations of CRH. Effects of acute stress intensity, duration and time of onset with respect to the ultradian amplitude, ultradian phase and the circadian phase of the perturbed oscillation were studied in detail. Bifurcation analysis was used to predict the response of the HPA axis to chronic stress. Model predictions were compared with experimental findings reported in the literature and relevance for pharmacotherapy with glucocorticoids was discussed.

  5. 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...

  6. 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...

  7. 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...

  8. 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...

  9. Associations between anthropometrical measurements, body composition, single-nucleotide polymorphisms of the hypothalamus/pituitary/adrenal (HPA) axis and HPA axis functioning.

    PubMed

    Rutters, Femke; Nieuwenhuizen, Arie G; Lemmens, Sofie G T; Bouwman, Freek; Mariman, Edwin; Westerterp-Plantenga, Margriet S

    2011-06-01

    The relationship between hypothalamus/pituitary/adrenal (HPA) axis functioning and (visceral) obesity may be explained by single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of the HPA axis. Objective  To investigate the relationship between the HPA axis SNP's 'BclI' in the glucocorticoid receptor gene and C8246T in the POMC gene and anthropometric measurements, body composition, 5-h cortisol concentrations, HPA axis feedback sensitivity, as well as HPA axis feedback sensitivity under stress in men and women. DESIGN/SUBJECTS/MEASUREMENTS: We assessed in 92 men and 102 women (18-55 years, BMI 19-41 kg/m(2) ) anthropometry, body composition using hydrodensitometry and deuterium dilution method, cortisol variability by measuring 5-h cortisol concentrations, HPA axis feedback functioning using a dexamethasone suppression test and HPA axis functioning under a challenged condition consisting of a standardized high intensity test with ingestion of 4 mg dexamethasone. In female participants, the 8246C allele carriers compared to the 8246T allele carries were associated with a higher 5-h cortisol exposure (1·52 × 10(5) ± 0·8 vs 1·18 × 10(5) ± 0·6 nm·min, P < 0·05) and higher baseline postdexamethasone cortisol concentrations (54·5 ± 35·6 vs 37·4 ± 18·5 nm, P < 0·05). In male participants regarding the C8246T allele carriers and in both male and female participants regarding the BclI genotypes, no significant differences in anthropometric measurements, body composition and HPA axis functioning were observed. Multiple regression analysis showed that only increased 5-h cortisol exposure significantly related to changes in anthropometric measurements and body composition; the BclI and C8246T genotypes were not associated. Our preliminary data show that in both men and women (18-55 years, BMI 19-41 kg/m(2) ), the SNP's BclI and C8246T of the HPA axis were primarily related to altered HPA axis functioning, rather than to altered anthropometric measurements and body

  10. Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis functioning in relation to body fat distribution.

    PubMed

    Rutters, Femke; Nieuwenhuizen, Arie G; Lemmens, Sofie G T; Born, Jurriaan M; Westerterp-Plantenga, Margriet S

    2010-06-01

    To relate hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis functioning and HPA feedback functioning to body fat distribution in normal weight to obese subjects. 91 men and 103 women [age 18-45 years, BMI 19-35 kg/m(2), waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) 0.6-1.1]. Anthropometry, body composition using hydrodensitometry and deuterium dilution method, cortisol variability by measuring 5-h cortisol concentrations, HPA axis feedback functioning using a dexamethasone suppression test, and HPA axis functioning under a challenged condition consisting of a standardized high-intensity test with ingestion of 4 mg dexamethasone. In men, an inverse relationship was observed between 5-h cortisol exposure (nmol/ml) and fat mass index (FMI) (kg/m(2)) (r = -0.55, P < 0.001). In women, relationships were observed between 5-h cortisol exposure (nmol/ml.min) and WHR (r = -0.49, P < 0.001), maximal workload (r = 0.32, P < 0.001) as well as oral contraceptive use (r = 0.38, P < 0.001). Similarly, in men, an inverse relationship was observed between negative feedback expressed as baseline concentrations minus post dexamethasone cortisol concentrations (nmol/ml) and FMI (r = -0.53, P < 0.001). In women, relationships were observed between negative feedback expressed as baseline concentrations minus post dexamethasone cortisol concentrations (nmol/ml) and WHR (r = -0.43, P < 0.001), maximal workload (r = 0.30, P < 0.001) as well as oral contraceptive use (r = 0.43, P < 0.001) in women. Moreover, an inverse relationship was observed between HPA axis functioning in a challenged condition expressed as percentage increase of cortisol concentrations after standardized high-intensity test with ingestion of 4 mg dexamethasone (%) and waist circumference (r = -0.21, P < 0.10) in men and WHR (r = -0.21, P < 0.05) in women. In men, strong positive relationships were observed between FMI and waist circumference (r = 0.85, P < 0.001), as well as waist-to-hip ratio (r = 0.70, P < 0.001). Disturbance of HPA axis

  11. Mathematical modeling of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal gland (HPA) axis, including hippocampal mechanisms.

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-01

    This paper presents a mathematical model of the HPA axis. The HPA axis consists of the hypothalamus, the pituitary and the adrenal glands in which the three hormones CRH, ACTH and cortisol interact through receptor dynamics. Furthermore, it has been suggested that receptors in the hippocampus have an influence on the axis. A model is presented with three coupled, non-linear differential equations, with the hormones CRH, ACTH and cortisol as variables. The model includes the known features of the HPA axis, and includes the effects from the hippocampus through its impact on CRH in the hypothalamus. The model is investigated both analytically and numerically for oscillating solutions, related to the ultradian rhythm seen in data, and for multiple fixed points related to hypercortisolemic and hypocortisolemic depression. The existence of an attracting trapping region guarantees that solution curves stay non-negative and bounded, which can be interpreted as a mathematical formulation of homeostasis. No oscillating solutions are present when using physiologically reasonable parameter values. This indicates that the ultradian rhythm originate from different mechanisms. Using physiologically reasonable parameters, the system has a unique fixed point, and the system is globally stable. Therefore, solutions converge to the fixed point for all initial conditions. This is in agreement with cortisol levels returning to normal, after periods of mild stress, in healthy individuals. Perturbing parameters lead to a bifurcation, where two additional fixed points emerge. Thus, the system changes from having a unique stable fixed point into having three fixed points. Of the three fixed points, two are stable and one is unstable. Further investigations show that solutions converge to one of the two stable fixed points depending on the initial conditions. This could explain why healthy people becoming depressed usually fall into one of two groups: a hypercortisolemic depressive group or

  12. Skin under the (Spot)-Light: Cross-Talk with the Central Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) Axis.

    PubMed

    Jozic, Ivan; Stojadinovic, Olivera; Kirsner, Robert S F; Tomic-Canic, Marjana

    2015-06-01

    UV radiation is among the most prevalent stressors in humans and diurnal rodents, exerting direct and indirect DNA damage, free-radical production, and interaction with specific chromophores that affects numerous biological processes. In addition to its panoply of effects, UVB (290-320 nm) radiation can specifically affect various local neuroendocrine activities by stimulating the expression of corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), urocortin, proopiomelanocortin (POMC), and POMC-derived peptides. Although very little is known about the interplay between the central hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and the skin HPA axis analog, in the current issue Skobowiat and Slominski propose a novel mechanism by which exposure to UVB activates a local HPA axis in skin, which in turn activates the central HPA axis, with the requirement of a functional pituitary gland. This is the first evidence of the local HPA axis in skin contributing to the central neuroendocrine response. This raises intriguing possibilities regarding how local production of cortisol and other HPA axis molecules in skin influence overall systemic levels of cortisol and help regulate local and central HPA axes in the context of homeostasis, skin injury, and inflammatory skin disorders.

  13. Dysregulation of the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis and physical performance at older ages: An individual participant meta-analysis

    PubMed Central

    Gardner, Michael P.; Lightman, Stafford; Sayer, Avan Aihie; Cooper, Cyrus; Cooper, Rachel; Deeg, Dorly; Ebrahim, Shah; Gallacher, John; Kivimaki, Mika; Kumari, Meena; Kuh, Diana; Martin, Richard M.; Peeters, Geeske; Ben-Shlomo, Yoav

    2013-01-01

    Summary The association between functioning of the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis and physical performance at older ages remains poorly understood. We carried out meta-analyses to test the hypothesis that dysregulation of the HPA axis, as indexed by patterns of diurnal cortisol release, is associated with worse physical performance. Data from six adult cohorts (ages 50–92 years) were included in a two stage meta-analysis of individual participant data. We analysed each study separately using linear and logistic regression models and then used meta-analytic methods to pool the results. Physical performance outcome measures were walking speed, balance time, chair rise time and grip strength. Exposure measures were morning (serum and salivary) and evening (salivary) cortisol. Total sample sizes in meta-analyses ranged from n = 2146 for associations between morning Cortisol Awakening Response and balance to n = 8448 for associations between morning cortisol and walking speed. A larger diurnal drop was associated with faster walking speed (standardised coefficient per SD increase 0.052, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.029, 0.076, p < 0.001; age and gender adjusted) and a quicker chair rise time (standardised coefficient per SD increase −0.075, 95% CI −0.116, −0.034, p < 0.001; age and gender adjusted). There was little evidence of associations with balance or grip strength. Greater diurnal decline of the HPA axis is associated with better physical performance in later life. This may reflect a causal effect of the HPA axis on performance or that other ageing-related factors are associated with both reduced HPA reactivity and performance. PMID:22658392

  14. 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

  15. 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. Copyright © 2016 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  16. Fetal and Neonatal HPA Axis.

    PubMed

    Wood, Charles E; Walker, Claire-Dominique

    2015-12-15

    Stress is an integral part of life. Activation of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis in the adult can be viewed as mostly adaptive to restore homeostasis in the short term. When stress occurs during development, and specifically during periods of vulnerability in maturing systems, it can significantly reprogram function, leading to pathologies in the adult. Thus, it is critical to understand how the HPA axis is regulated during developmental periods and what are the factors contributing to shape its activity and reactivity to environmental stressors. The HPA axis is not a passive system. It can actively participate in critical physiological regulation, inducing parturition in the sheep for instance or being a center stage actor in the preparation of the fetus to aerobic life (lung maturation). It is also a major player in orchestrating mental function, metabolic, and cardiovascular function often reprogrammed by stressors even prior to conception through epigenetic modifications of gametes. In this review, we review the ontogeny of the HPA axis with an emphasis on two species that have been widely studied-sheep and rodents-because they each share many similar regulatory mechanism applicable to our understanding of the human HPA axis. The studies discussed in this review should ultimately inform us about windows of susceptibility in the developing brain and the crucial importance of early preconception, prenatal, and postnatal interventions designed to improve parental competence and offspring outcome. Only through informed studies will our public health system be able to curb the expansion of many stress-related or stress-induced pathologies and forge a better future for upcoming generations.

  17. Effects of early childhood trauma on hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis function in patients with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.

    PubMed

    Kempke, Stefan; Luyten, Patrick; De Coninck, Sarah; Van Houdenhove, Boudewijn; Mayes, Linda C; Claes, Stephan

    2015-02-01

    There is a paucity of studies that have investigated the assumption that early childhood trauma is associated with hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis dysfunction in Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS). The current study is the first to simultaneously investigate relationships among early childhood trauma, cortisol activity, and cortisol stress reactivity to psychosocial stress in a sample of well-screened CFS patients. We also examined whether self-critical perfectionism (SCP) plays a mediating role in the potential relationship between early trauma and neurobiological stress responses. A total of 40 female patients diagnosed with CFS were asked to provide morning saliva cortisol samples (after awakening, 30min later, and 1h later) for seven consecutive days as a measure of cortisol activity. In addition, patients were exposed to the Trier Social Stress Test, a well-validated stress test, to investigate the relationship between early childhood trauma and cortisol stress reactivity. Before the start of the study, patients completed the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire-Short form (CTQ-SF) as a measure of early childhood trauma (i.e. sexual, physical and emotional traumatic experiences). SCP was measured with the Depressive Experiences Questionnaire (DEQ). Data were analyzed by calculating several indices of cortisol secretion (i.e. Cortisol Awakening Response and Area Under the Curve). There was no association between early childhood trauma and cortisol as measured over the 7-day period. However, emotional neglect was significantly negatively related to cortisol reactivity in the TSST. SCP did not significantly mediate this association. Findings of this study suggest that emotional neglect is associated with blunted HPA axis reactivity, congruent with the assumption that CFS may reflect loss of adaptability of the neuroendocrine stress response system in at least a subgroup of patients. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  18. Neuroregulation of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis in humans: effects of GABA-, mineralocorticoid-, and GH-Secretagogue-receptor modulation.

    PubMed

    Giordano, Roberta; Pellegrino, Micaela; Picu, Andreea; Bonelli, Lorenza; Balbo, Marcella; Berardelli, Rita; Lanfranco, Fabio; Ghigo, Ezio; Arvat, Emanuela

    2006-01-17

    The hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis exerts a variety of effects at both the central and peripheral level. Its activity is mainly regulated by CRH, AVP, and the glucocorticoid-mediated feedback action. Moreover, many neurotransmitters and neuropeptides influence HPA axis activity by acting at the hypothalamic and/or suprahypothalamic level. Among them, GABA and Growth Hormone Secretagogues (GHS)/GHS-receptor systems have been shown to exert a clear inhibitory and stimulatory effect, respectively, on corticotroph secretion. Alprazolam (ALP), a GABA-A receptor agonist, shows the most marked inhibitory effect on both spontaneous and stimulated HPA axis activity, in agreement with its peculiar efficacy in panic disorders and depression where an HPA axis hyperactivation is generally present. Ghrelin and synthetic GHS possess a marked ACTH/cortisol-releasing effect in humans and the ghrelin/GHS-R system is probably involved in the modulation of the HPA response to stress and nutritional/metabolic variations. The glucocorticoid-mediated negative feedback action is mediated by both glucocorticoid (GR) and mineralocorticoid (MR) receptors activation at the central level, mainly in the hippocampus. In agreement with animal studies, MRs seem to play a crucial role in the maintenance of the circadian ACTH and cortisol rhythm, through the modulation of CRH and AVP release. GABA agonists (mainly ALP), ghrelin, as well as MR agonists/antagonists, may represent good tools to explore the activity of the HPA axis in both physiological conditions and pathological states characterized by an impaired control of the corticotroph function.

  19. Metoclopramide as pharmacological tool to assess vasopressinergic co-activation of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis: a study in healthy volunteers.

    PubMed

    Jacobs, G E; Hulskotte, E G J; de Kam, M L; Zha, G; Jiang, J; Hu, P; Zhao, Q; van Pelt, J; Goekoop, J G; Zitman, F G; van Gerven, J M A

    2010-12-01

    The synthetic vasopressin (AVP) analogue desmopressin (dDAVP) has been used as pharmacological function test to quantify vasopressinergic co-activation of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis in the past. Such exogenous vasopressinergic stimulation may induce confounding cardiovascular, pro-coagulatory and anti-diuretic effects and low endogenous corticotrophin-releasing-hormone (CRH) levels may limit its potential to reliably assess co-activation. Alternatively, the dopamine-2-(D2)-antagonist metoclopramide is believed to induce co-activation indirectly by releasing endogenous AVP. We investigated this indirect co-activation with metoclopramide under conditions of low and enhanced endogenous CRH release in healthy volunteers. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, four-way crossover study was performed in 12 healthy males. CRH release was induced by administering an oral 5-hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) 200 mg function test. Co-activation was investigated by administering metoclopramide 10mg intravenously around the expected maximal effect of 5-HTP. The neuroendocrine effects were compared to those of metoclopramide alone, the 5-HTP test alone and matching placebo. Metoclopramide safely induced HPA-axis activation by itself, and potently synergized 5-HTP-induced corticotrophinergic activation of the HPA axis. These findings are indicative of vasopressinergic co-activation and suggest a role for metoclopramide as a practical function test for co-activation of the HPA axis. However, its application will be hampered pending clarification of the exact pharmacological mechanism by which metoclopramide induces co-activation of the HPA axis.

  20. Sex differences in the HPA axis.

    PubMed

    Goel, Nirupa; Workman, Joanna L; Lee, Tiffany T; Innala, Leyla; Viau, Victor

    2014-07-01

    The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis is a major component of the systems that respond to stress, by coordinating the neuroendocrine and autonomic responses. Tightly controlled regulation of HPA responses is critical for maintaining mental and physical health, as hyper- and hypo-activity have been linked to disease states. A long history of research has revealed sex differences in numerous components of the HPA stress system and its responses, which may partially form the basis for sex disparities in disease development. Despite this, many studies use male subjects exclusively, while fewer reports involve females or provide direct sex comparisons. The purpose of this article is to present sex comparisons in the functional and molecular aspects of the HPA axis, through various phases of activity, including basal, acute stress, and chronic stress conditions. The HPA axis in females initiates more rapidly and produces a greater output of stress hormones. This review focuses on the interactions between the gonadal hormone system and the HPA axis as the key mediators of these sex differences, whereby androgens increase and estrogens decrease HPA activity in adulthood. In addition to the effects of gonadal hormones on the adult response, morphological impacts of hormone exposure during development are also involved in mediating sex differences. Additional systems impinging on the HPA axis that contribute to sex differences include the monoamine neurotransmitters norepinephrine and serotonin. Diverse signals originating from the brain and periphery are integrated to determine the level of HPA axis activity, and these signals are, in many cases, sex-specific.

  1. Stress and the HPA Axis

    PubMed Central

    Stephens, Mary Ann C.; Wand, Gary

    2012-01-01

    Stress has long been suggested to be an important correlate of uncontrolled drinking and relapse. An important hormonal response system to stress—the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis—may be involved in this process, particularly stress hormones known as glucocorticoids and primarily cortisol. The actions of this hormone system normally are tightly regulated to ensure that the body can respond quickly to stressful events and return to a normal state just as rapidly. The main determinants of HPA axis activity are genetic background, early-life environment, and current life stress. Alterations in HPA axis regulation are associated with problematic alcohol use and dependence; however, the nature of this dysregulation appears to vary with respect to stage of alcohol dependence. Much of this research has focused specifically on the role of cortisol in the risk for, development of, and relapse to chronic alcohol use. These studies found that cortisol can interact with the brain’s reward system, which may contribute to alcohol’s reinforcing effects. Cortisol also can influence a person’s cognitive processes, promoting habit-based learning, which may contribute to habit formation and risk of relapse. Finally, cortisol levels during abstinence may be useful clinical indicators of relapse vulnerability in alcohol-dependent people. PMID:23584113

  2. 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...

  3. 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...

  4. 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...

  5. 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...

  6. Recovery by N-acetylcysteine from subchronic exposure to Imidacloprid-induced hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis tissues injury in male rats.

    PubMed

    Annabi, Alya; Dhouib, Ines Bini; Lamine, Aicha Jrad; El Golli, Nargès; Gharbi, Najoua; El Fazâa, Saloua; Lasram, Mohamed Montassar

    2015-01-01

    Imidacloprid is the most important example of the neonicotinoid insecticides known to target the nicotinic acetylcholine receptor in insects, and potentially in mammals. N-Acetyl-l-cysteine (NAC) has been shown to possess curative effects in experimental and clinical investigations. The present study was designed to evaluate the recovery effect of NAC against Imidacloprid-induced oxidative stress and cholinergic transmission alteration in hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis of male rats following subchronic exposure. About 40 mg/kg of Imidacloprid was administered daily by intragastric intubation and 28 days later, the rats were sacrificed and HPA axis tissues were removed for different analyses. Imidacloprid increased adrenal relative weight and cholesterol level indicating an adaptive stage of the general alarm reaction to stress. Moreover, Imidacloprid caused a significant increase in malondialdehyde level, the antioxidants catalase, superoxide dismutase and glutathione-S-transferase showed various alterations following administration and significant depleted thiols content was only recorded in hypothalamic tissue. Furthermore, the hypothalamic and pituitary acetylcholinesterase activity and calcium level were significantly increased highlighting the alteration of cholinergic activity. The present findings revealed that HPA axis is a sensitive target to Imidacloprid (IMI). Interestingly, the use of NAC for only 7 days post-exposure to IMI showed a partial therapeutic effect against Imidacloprid toxicity.

  7. Effects of aging on hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activity and reactivity in virgin male and female California mice (Peromyscus californicus).

    PubMed

    Harris, Breanna N; Saltzman, Wendy

    2013-06-01

    Life history theory posits that organisms face a trade-off between current and future reproductive attempts. The physiological mechanisms mediating such trade-offs are still largely unknown, but glucocorticoid hormones are likely candidates as elevated, post-stress glucocorticoid levels have been shown to suppress both reproductive physiology and reproductive behavior. Aged individuals have a decreasing window in which to reproduce, and are thus predicted to invest more heavily in current as opposed to future reproduction. Therefore, if glucocorticoids are important in mediating the trade-off between current and future reproduction, aged animals are expected to show decreased hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis responses to stressors and to stimulation by corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), and enhanced responses to glucocorticoid negative feedback, as compared to younger animals. We tested this hypothesis in the monogamous, biparental California mouse by comparing baseline and post-stress corticosterone levels, as well as corticosterone responses to dexamethasone (DEX) and CRH injections, between old (∼18-20months) and young (∼4months) virgin adults of both sexes. We also measured gonadal and uterine masses as a proxy for investment in potential current reproductive effort. Adrenal glands were weighed to determine if older animal had decreased adrenal mass. Old male mice had lower plasma corticosterone levels 8h after DEX injection than did young male mice, suggesting that the anterior pituitary of older males is more sensitive to DEX-induced negative feedback. Old female mice had higher body-mass-corrected uterine mass than did young females. No other differences in corticosterone levels or organ masses were found between age groups within either sex. In conclusion, we did not find strong evidence for age-related change in HPA activity or reactivity in virgin adult male or female California mice; however, future studies investigating HPA activity and

  8. [Progress of the regulation effect of ginsenosides on HPA axis].

    PubMed

    Li, Hui; Liu, Shu-Ying; Wang, Bing

    2014-05-01

    Ginseng is a typical adaptogen which has resistance to various stresses. This effect is related to the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. As the main active ingredients, saponin has the similar structure to steroids. The regulation characteristics of ginseng saponin on the HPA axis are narrated from the aspects of total saponin and saponin monomers in this paper after the introduction of adaptation definition and HPA axis regulation mechanisms. Pharmacological effects of ginseng saponin and the regulation effect of HPA axis are summarized finally.

  9. A users guide to HPA axis research.

    PubMed

    Spencer, Robert L; Deak, Terrence

    2016-11-18

    Glucocorticoid hormones (cortisol and corticosterone - CORT) are the effector hormones of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis neuroendocrine system. CORT is a systemic intercellular signal whose level predictably varies with time of day and dynamically increases with environmental and psychological stressors. This hormonal signal is utilized by virtually every cell and physiological system of the body to optimize performance according to circadian, environmental and physiological demands. Disturbances in normal HPA axis activity profiles are associated with a wide variety of physiological and mental health disorders. Despite numerous studies to date that have identified molecular, cellular and systems-level glucocorticoid actions, new glucocorticoid actions and clinical status associations continue to be revealed at a brisk pace in the scientific literature. However, the breadth of investigators working in this area poses distinct challenges in ensuring common practices across investigators, and a full appreciation for the complexity of a system that is often reduced to a single dependent measure. This Users Guide is intended to provide a fundamental overview of conceptual, technical and practical knowledge that will assist individuals who engage in and evaluate HPA axis research. We begin with examination of the anatomical and hormonal components of the HPA axis and their physiological range of operation. We then examine strategies and best practices for systematic manipulation and accurate measurement of HPA axis activity. We feature use of experimental methods that will assist with better understanding of CORT's physiological actions, especially as those actions impact subsequent brain function. This research approach is instrumental for determining the mechanisms by which alterations of HPA axis function may contribute to pathophysiology.

  10. Basal functioning of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and psychological distress in recreational ecstasy polydrug users.

    PubMed

    Wetherell, Mark A; Montgomery, Catharine

    2014-04-01

    Ecstasy (MDMA) is a psychostimulant drug which is increasingly associated with psychobiological dysfunction. While some recent studies suggest acute changes in neuroendocrine function, less is known about long-term changes in HPA functionality in recreational users. The current study is the first to explore the effects of ecstasy-polydrug use on psychological distress and basal functioning of the HPA axis through assessing the secretion of cortisol across the diurnal period. Seventy-six participants (21 nonusers, 29 light ecstasy-polydrug users, 26 heavy ecstasy-polydrug users) completed a substance use inventory and measures of psychological distress at baseline, then two consecutive days of cortisol sampling (on awakening, 30 min post awakening, between 1400 and 1600 hours and pre bedtime). On day 2, participants also attended the laboratory to complete a 20-min multitasking stressor. Both user groups exhibited significantly greater levels of anxiety and depression than nonusers. On day 1, all participants exhibited a typical cortisol profile, though light users had significantly elevated levels pre-bed. On day 2, heavy users demonstrated elevated levels upon awakening and all ecstasy-polydrug users demonstrated elevated pre-bed levels compared to non-users. Significant between group differences were also observed in afternoon cortisol levels and in overall cortisol secretion across the day. The increases in anxiety and depression are in line with previous observations in recreational ecstasy-polydrug users. Dysregulated diurnal cortisol may be indicative of inappropriate anticipation of forthcoming demands and hypersecretion may lead to the increased psychological and physical morbidity associated with heavy recreational use of ecstasy.

  11. 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

  12. Activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis contributes to the immunosuppression of mice infected with Angiostrongylus cantonensis.

    PubMed

    Chen, Ai-Ling; Sun, Xi; Wang, Wei; Liu, Jin-Feng; Zeng, Xin; Qiu, Jing-Fan; Liu, Xin-Jian; Wang, Yong

    2016-10-12

    Immunosuppression has been described as a consequence of brain injury and infection by different mechanisms. Angiostrongylus cantonensis can cause injury to the central nervous system and eosinophilic meningitis to human. Both T cell and B cell immunity play an essential role in the resistance of the infection. However, whether brain injury caused by A. cantonensis infection can lead to immunosuppression is not clear. Therefore, the present study sought to observe the alteration of immune responses in mice infected with A. cantonensis. Mice were infected with 20 third-stage A. cantonensis larvae. The messenger RNA (mRNA) expression of inflammatory mediators in brain tissues was observed by qRT-PCR. Cell surface markers including CD3, CD4, CD8, CD19, B220, 7-AAD, annexin-V, IgM, AA4.1, and CD23 were evaluated by using flow cytometry. The immune functions of T and B lymphocytes were detected upon stimulation by ConA and antibody responses to a nonself antigen OVA, respectively. Activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis was evaluated by analyzing the concentration of plasma corticosterone and levels of mRNA for corticotropin-releasing hormone, tyrosine hydroxylase, and c-fos. A. cantonensis infection results in obvious immunosuppression evidenced as progressive spleen and thymus atrophy and significant decrease in the number of lymphocyte subsets including B cells, CD3(+) T cells, CD4(+) T cells, and CD8(+) T cells, as well as reduced T cell proliferation at 21 days post-infection and antibody reaction to exogenous protein after infection. However, the sharp decrease of splenic and thymic cells was not due to cell apoptosis but to B cell genesis cessation and impairing thymocyte development. In addition, helminthicide treatment with albendazole on infected mice at 7 days post-infection could prevent immunosuppressive symptoms. Importantly, infected mice displayed hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activation, with peak responses occurring at 16

  13. Childhood stressful events, HPA axis and anxiety disorders.

    PubMed

    Faravelli, Carlo; Lo Sauro, Carolina; Godini, Lucia; Lelli, Lorenzo; Benni, Laura; Pietrini, Francesco; Lazzeretti, Lisa; Talamba, Gabriela Alina; Fioravanti, Giulia; Ricca, Valdo

    2012-02-22

    Anxiety disorders are among the most common of all mental disorders and their pathogenesis is a major topic in psychiatry, both for prevention and treatment. Early stressful life events and alterations of hypothalamic pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis function seem to have a significant role in the onset of anxiety. Existing data appear to support the mediating effect of the HPA axis between childhood traumata and posttraumatic stress disorder. Findings on the HPA axis activity at baseline and after stimuli in panic disordered patients are inconclusive, even if stressful life events may have a triggering function in the development of this disorder. Data on the relationship between stress, HPA axis functioning and obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) are scarce and discordant, but an increased activity of the HPA axis is reported in OCD patients. Moreover, normal basal cortisol levels and hyper-responsiveness of the adrenal cortex during a psychosocial stressor are observed in social phobics. Finally, abnormal HPA axis activity has also been observed in generalized anxiety disordered patients. While several hypothesis have attempted to explain these findings over time, currently the most widely accepted theory is that early stressful life events may provoke alterations of the stress response and thus of the HPA axis, that can endure during adulthood, predisposing individuals to develop psychopathology. All theories are reviewed and the authors conclude that childhood life events and HPA abnormalities may be specifically and transnosographically related to all anxiety disorders, as well as, more broadly, to all psychiatric disorders.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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,…

  17. 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,…

  18. Discrimination and the HPA axis: current evidence and future directions.

    PubMed

    Busse, David; Yim, Ilona S; Campos, Belinda; Marshburn, Christopher K

    2017-02-02

    Numerous studies suggest that discrimination is associated with poor physical and mental health outcomes. Whereas the cardiovascular system has been extensively studied as a potential pathway linking discrimination with disease, the role of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis remains understudied. We conducted a systematic review of research on discrimination and related constructs as predictors and correlates of HPA axis activity. Twenty seven studies (10 experimental, 17 observational) met inclusion criteria. Studies suggest that discrimination is associated with alterations in HPA axis activity and that the direction of this association depends on the timing and chronicity of the discrimination experience. There is also evidence of important modulating variables (race, socioeconomic status) and contextual confounders (emotional, situational) that warrant further study. Accounting for the HPA axis in addition to the cardiovascular system will contribute to a more comprehensive understanding of the biobehavioral pathways contributing to physical and mental health inequities related to discrimination.

  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. Effort-reward-imbalance and overcommitment are associated with hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis responses to acute psychosocial stress in healthy working schoolteachers.

    PubMed

    Bellingrath, Silja; Kudielka, Brigitte M

    2008-11-01

    In this study, we examined HPA axis responses to acute psychosocial stress in relation to effort-reward-imbalance (ERI) and overcommitment (OC) to test whether chronic stress at work is accompanied by altered HPA axis stress responses in teachers. According to Siegrist's work stress model, ERI reflects stress due to a lack of reciprocity between personal costs and gains at work, whereas OC is conceptualized as a personality trait mainly characterized by the inability to withdraw from work obligations. Fifty-three medication-free, non-smoking, healthy teachers (33 women, 20 men, 29-63 years, mean age 49.9+/-8.58 years) were confronted with the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST), a widely used standardized stress protocol to induce acute psychosocial stress in the laboratory. ACTH (five samples), total plasma (six samples) and free salivary cortisol (eight samples) were repeatedly measured before and after challenge. In the total group, ERI and OC were only marginally associated with HPA axis responses to acute stress. However, in the subgroup of responders (N=30) high levels of OC were significantly associated with lower ACTH (p=0.03) as well as plasma (p=0.02) and salivary cortisol (p<0.001) responses and results remained significant controlling for depressive symptoms. When additionally controlling for acute perceived stressfulness of the TSST, significant associations between OC and HPA axis responses emerged in responders as well as the total study sample. In respect to ERI, higher stress levels were solely related to significantly stronger plasma cortisol increases after TSST exposure, but this effect became non-significant controlling for depressive symptomatology. In sum, our findings support the notion of HPA axis hyporeactivity in highly overcommitted schoolteachers.

  1. Suppression of the HPA axis during extrahepatic biliary obstruction induces cholangiocyte proliferation in the rat.

    PubMed

    Quinn, Matthew; Ueno, Yoshiyuki; Pae, Hae Yong; Huang, Li; Frampton, Gabriel; Galindo, Cheryl; Francis, Heather; Horvat, Darijana; McMillin, Matthew; Demorrow, Sharon

    2012-01-01

    Cholestatic patients often present with clinical features suggestive of adrenal insufficiency. In the bile duct-ligated (BDL) model of cholestasis, the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis is suppressed. The consequences of this suppression on cholangiocyte proliferation are unknown. We evaluated 1) HPA axis activity in various rat models of cholestasis and 2) effects of HPA axis modulation on cholangiocyte proliferation. Expression of regulatory molecules of the HPA axis was determined after BDL, partial BDL, and α-naphthylisothiocyanate (ANIT) intoxication. The HPA axis was suppressed by inhibition of hypothalamic corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) expression by central administration of CRH-specific Vivo-morpholinos or by adrenalectomy. After BDL, the HPA axis was reactivated by 1) central administration of CRH, 2) systemic ACTH treatment, or 3) treatment with cortisol or corticosterone for 7 days postsurgery. There was decreased expression of 1) hypothalamic CRH, 2) pituitary ACTH, and 3) key glucocorticoid synthesis enzymes in the adrenal glands. Serum corticosterone and cortisol remained low after BDL (but not partial BDL) compared with sham surgery and after 2 wk of ANIT feeding. Experimental suppression of the HPA axis increased cholangiocyte proliferation, shown by increased cytokeratin-19- and proliferating cell nuclear antigen-positive cholangiocytes. Conversely, restoration of HPA axis activity inhibited BDL-induced cholangiocyte proliferation. Suppression of the HPA axis is an early event following BDL and induces cholangiocyte proliferation. Knowledge of the role of the HPA axis during cholestasis may lead to development of innovative treatment paradigms for chronic liver disease.

  2. 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.

  3. 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…

  4. 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…

  5. The different roles of glucocorticoids in the hippocampus and hypothalamus in chronic stress-induced HPA axis hyperactivity.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Li-Juan; Liu, Meng-Ying; Li, Huan; Liu, Xiao; Chen, Chen; Han, Zhou; Wu, Hai-Yin; Jing, Xing; Zhou, Hai-Hui; Suh, Hoonkyo; Zhu, Dong-Ya; Zhou, Qi-Gang

    2014-01-01

    Hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) hyperactivity is observed in many patients suffering from depression and the mechanism underling the dysfunction of HPA axis is not well understood. Chronic stress has a causal relationship with the hyperactivity of HPA axis. Stress induces the over-synthesis of glucocorticoids, which will arrive at all the body containing the brain. It is still complicated whether glucocorticoids account for chronic stress-induced HPA axis hyperactivity and in which part of the brain the glucocorticoids account for chronic stress-induced HPA axis hyperactivity. Here, we demonstrated that glucocorticoids were indispensable and sufficient for chronic stress-induced hyperactivity of HPA axis. Although acute glucocorticoids elevation in the hippocampus and hypothalamus exerted a negative regulation of HPA axis, we found that chronic glucocorticoids elevation in the hippocampus but not in the hypothalamus accounted for chronic stress-induced hyperactivity of HPA axis. Chronic glucocorticoids exposure in the hypothalamus still exerted a negative regulation of HPA axis activity. More importantly, we found mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) - neuronal nitric oxide synthesis enzyme (nNOS) - nitric oxide (NO) pathway mediated the different roles of glucocorticoids in the hippocampus and hypothalamus in regulating HPA axis activity. This study suggests that the glucocorticoids in the hippocampus play an important role in the development of HPA axis hyperactivity and the glucocorticoids in the hypothalamus can't induce hyperactivity of HPA axis, revealing new insights into understanding the mechanism of depression.

  6. The Different Roles of Glucocorticoids in the Hippocampus and Hypothalamus in Chronic Stress-Induced HPA Axis Hyperactivity

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Xiao; Chen, Chen; Han, Zhou; Wu, Hai-Yin; Jing, Xing; Zhou, Hai-Hui; Suh, Hoonkyo; Zhu, Dong-Ya; Zhou, Qi-Gang

    2014-01-01

    Hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) hyperactivity is observed in many patients suffering from depression and the mechanism underling the dysfunction of HPA axis is not well understood. Chronic stress has a causal relationship with the hyperactivity of HPA axis. Stress induces the over-synthesis of glucocorticoids, which will arrive at all the body containing the brain. It is still complicated whether glucocorticoids account for chronic stress-induced HPA axis hyperactivity and in which part of the brain the glucocorticoids account for chronic stress-induced HPA axis hyperactivity. Here, we demonstrated that glucocorticoids were indispensable and sufficient for chronic stress-induced hyperactivity of HPA axis. Although acute glucocorticoids elevation in the hippocampus and hypothalamus exerted a negative regulation of HPA axis, we found that chronic glucocorticoids elevation in the hippocampus but not in the hypothalamus accounted for chronic stress-induced hyperactivity of HPA axis. Chronic glucocorticoids exposure in the hypothalamus still exerted a negative regulation of HPA axis activity. More importantly, we found mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) - neuronal nitric oxide synthesis enzyme (nNOS) - nitric oxide (NO) pathway mediated the different roles of glucocorticoids in the hippocampus and hypothalamus in regulating HPA axis activity. This study suggests that the glucocorticoids in the hippocampus play an important role in the development of HPA axis hyperactivity and the glucocorticoids in the hypothalamus can't induce hyperactivity of HPA axis, revealing new insights into understanding the mechanism of depression. PMID:24831808

  7. Early calibration of the HPA axis by maternal psychopathology.

    PubMed

    Laurent, Heidemarie

    2017-02-01

    Given the central role of stress-responsive neurophysiology in mental and physical health, it is important to understand how particular patterns of stress responsivity may become entrained by the early caregiving environment. In this study we investigated links between maternal depression and anxiety symptom profiles and within-infant development of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis responses from 6 to 18 months of life. Associations with infant cognitive and social-emotional development were also tested to gauge the adjustment implications of HPA response trajectories. Mothers from a low-income community sample reported their symptoms at 3, 6, 12, and 18 months postnatal, and infants engaged in interpersonal stress tasks at 6, 12, and 18 months. Four saliva samples were taken at each time to assess cortisol responses, and a developmental screener at 18 months provided an index of infant adjustment. Multilevel modeling results revealed an association between maternal symptoms and infant HPA axis sensitization-i.e., a higher cortisol reactivity slope that increased over time. In particular, early (3-month) depression symptoms among mothers who had crossed a diagnostic threshold for major depressive disorder predicted this pattern of response, which in turn related to poorer infant developmental outcomes. Results are considered in terms of adaptive calibration of stress response systems, which may come at a cost to individual psychosocial functioning.

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

    PubMed

    Evanson, Nathan K; Herman, James P

    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.

  9. 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…

  10. 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…

  11. HPA Axis Genetic Variation, Cortisol, and Psychosis in Major Depression

    PubMed Central

    Schatzberg, Alan F.; Keller, Jennifer; Tennakoon, Lakshika; Lembke, Anna; Williams, Gordon; Kraemer, Fredric B.; Sarginson, Jane E.; Lazzeroni, Laura C.; Murphy, Greer M.

    2013-01-01

    Genetic variation underlying hypothalamic pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis over-activity in healthy controls and patients with severe forms of major depression has not been well explored but could explain risk for cortisol dysregulation. 95 participants were studied: 40 patients with psychotic major depression (PMD); 26 patients with nonpsychotic major depression (NPMD); and 29 healthy controls (HC). Collection of genetic material was added one third of the way into a larger study on cortisol, cognition, and psychosis in major depression. Subjects were assessed using the Brief Psychiatric Rating Scale, the Hamilton Depression Rating Scale and the Structured Clinical Interview for Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Blood was collected hourly for determination of cortisol from 6pm to 9am and for the assessment of alleles for 6 genes involved in HPA Axis regulation. Two of the 6 genes contributed significantly to cortisol levels, psychosis measures or depression severity. After accounting for age, depression, and psychosis, and medication status, only allelic variation for the glucocorticoid receptor gene (GR) accounted for significant variance for mean cortisol levels from 6pm to 1am (r2=.317) and from 1am to 9am (r2=.194). Interestingly, neither depression severity nor psychosis predicted cortisol variance. In addition, GR and corticotropin-releasing hormone receptor 1 (CRH-R1) contributed significantly to psychosis measures and CRH-R1 contributed significantly to depression severity rating. PMID:24166410

  12. Identification and characterization of HPA-axis reactivity endophenotypes in a cohort of female PTSD patients.

    PubMed

    Zaba, Monika; Kirmeier, Thomas; Ionescu, Irina A; Wollweber, Bastian; Buell, Dominik R; Gall-Kleebach, Dominique J; Schubert, Christine F; Novak, Bozidar; Huber, Christine; Köhler, Katharina; Holsboer, Florian; Pütz, Benno; Müller-Myhsok, Bertram; Höhne, Nina; Uhr, Manfred; Ising, Marcus; Herrmann, Leonie; Schmidt, Ulrike

    2015-05-01

    Analysis of the function of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA)-axis in patients suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has hitherto produced inconsistent findings, inter alia in the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST). To address these inconsistencies, we compared a sample of 23 female PTSD patients with either early life trauma (ELT) or adult trauma (AT) or combined ELT and AT to 18 age-matched non-traumatized female healthy controls in the TSST which was preceded by intensive baseline assessments. During the TSST, we determined a variety of clinical, psychological, endocrine and cardiovascular parameters as well as expression levels of four HPA-axis related genes. Using a previously reported definition of HPA-axis responsive versus non-responsive phenotypes, we identified for the first time two clinically and biologically distinct HPA-axis reactivity subgroups of PTSD. One subgroup ("non-responders") showed a blunted HPA-axis response and distinct clinical and biological characteristics such as a higher prevalence of trauma-related dissociative symptoms and of combined AT and ELT as well as alterations in the expression kinetics of the genes encoding for the mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) and for FK506 binding protein 51 (FKBP51). Interestingly, this non-responder subgroup largely drove the relatively diminished HPA axis response of the total cohort of PTSD patients. These findings are limited by the facts that the majority of patients was medicated, by the lack of traumatized controls and by the relatively small sample size. The here for the first time identified and characterized HPA-axis reactivity endophenotypes offer an explanation for the inconsistent reports on HPA-axis function in PTSD and, moreover, suggest that most likely other factors than HPA-axis reactivity play a decisive role in determination of PTSD core symptom severity.

  13. Age of Trauma Onset and HPA Axis Dysregulation Among Trauma-Exposed Youth.

    PubMed

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

    2015-12-01

    The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA axis) is a pathway through which childhood trauma may increase risk for negative health outcomes. The HPA axis is sensitive to stress throughout development; however, few studies have examined whether timing of exposure to childhood trauma is related to differences in later HPA axis functioning. Therefore, we examined the association between age of first trauma and HPA axis functioning among adolescents, and whether these associations varied by sex. Parents of 97 youth (aged 9-16 years) completed the Early Trauma Inventory (ETI), and youth completed the Socially-Evaluated Cold-Pressor Task (SECPT). We measured salivary cortisol response to the SECPT, the cortisol awakening response, and diurnal regulation at home across 2 consecutive weekdays. Exposure to trauma during infancy related to delayed cortisol recovery from peak responses to acute stress, d = 0.23 to 0.42. Timing of trauma exposure related to diverging patterns of diurnal cortisol regulation for males, d = 0.55, and females, d = 0.57. Therefore, the HPA axis may be susceptible to developing acute stress dysregulation when exposed to trauma during infancy, whereas the consequences within circadian cortisol regulation may occur in the context of later trauma exposure and vary by sex. Further investigations are warranted to characterize HPA axis sensitivity to exposure to childhood trauma across child development.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

    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.

  15. Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis function during perinatal depression.

    PubMed

    Gelman, Phillipe Leff; Flores-Ramos, Mónica; López-Martínez, Margarita; Fuentes, Carlos Cruz; Grajeda, Juan Pablo Reyes

    2015-06-01

    Abnormal function of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis is an important pathological finding in pregnant women exhibiting major depressive disorder. They show high levels of cortisol pro-inflammatory cytokines, hypothalamic-pituitary peptide hormones and catecholamines, along with low dehydroepiandrosterone levels in plasma. During pregnancy, the TH2 balance together with the immune system and placental factors play crucial roles in the development of the fetal allograft to full term. These factors, when altered, may generate a persistent dysfunction of the HPA axis that may lead to an overt transfer of cortisol and toxicity to the fetus at the expense of reduced activity of placental 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 2. Epigenetic modifications also may contribute to the dysregulation of the HPA axis. Affective disorders in pregnant women should be taken seriously, and therapies focused on preventing the deleterious effects of stressors should be implemented to promote the welfare of both mother and baby.

  16. Chronic HPA axis response to stress in temporomandibular disorder.

    PubMed

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

    2013-04-01

    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. 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. 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). Despite greater perceived stress, TMD cases had lower hair cortisol concentrations than controls and the 2 measures of stress were weakly and negatively correlated.

  17. Chronic HPA axis response to stress in temporomandibular disorder.

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

    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. 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. 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). Despite greater perceived stress, TMD cases had lower hair cortisol concentrations than controls and the 2 measures of stress were weakly and negatively correlated. Copyright © 2014 The American Dental Hygienists’ Association.

  18. 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

  19. Blunted HPA axis response in lactating, vasopressin-deficient Brattleboro rats.

    PubMed

    Fodor, Anna; Pintér, Ottó; Domokos, Agnes; Langnaese, Kristina; Barna, István; Engelmann, Mario; Zelena, Dóra

    2013-11-01

    Adaptation to stress is a basic phenomenon in mammalian life that is mandatorily associated with the activity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. An increased resting activity of the HPA axis can be measured during pregnancy and lactation, suggesting that these reproductive states lead to chronic load in females. In this study, we examined the consequences of the congenital lack of vasopressin on the activity of the HPA axis during lactation using vasopressin-deficient Brattleboro rats. Virgin and lactating, homozygous vasopressin-deficient rats were compared with control, heterozygous rats. In control dams compared with virgins, physiological changes similar to those observed in a chronic stress state (thymus involution, adrenal gland hyperplasia, elevation of proopiomelanocortin mRNA levels in the adenohypophysis, and resting plasma corticosterone levels) were observed. In vasopressin-deficient dams, adrenal gland hyperplasia and resting corticosterone level elevations were not observed. Corticotropin-releasing hormone (Crh) mRNA levels in the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus were elevated in only the control dams, while oxytocin (OT) mRNA levels were higher in vasopressin-deficient virgins and lactation induced a further increase in both the genotypes. Suckling-induced ACTH and corticosterone level elevations were blunted in vasopressin-deficient dams. Anaphylactoid reaction (i.v. egg white) and insulin-induced hypoglycemia stimulated the HPA axis, which were blunted in lactating rats compared with the virgins and in vasopressin-deficient rats compared with the controls without interaction of the two factors. Vasopressin seems to contribute to the physiological changes observed during lactation mimicking a chronic stress state, but its role in acute HPA axis regulation during lactation seems to be similar to that observed in virgins. If vasopressin is congenitally absent, OT, but not the CRH, compensates for the missing vasopressin; however

  20. Time-of-day-dependent adaptation of the HPA axis to predictable social defeat stress.

    PubMed

    Koch, C E; Bartlang, M S; Kiehn, J T; Lucke, L; Naujokat, N; Helfrich-Förster, C; Reber, S O; Oster, H

    2016-12-01

    In modern societies, the risk of developing a whole array of affective and somatic disorders is associated with the prevalence of frequent psychosocial stress. Therefore, a better understanding of adaptive stress responses and their underlying molecular mechanisms is of high clinical interest. In response to an acute stressor, each organism can either show passive freezing or active fight-or-flight behaviour, with activation of sympathetic nervous system and the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis providing the necessary energy for the latter by releasing catecholamines and glucocorticoids (GC). Recent data suggest that stress responses are also regulated by the endogenous circadian clock. In consequence, the timing of stress may critically affect adaptive responses to and/or pathological effects of repetitive stressor exposure. In this article, we characterize the impact of predictable social defeat stress during daytime versus nighttime on bodyweight development and HPA axis activity in mice. While 19 days of social daytime stress led to a transient reduction in bodyweight without altering HPA axis activity at the predicted time of stressor exposure, more detrimental effects were seen in anticipation of nighttime stress. Repeated nighttime stressor exposure led to alterations in food metabolization and reduced HPA axis activity with lower circulating adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and GC concentrations at the time of predicted stressor exposure. Our data reveal a circadian gating of stress adaptation to predictable social defeat stress at the level of the HPA axis with impact on metabolic homeostasis underpinning the importance of timing for the body's adaptability to repetitive stress.

  1. Metabotropic glutamate receptor-mediated signaling dampens the HPA axis response to restraint stress.

    PubMed

    Evanson, Nathan K; Herman, James P

    2015-10-15

    Glutamate is an important neurotransmitter in the regulation of the neural portion of hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activity, and signals through ionotropic and metabotropic receptors. In the current studies we investigated the role of hypothalamic paraventricular group I metabotropic glutamate receptors in the regulation of the HPA axis response to restraint stress in rats. Direct injection of the group I metabotropic glutamate receptor agonist 3,5-dihydroxyphenylglycine (DHPG) into the PVN prior to restraint leads to blunting of the HPA axis response in awake animals. Consistent with this result, infusion of the group I receptor antagonist hexyl-homoibotenic acid (HIBO) potentiates the HPA axis response to restraint. The excitatory effect of blocking paraventricular group I metabotropic glutamate signaling is blocked by co-administration of dexamethasone into the PVN. However, the inhibitory effect of DHPG is not affected by co-administration of the cannabinoid CB1 receptor antagonist AM-251 into the PVN. Together, these results suggest that paraventricular group I metabotropic glutamate receptor signaling acts to dampen HPA axis reactivity. This effect appears to be similar to the rapid inhibitory effect of glucocorticoids at the PVN, but is not mediated by endocannabinoid signaling.

  2. Association between Mastication, the Hippocampus, and the HPA Axis: A Comprehensive Review

    PubMed Central

    Azuma, Kagaku; Zhou, Qian; Niwa, Masami; Kubo, Kin-ya

    2017-01-01

    Mastication is mainly involved in food intake and nutrient digestion with the aid of teeth. Mastication is also important for preserving and promoting general health, including hippocampus-dependent cognition. Both animal and human studies indicate that mastication influences hippocampal functions through the end product of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, glucocorticoid (GC). Epidemiologic studies suggest that masticatory dysfunction in aged individuals, such as that resulting from tooth loss and periodontitis, acting as a source of chronic stress, activates the HPA axis, leading to increases in circulating GCs and eventually inducing various physical and psychological diseases, such as cognitive impairment, cardiovascular disorders, and osteoporosis. Recent studies demonstrated that masticatory stimulation or chewing during stressful conditions suppresses the hyperactivity of the HPA axis via GCs and GC receptors within the hippocampus, and ameliorates chronic stress-induced hippocampus-dependent cognitive deficits. Here, we provide a comprehensive overview of current research regarding the association between mastication, the hippocampus, and HPA axis activity. We also discuss several potential molecular mechanisms involved in the interactions between mastication, hippocampal function, and HPA axis activity. PMID:28771175

  3. HPA Axis in Major Depression: Cortisol, Clinical Symptomatology, and Genetic Variation Predict Cognition

    PubMed Central

    Keller, Jennifer; Gomez, Rowena; Williams, Gordon; Lembke, Anna; Lazzeroni, Laura; Murphy, Greer M.; Schatzberg, Alan F.

    2016-01-01

    The Hypothalamic Pituitary Adrenal (HPA) axis has been implicated in the pathophysiology of a variety of mood and cognitive disorders. Neuroendocrine studies have demonstrated HPA axis overactivity in major depression, a relationship of HPA axis activity to cognitive performance, and a potential role of HPA axis genetic variation in cognition. The present study investigated the simultaneous roles HPA axis activity, clinical symptomatology, and HPA genetic variation play in cognitive performance. Patients with major depression with psychosis (PMD) and without psychosis (NPMD) and healthy controls (HC) were studied. All participants underwent a diagnostic interview and psychiatric ratings, a comprehensive neuropsychological battery, overnight hourly blood sampling for cortisol, and genetic assessment. Cognitive performance differed as a function of depression subtype. Across all subjects, cognitive performance was negatively correlated with higher cortisol, and PMD patients had higher cortisol than did NPMDs and HCs. Cortisol, clinical symptoms, and variation in genes, NR3C1 (glucocorticoid receptor - GR) and NR3C2 (minercorticoid receptor – MR) that encode for glucocorticoid and mineralcorticoid receptors, predicted cognitive performance. Beyond the effects of cortisol, demographics, and clinical symptoms, NR3C1 variation predicted attention and working memory, whereas NR3C2 polymorphisms predicted memory performance. These findings parallel the distribution of GR and MR in primate brain and their putative roles in specific cognitive tasks. HPA axis genetic variation and activity were important predictors of cognition across the entire sample of depressed subjects and healthy controls. GR and MR genetic variation predicted unique cognitive functions, beyond the influence of cortisol and clinical symptoms. GR genetic variation was implicated in attention and working memory, whereas MR was implicated in verbal memory. PMID:27528460

  4. HPA axis in major depression: cortisol, clinical symptomatology and genetic variation predict cognition.

    PubMed

    Keller, J; Gomez, R; Williams, G; Lembke, A; Lazzeroni, L; Murphy, G M; Schatzberg, A F

    2016-08-16

    The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis has been implicated in the pathophysiology of a variety of mood and cognitive disorders. Neuroendocrine studies have demonstrated HPA axis overactivity in major depression, a relationship of HPA axis activity to cognitive performance and a potential role of HPA axis genetic variation in cognition. The present study investigated the simultaneous roles HPA axis activity, clinical symptomatology and HPA genetic variation play in cognitive performance. Patients with major depression with psychotic major depression (PMD) and with nonpsychotic major depression (NPMD) and healthy controls (HC) were studied. All participants underwent a diagnostic interview and psychiatric ratings, a comprehensive neuropsychological battery, overnight hourly blood sampling for cortisol and genetic assessment. Cognitive performance differed as a function of depression subtype. Across all subjects, cognitive performance was negatively correlated with higher cortisol, and PMD patients had higher cortisol than did NPMDs and HCs. Cortisol, clinical symptoms and variation in genes, NR3C1 (glucocorticoid receptor; GR) and NR3C2 (mineralocorticoid receptor; MR) that encode for GRs and MRs, predicted cognitive performance. Beyond the effects of cortisol, demographics and clinical symptoms, NR3C1 variation predicted attention and working memory, whereas NR3C2 polymorphisms predicted memory performance. These findings parallel the distribution of GR and MR in primate brain and their putative roles in specific cognitive tasks. HPA axis genetic variation and activity were important predictors of cognition across the entire sample of depressed subjects and HR. GR and MR genetic variation predicted unique cognitive functions, beyond the influence of cortisol and clinical symptoms. GR genetic variation was implicated in attention and working memory, whereas MR was implicated in verbal memory.Molecular Psychiatry advance online publication, 16 August 2016; doi

  5. Effortful control and parenting: associations with HPA axis reactivity in early childhood.

    PubMed

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

    2013-07-01

    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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Neural correlates of parent-child HPA axis coregulation.

    PubMed

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

    2015-09-01

    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 17years), recruited from a longitudinal study to participate in a functional MRI (fMRI) scanning protocol. Approximately 1.5years 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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. 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

  10. HPA-axis hormone modulation of stress response circuitry activity in women with remitted major depression.

    PubMed

    Holsen, L M; Lancaster, K; Klibanski, A; Whitfield-Gabrieli, S; Cherkerzian, S; Buka, S; Goldstein, J M

    2013-10-10

    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. Fifteen 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 the 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, family-wise error (FWE)-corrected in response to the stress challenge. Among rMDD women, amygdala activation was negatively related to cortisol changes and positively associated with the 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.

  11. 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...

  12. 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...

  13. Alcohol and pregnancy: Effects on maternal care, HPA axis function, and hippocampal neurogenesis in adult females.

    PubMed

    Workman, Joanna L; Raineki, Charlis; Weinberg, Joanne; Galea, Liisa A M

    2015-07-01

    Chronic alcohol consumption negatively affects health, and has additional consequences if consumption occurs during pregnancy as prenatal alcohol exposure adversely affects offspring development. While much is known on the effects of prenatal alcohol exposure in offspring less is known about effects of alcohol in dams. Here, we examine whether chronic alcohol consumption during gestation alters maternal behavior, hippocampal neurogenesis and HPA axis activity in late postpartum female rats compared with nulliparous rats. Rats were assigned to alcohol, pair-fed or ad libitum control treatment groups for 21 days (for pregnant rats, this occurred gestation days 1-21). Maternal behavior was assessed throughout the postpartum period. Twenty-one days after alcohol exposure, we assessed doublecortin (DCX) (an endogenous protein expressed in immature neurons) expression in the dorsal and ventral hippocampus and HPA axis activity. Alcohol consumption during pregnancy reduced nursing and increased self-directed and negative behaviors, but spared licking and grooming behavior. Alcohol consumption increased corticosterone and adrenal mass only in nulliparous females. Surprisingly, alcohol consumption did not alter DCX-expressing cell density. However, postpartum females had fewer DCX-expressing cells (and of these cells more immature proliferating cells but fewer postmitotic cells) than nulliparous females. Collectively, these data suggest that alcohol consumption during pregnancy disrupts maternal care without affecting HPA function or neurogenesis in dams. Conversely, alcohol altered HPA function in nulliparous females only, suggesting that reproductive experience buffers the long-term effects of alcohol on the HPA axis.

  14. Alcohol and pregnancy: effects on maternal care, HPA axis function, and hippocampal neurogenesis in adult females

    PubMed Central

    2015-01-01

    Chronic alcohol consumption negatively affects health, and has additional consequences if consumption occurs during pregnancy as prenatal alcohol exposure adversely affects offspring development. While much is known on the effects of prenatal alcohol exposure in offspring less is known about effects of alcohol in dams. Here, we examine whether chronic alcohol consumption during gestation alters maternal behavior, hippocampal neurogenesis and HPA axis activity in late postpartum female rats compared with nulliparous females. Rats were assigned to alcohol, pair-fed or ad libitum control treatment groups for 21 days (for pregnant rats, this occurred gestation days 1 – 21). Maternal behavior was assessed throughout the postpartum period. Twenty-one days after alcohol exposure, we assessed doublecortin (DCX) (an endogenous protein expressed in immature neurons) expression in the dorsal and ventral hippocampus and HPA axis activity. Alcohol consumption during pregnancy reduced nursing and increased self-directed and negative behaviors, but spared licking and grooming behavior. Alcohol consumption increased corticosterone and adrenal mass only in nulliparous females. Surprisingly, alcohol consumption did not alter DCX-expressing cell density. However, postpartum females had fewer DCX-expressing cells (and of these cells more immature proliferating cells but fewer postmitotic cells) than nulliparous females. Collectively, these data suggest that alcohol consumption during pregnancy disrupts maternal care without affecting HPA function or neurogenesis in dams. Conversely, alcohol altered HPA function in nulliparous females only, suggesting that reproductive experience buffers the long-term effects of alcohol on the HPA axis. PMID:25900594

  15. 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…

  16. 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…

  17. Fetal hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis on the road to parturition.

    PubMed

    Schwartz, J; McMillen, I C

    2001-01-01

    1. Activity of the fetal hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis waxes and wanes as a function of gestational age. 2. In a number of species, including sheep, at the end of gestation there is an increase in HPA activity, as characterized by an increase in fetal plasma glucocorticoids. 3. To a certain degree, the hypothalamus, pituitary and adrenal all act autonomously and, therefore, may be thought of as contributing to the initiation of the signal that results in the increase in steroidogenesis before birth. 4. Because it integrates sensory information from beyond as well as within the HPA axis and likely triggers developmental changes within the pituitary, the hypothalamus may be a 'first among equals' in being the ultimate source of triggering information for the HPA axis.

  18. 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…

  19. 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…

  20. HPA axis activation and neurochemical responses to bacterial translocation from the gastrointestinal tract.

    PubMed

    Dunn, Adrian J; Ando, Tetsuya; Brown, Rhonda F; Berg, Rodney D

    2003-05-01

    Stress can cause migration of indigenous bacterial flora from the gut to the peritoneum, a phenomenon known as bacterial translocation. Destruction of the cell walls of gram-negative bacteria can result in the production of endotoxin (lipopolysaccharide, LPS), which is the likely cause of sepsis. Exogenously administered LPS can activate the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis as well as brain noradrenergic and indoleaminergic systems. Thus, it is possible that activations of these systems associated with laboratory stressors in rats and mice could be attributed to bacterial translocation and LPS production. To test this hypothesis we conducted experiments on the time course of bacterial translocation in response to restraint in mice, while measuring HPA and neurochemical responses. These experiments failed to show good correlations between the occurrence of bacterial translocation and HPA and neurochemical activations, suggesting that the later responses were not linked to bacterial translocation. This conclusion was supported by the observation of normal neurochemical responses to restraint in germ-free mice. In further experiments, translocation of Salmonella typhimurium, a bacterium that readily translocates in unstressed animals, was associated with HPA activation and noradrenergic and indoleaminergic responses, indicating that bacterial translocation can indeed activate the HPA axis and brain amines. However, the above experiments suggest that this is not the mechanism by which restraint activates these systems.

  1. The HPA axis and ethanol: a synthesis of mathematical modelling and experimental observations.

    PubMed

    Čupić, Željko; Stanojević, Ana; Marković, Vladimir M; Kolar-Anić, Ljiljana; Terenius, Lars; Vukojević, Vladana

    2016-05-18

    Stress and alcohol use are interrelated-stress contributes to the initiation and upholding of alcohol use and alcohol use alters the way we perceive and respond to stress. Intricate mechanisms through which ethanol alters the organism's response to stress remain elusive. We have developed a stoichiometric network model to succinctly describe neurochemical transformations underlying the stress response axis and use numerical simulations to model ethanol effects on complex daily changes of blood levels of cholesterol, 6 peptide and 8 steroid hormones. Modelling suggests that ethanol alters the dynamical regulation of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activity by affecting the amplitude of ultradian oscillations of HPA axis hormones, which defines the threshold with respect to which the response to stress is being set. These effects are complex-low/moderate acute ethanol challenge (<8 mM) may reduce, leave unaltered or increase the amplitude of ultradian cortisol (CORT) oscillations, giving rise to an intricate response at the organism level, offering also a potential explanation as to why apparently discordant results were observed in experimental studies. In contrast, high-dose acute ethanol challenge (>8 mM) increases instantaneous CORT levels and the amplitude of ultradian CORT oscillations in a dose-dependent manner, affecting the HPA axis activity also during the following day(s). Chronic exposure to ethanol qualitatively changes the HPA axis dynamics, whereas ethanol at intoxicating levels shuts down this dynamic regulation mechanism. Mathematical modelling gives a quantitative biology-based framework that can be used for predicting how the integral HPA axis response is perturbed by alcohol.

  2. Activation of PPAR-γ reduces HPA axis activity in diabetic rats by up-regulating PI3K expression.

    PubMed

    Torres, Rafael Carvalho; Magalhães, Nathalia Santos; E Silva, Patrícia M R; Martins, Marco A; Carvalho, Vinicius F

    2016-10-01

    Increased hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA) activity in diabetes is strongly associated with several morbidities noted in patients with the disease. We previously demonstrated that hyperactivity of HPA axis under diabetic conditions is associated with up-regulation of adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH) receptors (MC2R) in adrenal and down-regulation of glucocorticoid receptors (GR and MR) in pituitary. This study investigates the role of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR)-γ in HPA axis hyperactivity in diabetic rats. Diabetes was induced by intravenous injection of alloxan into fasted rats. The PPAR-γ agonist rosiglitazone and/or PI3K inhibitor wortmannin were administered daily for 18 consecutive days, starting 3days after diabetes induction. Plasma ACTH and corticosterone were evaluated by radioimmunoassay, while intensities of MC2R, proopiomelanocortin (POMC), GR, MR, PI3K p110α and PPAR-γ were assessed using immunohistochemistry. Rosiglitazone treatment inhibited adrenal hypertrophy and hypercorticoidism observed in diabetic rats. Rosiglitazone also significantly reversed the diabetes-induced increase in the MC2R expression in adrenal cortex. We noted that rosiglitazone reduced the number of corticotroph cells and inhibited both anterior pituitary POMC expression and plasma ACTH levels. Furthermore, rosiglitazone treatment was unable to restore the reduced expression of GR and MR in the anterior pituitary of diabetic rats. Rosiglitazone increased the number of PPAR-γ(+) cells and expression of PI3K p110α in both anterior pituitary and adrenal cortex of diabetic rats. In addition, wortmannin blocked the ability of rosiglitazone to restore corticotroph cell numbers, adrenal hypertrophy and plasma corticosterone levels in diabetic rats. In conclusion, our findings revealed that rosiglitazone down-regulates HPA axis hyperactivity in diabetic rats via a mechanism dependent on PI3K activation in pituitary and adrenal glands.

  3. Effect of reproductive status on hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) activity and reactivity in male California mice (Peromyscus californicus).

    PubMed

    Harris, Breanna N; Saltzman, Wendy

    2013-03-15

    Previous studies indicate that reproductive condition can alter stress response and glucocorticoid release. Although the functional significance of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis modulation by breeding condition is not fully understood, one possible explanation is the behavior hypothesis, which states that an animal's need to express parental behavior may be driving modulation of the HPA axis. This possibility is consistent with findings of blunted activity and reactivity of the HPA axis in lactating female mammals; however, effects of reproductive status on HPA function have not been well characterized in male mammals that express parental behavior. Therefore, we tested this hypothesis in the monogamous and biparental California mouse. Several aspects of HPA activity were compared in males from three reproductive conditions: virgin males (housed with another male), non-breeding males (housed with a tubally ligated female), and first-time fathers (housed with a female and their first litter of pups). In light of the behavior hypothesis we predicted that new fathers would differ from virgin and non-breeding males in several aspects of HPA function and corticosterone (CORT) output: decreased amplitude of the diurnal rhythm in CORT, a blunted CORT increase following predator-odor stress, increased sensitivity to glucocorticoid negative feedback, and/or a blunted CORT response to pharmacological stimulation. In addition, we predicted that first-time fathers would be more resistant to CORT-induced suppression of testosterone secretion, as testosterone is important for paternal behavior in this species. We found that virgin males, non-breeding males and first-time fathers did not display any CORT differences in diurnal rhythm, response to a predator-odor stressor, or response to pharmacological suppression or stimulation. Additionally, there were no differences in circulating testosterone concentrations. Adrenal mass was, however, significantly lower in new

  4. Early-life stress and HPA axis trigger recurrent adulthood depression.

    PubMed

    Juruena, Mario F

    2014-09-01

    It is now broadly accepted that psychological stress may change the internal homeostatic state of an individual. During acute stress, adaptive physiological responses occur, which include hyperactivity of the HPA axis. Whenever there is an acute interruption of this balance, illness may result. The social and physical environments have an enormous impact on our physiology and behavior, and they influence the process of adaptation or 'allostasis'. It is correct to state that at the same time that our experiences change our brain and thoughts, namely, changing our mind, we are changing our neurobiology. Increased adrenocortical secretion of hormones, primarily cortisol in major depression, is one of the most consistent findings in neuropsychiatry. A significant percentage of patients with major depression have been shown to exhibit increased concentrations of cortisol, an exaggerated cortisol response to adrenocorticotropic hormone, and an enlargement of both the pituitary and adrenal glands. The maintenance of the internal homeostatic state of an individual is proposed to be based on the ability of circulating glucocorticoids to exert negative feedback on the secretion of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) hormones through binding to mineralocorticoid (MR) and glucocorticoid (GR) receptors limiting the vulnerability to diseases related to psychological stress in genetically predisposed individuals. The HPA axis response to stress can be thought of as a mirror of the organism's response to stress: acute responses are generally adaptive, but excessive or prolonged responses can lead to deleterious effects. Evidence indicates that early-life stress can induce persistent changes in the ability of the HPA axis to respond to stress in adulthood. These abnormalities appear to be related to changes in the ability of hormones to bind to GR and MR receptors. First episodes may begin with an environmental stressor, but if the cycles continue or occur unchecked, the brain

  5. Stress induced disturbances of the HPA axis: a pathway to Type 2 diabetes?

    PubMed

    Rosmond, Roland

    2003-02-01

    Type 2 diabetes is the most common form of hyperglycemia. The disease exists in all populations, but in developed societies, the prevalence has risen as the population ages and above all becomes more obese. In the prediabetic state, type 2 diabetes involves two defects, peripheral insulin resistance and hyperinsulinemia, which is followed by the failure of insulin secretion to compensate for the insulin resistance. As with nearly any disease, it is likely that multiple environmental and genetic factors are involved in the development of insulin resistance. An acquired pathogenic factor is obesity, particularly visceral obesity. Compelling evidence suggests that progressive dysfunction of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, with elevated levels of circulating cortisol, is implicated in the development of visceral obesity. The HPA axis perturbations associated with visceral obesity can be accounted for, in part, by increased environmental stress that destabilizes the hypothalamic-pituitary system in individuals with genetic susceptibility.

  6. What are the links between maternal social status, hippocampal function, and HPA axis function in children?

    PubMed

    Sheridan, Margaret A; How, Joan; Araujo, Melanie; Schamberg, Michelle A; Nelson, Charles A

    2013-09-01

    The association of parental social status with multiple health and achievement indicators in adulthood has driven researchers to attempt to identify mechanisms by which social experience in childhood could shift developmental trajectories. Some accounts for observed linkages between parental social status in childhood and health have hypothesized that early stress exposure could result in chronic disruptions in hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activation, and that this activation could lead to long-term changes. A robust literature in adult animals has demonstrated that chronic HPA axis activation leads to changes in hippocampal structure and function. In the current study, consistent with studies in animals, we observe an association between both maternal self-rated social status and hippocampal activation in children and between maternal self-rated social status and salivary cortisol in children.

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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

  9. 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. Copyright © 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  10. 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.

  11. Influence of hypothalamic IL-6/gp130 receptor signaling on the HPA axis response to chronic stress.

    PubMed

    Girotti, Milena; Donegan, Jennifer J; Morilak, David A

    2013-07-01

    Abnormal basal activity and stress-evoked reactivity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis are often seen in depression, implicating HPA axis dysfunction as a potentially causative or exacerbating factor. Chronic stress is also a factor in depression, but it is not known what may underlie the shift from adaptive to maladaptive HPA activity over the course of chronic stress. Interleukin 6 (IL-6), a stress-inducible cytokine that signals through gp130 and IL-6Rα receptors to activate the JAK/STAT3 signaling cascade, is elevated in some subtypes of depression, and may have a modulatory effect on HPA activation, raising the possibility that IL-6 contributes to depression through effects on the HPA axis. In this study, we examined the effects of three different stress modalities, acute footshock, chronic intermittent cold (CIC) stress and chronic unpredictable stress (CUS) on IL-6 signaling in the hypothalamus. We also investigated whether IL-6 modulates the HPA response to chronic stress, by blocking IL-6 signaling in the brain during CIC stress using either a neutralizing antibody or an inhibitor of STAT3 phosphorylation. We show that IL-6 and STAT3 in the hypothalamus are activated in response to footshock and CUS. We also found that basal IL-6 signaling through the JAK/STAT3 pathway is required for the sustained CORT response to chronic, but not acute, cold stress and therefore is a potential determinant of plasticity in the HPA axis specifically during chronic stress exposure.

  12. Vulnerability to Stroke: Implications of Perinatal Programming of the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis

    PubMed Central

    Craft, Tara K. S.; DeVries, A. Courtney

    2009-01-01

    Chronic stress is capable of exacerbating each major, modifiable, endogenous risk factor for cerebrovascular and cardiovascular disease. Indeed, exposure to stress can increase both the incidence and severity of stroke, presumably through activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. Now that characterization of the mechanisms underlying epigenetic programming of the HPA axis is well underway, there has been renewed interest in examining the role of early environment on the evolution of health conditions across the entire lifespan. Indeed, neonatal manipulations in rodents that reduce stress responsivity, and subsequent life-time exposure to glucocorticoids, are associated with a reduction in the development of neuroendocrine, neuroanatomical, and cognitive dysfunctions that typically progress with age. Although improved day to day regulation of the HPA axis also may be accompanied by a decrease in stroke risk, evidence from rodent studies suggest that an associated cost could be increased susceptibility to inflammation and neuronal death in the event that a stroke does occur and the individual is exposed to persistently elevated corticosteroids. Given its importance in regulation of health and disease states, any long-term modulation of the HPA axis is likely to be associated with both benefits and potential risks. The goals of this review article are to examine (1) the clinical and experimental data suggesting that neonatal experiences can shape HPA axis regulation, (2) the influence of stress and the HPA axis on stroke incidence and severity, and (3) the potential for neonatal programming of the HPA axis to impact adult cerebrovascular health. PMID:20057937

  13. Sex differences in early-life programming of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis in humans.

    PubMed

    Gifford, Robert M; Reynolds, Rebecca M

    2017-09-15

    Increasing evidence supports fetal glucocorticoid exposure with associated altered offspring hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activity as a key mechanism linking early life events with later life disease. Alterations in HPA axis activity are linked to a range of cardiometabolic and psychiatric diseases. As many of these diseases manifest sex differences in presentation we review the evidence for programmed sex-differences in the HPA axis. Available literature suggests vulnerability of the female HPA axis to prenatal stressors with female offspring demonstrating increased HPA axis reactivity. This may be due to changes in placental glucocorticoid metabolism leading to increased fetal glucocorticoid exposure. We discuss the potential consequences of increased vulnerability of the female HPA axis for later life health and consider the underlying mechanisms. Further studies are needed to determine whether sex-differences in early-life programming of the HPA axis represent a pathway underpinning the sex-differences in common cardiometabolic and psychiatric diseases. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Ontogenetic studies of tolerance development: effects of chronic morphine on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis.

    PubMed

    Little, P J; Kuhn, C M

    1995-11-01

    Endogenous opiates are important regulators of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis in rats. Tolerance clearly develops to morphine-induced stimulation of the HPA axis in adult rats (Ignar and Kuhn 1990). The goal of the present study was to determine whether tolerance to morphine-induced stimulation of the HPA axis developed in neonatal and weanling rats treated chronically with morphine. Rats were injected with morphine or saline between days 4-8 postnatal (pups) or days 21-25 (weanlings) and tolerance assessed by determining dose-response curves for ACTH and corticosterone secretion following an acute morphine challenge. Weanlings displayed marked tolerance to the stimulation of ACTH and corticosterone secretion by morphine. Tolerance was also observed in pups to morphine-stimulated ACTH and corticosterone release. These findings suggest that the relative adaptability of the HPA axis to chronic morphine in neonatal and weanling rats is similar.

  15. New insights into the role of perinatal HPA-axis dysregulation in postpartum depression.

    PubMed

    Glynn, Laura M; Davis, Elysia Poggi; Sandman, Curt A

    2013-12-01

    Postpartum depression affects 10-20% of women following birth and exerts persisting adverse consequences on both mother and child. An incomplete understanding of its etiology constitutes a barrier to early identification and treatment. It is likely that prenatal hormone trajectories represent both markers of risk and also causal factors in the development of postpartum depression. During pregnancy the maternal hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis undergoes dramatic alterations, due in large part, to the introduction of the placenta, a transient endocrine organ of fetal origin. We suggest that prenatal placental and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis dysregulation is predictive of risk for postpartum depression. In this model the positive feedback loop involving the systems regulating the products of the HPA axis results in higher prenatal levels of cortisol and placental corticotropin-releasing hormone. Greater elevations in placental corticotropin-releasing hormone are related to a disturbance in the sensitivity of the anterior pituitary to cortisol and also perhaps to decreased central corticotropin-releasing hormone secretion. Secondary or tertiary adrenal insufficiencies of a more extreme nature, which emerge during the prenatal period, may be predictive of an extended or more pronounced postpartum hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal refractory period, which in turn represents a risk factor for development of postpartum depression. In addition to reviewing the relevant existing literature, new data are presented in support of this model which link elevated placental corticotropin-releasing hormone with low levels of ACTH at 3-months postpartum. Future research will further elucidate the role of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis dysregulation in postpartum depression and also whether prenatal placental and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal profiles might prove useful in the early identification of mothers at risk for postpartum mood dysregulation.

  16. Do Bacteria Shape our Development? Crosstalk between Intestinal Microbiota and HPA Axis.

    PubMed

    de Weerth, Carolina

    2017-09-13

    The human body contains as many bacteria in the intestine as the total number of human body cells. These bacteria have a central position in human health and disease, and would also play a role in the regulation of emotions, behavior, and even higher cognitive functions. The Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal axis (HPA axis) is a major physiological stress system that produces cortisol. This hormone is involved in responding to environmental stress and also shapes many aspects of brain development. Both the HPA axis and the intestinal microbiota show rapid and profound developmental changes during the first years of life. Early environmental disturbances can affect the development of both systems. Early adversity, for example, is known to lead to later unbalances in both, as well as to psychopathological behavior and emotions. The goal of this theoretical review is to summarize current knowledge on the developmental crosstalk between the intestinal microbiota and the HPA axis, providing a basis for understanding the development and bidirectional communication between these two essential systems in human functioning. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. Early life adversity and serotonin transporter gene variation interact at the level of the adrenal gland to affect the adult hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis.

    PubMed

    van der Doelen, R H A; Deschamps, W; D'Annibale, C; Peeters, D; Wevers, R A; Zelena, D; Homberg, J R; Kozicz, T

    2014-07-08

    The short allelic variant of the serotonin transporter (5-HTT) promoter-linked polymorphic region (5-HTTLPR) has been associated with the etiology of major depression by interaction with early life stress (ELS). Furthermore, 5-HTTLPR has been associated with abnormal functioning of the stress-responsive hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. Here, we examined if, and at what level, the HPA-axis is affected in an animal model for ELS × 5-HTTLPR interactions. Heterozygous and homozygous 5-HTT knockout rats and their wild-type littermates were exposed daily at postnatal days 2-14 to 3 h of maternal separation. When grown to adulthood, plasma levels of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), and the major rat glucocorticoid, corticosterone (CORT), were measured. Furthermore, the gene expression of key HPA-axis players at the level of the hypothalamus, pituitary and adrenal glands was assessed. No 5-HTT genotype × ELS interaction effects on gene expression were observed at the level of the hypothalamus or pituitary. However, we found significant 5-HTT genotype × ELS interaction effects for plasma CORT levels and adrenal mRNA levels of the ACTH receptor, such that 5-HTT deficiency was associated under control conditions with increased, but after ELS with decreased basal HPA-axis activity. With the use of an in vitro adrenal assay, naïve 5-HTT knockout rats were furthermore shown to display increased adrenal ACTH sensitivity. Therefore, we conclude that basal HPA-axis activity is affected by the interaction of 5-HTT genotype and ELS, and is programmed, within the axis itself, predominantly at the level of the adrenal gland. This study therefore emphasizes the importance of the adrenal gland for HPA-related psychiatric disorders.

  18. Hyper- and hypocortisolism in bipolar disorder - A beneficial influence of lithium on the HPA-axis?

    PubMed

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

    2017-04-15

    A hyperactive hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA-axis) is a well-known phenomenon in bipolar disorder (BD). However, hypocortisolism has also been described and found associated with depression, low quality of life and cardiovascular risk factors in BD patients. Although the pathophysiology related to hypocortisolism in BD is largely unknown, hypocortisolism is associated with chronic stress exposure and after inducing an initial rise in cortisol long-term stress may result in a transition to hypocortisolism. BD patients are throughout life often exposed to chronic stress. We therefore hypothesized that higher age would be associated with lower HPA-axis activity especially among patients without previous mood stabilizing treatment. This cross-sectional study consisted of 159 bipolar outpatients and 258 controls. A low-dose-dexamethasone-suppression-test (DST) was used to measure HPA-axis activity. Patients with BD showed a negative association between post DST cortisol and age (-3.0 nmol/l per year; p=0.007). This association gradually increased in subgroups that were naïve to lithium (-7.7 nmol/l per year; p=0.001) and "all mood stabilizers" (-11.4 nmol/l per year; p=0.004). Patients exhibiting hypercortisolism were characterized by younger age and female gender, whereas patients exhibiting hypocortisolism were characterized by long disease duration without prophylactic lithium treatment as well as absence of current lithium medication. Cross sectional study design. There was a negative association between HPA-axis activity and age in BD, rendering BD patients at risk for developing hypocortisolism. This association was most pronounced among patients without previous or current lithium prophylaxis. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  19. Adrenal axis activation by chronic social stress fails to inhibit gonadal function in male rats.

    PubMed

    Lemaire, V; Taylor, G T; Mormède, P

    1997-11-01

    Stress in males via the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis may set into motion varied physiological alterations, including dysfunction of the hypothalamic-pituitary-gonadal (HPG) axis. However, the influence of the HPA on the HPG axis may not always be inhibitory. Presence or absence of stimuli of sexual significance that typically activates the HPG axis may alter the influence of the adrenal axis on gonadal axes. In this project, we used male rats and chronic social stimulation that included brief or extended periods with female rats to examine HPA-HPG axes interactions. In experiment 1, we used intact males and a 'chronic social stress' paradigm developed in our previous research that induces social instability by daily changing the membership of group-housed males with females. Thymus weight was reduced and corticosterone levels were marginally increased by chronic social stress, indicating a HPA axis hyperactivity. The HPG axis was also activated as shown by the increased weight of the androgen-sensitive sex structures. These results indicate that when these two axes are stimulated together, neither interferes with nor suppresses activities of the other. Implants of corticosterone pellets to adrenalectomized animals that maintained constant, high corticosterone levels failed to reverse the gonadal hyperactivity induced by sexual stimulation. In a second experiment, we studied the influence of different intensity of sexual stimulations on HPA-HPG axes interactions. Increased corticosterone levels and adrenal weight, indicating a HPA hyperactivity, failed to inhibit HPG hyperactivity as measured by the increased sexual organs weight, whatever the sexual intensity of the stimulation. This work demonstrates that the gonadal axis is freed from suppression when sexual stimulation occurs together with stress. The general conclusion is that the nature of complex social settings is important in determining interactions between the two neuroendocrine axes.

  20. 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

  1. Activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis in lithium-induced conditioned taste aversion learning.

    PubMed

    Jahng, Jeong Won; Lee, Jong-Ho

    2015-12-05

    Intraperitoneal injections (ip) of lithium chloride at large doses induce c-Fos expression in the brain regions implicated in conditioned taste aversion (CTA) learning, and also activate the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and increase the plasma corticosterone levels in rats. A pharmacologic treatment blunting the lithium-induced c-Fos expression in the brain regions, but not the HPA axis activation, induced CTA formation. Synthetic glucocorticoids at conditioning, but not glucocorticoid antagonist, attenuated the lithium-induced CTA acquisition. The CTA acquisition by ip lithium was not affected by adrenalectomy regardless of basal corticosterone supplement, but the extinction was delayed in the absence of basal corticosterone. Glucocorticoids overloading delayed the extinction memory formation of lithium-induced CTA. ip lithium consistently induced the brain c-Fos expression, the HPA activation and CTA formation regardless of the circadian activation of the HPA axis. Intracerebroventricular (icv) injections of lithium at day time also increased the brain c-Fos expression, activated the HPA axis and induced CTA acquisition. However, icv lithium at night, when the HPA axis shows its circadian activation, did not induce CTA acquisition nor activate the HPA axis, although it increased the brain c-Fos expression. These results suggest that the circadian activation of the HPA axis may affect central, but not peripheral, effect of lithium in CTA learning in rats, and the HPA axis activation may be necessary for the central effect of lithium in CTA formation. Also, glucocorticoids may be required for a better extinction; however, increased glucocorticoids hinder both the acquisition and the extinction of lithium-induced CTA. Copyright © 2015. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  2. Paternal stress exposure alters sperm microRNA content and reprograms offspring HPA stress axis regulation

    PubMed Central

    Rodgers, Ali B.; Morgan, Christopher P.; Bronson, Stefanie L.; Revello, Sonia; Bale, Tracy L.

    2013-01-01

    Neuropsychiatric disease frequently presents with an underlying hypo- or hyper- reactivity of the HPA stress axis, suggesting an exceptional vulnerability of this circuitry to external perturbations. Parental lifetime exposures to environmental challenges are associated with increased offspring neuropsychiatric disease risk, and likely contribute to stress dysregulation. While maternal influences have been extensively examined, much less is known regarding the specific role of paternal factors. To investigate the potential mechanisms by which paternal stress may contribute to offspring hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis dysregulation, we exposed mice to six weeks of chronic stress prior to breeding. As epidemiological studies support variation in paternal germ cell susceptibility to reprogramming across the lifespan, male stress exposure occurred either throughout puberty or in adulthood. Remarkably, offspring of sires from both paternal stress groups displayed significantly reduced HPA axis stress responsivity. Gene set enrichment analyses in offspring stress regulating brain regions, the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) and the bed nucleus of stria terminalis (BNST), revealed global pattern changes in transcription suggestive of epigenetic reprogramming and consistent with altered offspring stress responsivity, including increased expression of glucocorticoid-responsive genes in the PVN. In examining potential epigenetic mechanisms of germ cell transmission, we found robust changes in sperm miRNA (miR) content, where nine specific miRs were significantly increased in both paternal stress groups. Overall, these results demonstrate that paternal experience across the lifespan can induce germ cell epigenetic reprogramming and impact offspring HPA stress axis regulation, and may therefore offer novel insight into factors influencing neuropsychiatric disease risk. PMID:23699511

  3. Immune Function and HPA Axis Activity in Free-Ranging Rhesus Macaques

    PubMed Central

    Hoffman, Christy L.; Higham, James P.; Heistermann, Michael; Coe, Christopher L.; Prendergast, Brian J.; Maestripieri, Dario

    2011-01-01

    In mammals, the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and immune system play an important role in the maintenance of homeostasis. Dysregulation of either system resulting, for example, from psychosocial or reproductive stress increases susceptibility to disease and mortality risk, especially in aging individuals. In a study of free-ranging rhesus macaques, we examined how female age, reproductive state, social rank, and body condition influence (i) aspects of cytokine biology (plasma concentrations of interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1ra), IL-6 and IL-8), and (ii) HPA axis activity (plasma and fecal glucocorticoid levels). We also assessed individual differences in cytokine and hormone concentrations over time to determine their consistency and to investigate relations between these two indicators of physiological regulation and demand. Female monkeys showed marked increases in HPA axis activity during pregnancy and lactation, and increased circulating levels of IL-1ra with advancing age. Inter-individual differences in IL-1ra and IL-8 were consistent over successive years, suggesting that both are stable, trait-like characteristics. Furthermore, the concentrations of fecal glucocorticoid hormones in non-pregnant, non-lactating females were correlated with their plasma cortisol and IL-8 concentrations. Some individuals showed permanently elevated cytokine levels or HPA axis activity, or a combination of the two, suggesting chronic stress or disease. Our results enhance our understanding of within- and between-individual variation in cytokine levels and their relationship with glucocorticoid hormones in free-ranging primates. These findings can provide the basis for future research on stress and allostatic load in primates. PMID:21635909

  4. Effects of childhood trauma on HPA-axis reactivity in women free of lifetime psychopathology.

    PubMed

    Klaassens, Ellen R; van Noorden, Martijn S; Giltay, Erik J; van Pelt, Johannes; van Veen, Tineke; Zitman, Frans G

    2009-08-01

    Exposure to childhood trauma may induce persistent changes in Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA)-axis functioning even in the absence of current psychopathology. Because previous studies did not systematically exclude subjects with lifetime psychiatric morbidity, prevalent psychopathology may have confounded the association. In this study we investigated whether women exposed to childhood trauma, but without a history of psychiatric disorders, show alterations in HPA-axis functioning. We included 10 women exposed to significant childhood trauma and 12 non-exposed women. All women were between 29 and 64 years old,mentally and physically healthy, and without current or lifetime psychopathology. HPA-axis functioning was assessed as 1) basal activity with salivary cortisol patterns over 8 time points on two consecutive sampling days and 2) plasma cortisol and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) reactivity over 7 time points after the combined dexamethasone/corticotropin-releasing hormone (dex/CRH) challenge test. Basal salivary cortisol output did not differ between trauma-exposed compared to non-exposed women. Significantly blunted plasma cortisol and ACTH responses in response to dex/CRH administration were found in the trauma exposed compared to the non-exposed women (F(1,20)=5.08, p=0.04 and F(1,20)=5.23, p=0.03 respectively). Adjusting for age, body mass index (BMI), oral contraceptive use, and menopausal status,somewhat weakened the associations for cortisol as well as ACTH (F(1,16)=3.30, p=0.09) and F(1,16)=2.17, p=0.16 respectively), but for cortisol absolute differences in point estimates were largely unaffected.Although basal cortisol patterns were similar in the two groups, exposure to childhood trauma seemed to be related to a blunted HPA-axis reactivity in women who were free of current or lifetime psychopathology.

  5. Early-Life Stress, HPA Axis Adaptation, and Mechanisms Contributing to Later Health Outcomes

    PubMed Central

    Maniam, Jayanthi; Antoniadis, Christopher; Morris, Margaret J.

    2014-01-01

    Stress activates the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis, which then modulates the degree of adaptation and response to a later stressor. It is known that early-life stress can impact on later health but less is known about how early-life stress impairs HPA axis activity, contributing to maladaptation of the stress–response system. Early-life stress exposure (either prenatally or in the early postnatal period) can impact developmental pathways resulting in lasting structural and regulatory changes that predispose to adulthood disease. Epidemiological, clinical, and experimental studies have demonstrated that early-life stress produces long term hyper-responsiveness to stress with exaggerated circulating glucocorticoids, and enhanced anxiety and depression-like behaviors. Recently, evidence has emerged on early-life stress-induced metabolic derangements, for example hyperinsulinemia and altered insulin sensitivity on exposure to a high energy diet later in life. This draws our attention to the contribution of later environment to disease vulnerability. Early-life stress can alter the expression of genes in peripheral tissues, such as the glucocorticoid receptor and 11-beta hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (11β-HSD1). We propose that interactions between altered HPA axis activity and liver 11β-HSD1 modulates both tissue and circulating glucocorticoid availability, with adverse metabolic consequences. This review discusses the potential mechanisms underlying early-life stress-induced maladaptation of the HPA axis, and its subsequent effects on energy utilization and expenditure. The effects of positive later environments as a means of ameliorating early-life stress-induced health deficits, and proposed mechanisms underpinning the interaction between early-life stress and subsequent detrimental environmental exposures on metabolic risk will be outlined. Limitations in current methodology linking early-life stress and later health outcomes will also be

  6. Associations between early life experience, chronic HPA axis activity, and adult social rank in rhesus monkeys.

    PubMed

    Dettmer, Amanda M; Wooddell, Lauren J; Rosenberg, Kendra L; Kaburu, Stefano S K; Novak, Melinda A; Meyer, Jerrold S; Suomi, Stephen J

    2017-02-01

    Early life experience and socioeconomic status (SES) are well-established predictors of health outcomes in people. Both factors likely influence health outcomes via hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis regulation. However, it is unclear how early experience and HPA axis activity influence adult social status. We studied differentially reared female rhesus monkeys (Macaca mulatta, N = 90) as models to test the hypothesis that chronic HPA axis activity assessed via hair cortisol concentrations (HCCs) mediated the relationship between early life experience and adult social rank. We found that mother-peer-reared (MPR) monkeys acquired higher social ranks than either of the two nursery-reared (NR) groups (peer-reared, PR, or surrogate-peer-reared, SPR monkeys) (β = -0.07, t(89) = -2.16, p = 0.034). We also found that MPR HCCs were lower during the juvenile period at 18 months (F(2,25) = 3.49, p = 0.047). Furthermore, for MPR but not NR monkeys, changes in HCCs from 18 to 24 months (r(s) = -0.627, p = 0.039) and adult HCCs (r(s) = -0.321, p = 0.03) were negatively correlated with adult social rank. These findings suggest that chronic HPA axis regulation in juvenility, and perhaps in adulthood, may influence adult social status for primates that experience typical early rearing. However, early life adversity may result in dissociation between neuroendocrine stress regulation and adult social competence, which may be risk factors for adverse health outcomes.

  7. Endomorphins and activation of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis.

    PubMed

    Coventry, T L; Jessop, D S; Finn, D P; Crabb, M D; Kinoshita, H; Harbuz, M S

    2001-04-01

    Endomorphin (EM)-1 and EM-2 are opioid tetrapeptides recently located in the central nervous system and immune tissues with high selectivity and affinity for the mu-opioid receptor. Intracerebroventricular (i.c.v.) administration of morphine stimulates the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. The present study investigated the effect of centrally administered EM-1 and EM-2 on HPA axis activation. Rats received a single i.c.v. injection of either EM-1 (0.1, 1.0, 10 microg), EM-2 (10 microg), morphine (10 microg), or vehicle (0.9% saline). Blood samples for plasma corticosterone determinations were taken immediately prior to i.c.v. administration and at various time points up to 4 h post-injection. Trunk blood, brains and pituitaries were collected at 4 h. Intracerebroventricular morphine increased plasma corticosterone levels within 30 min, whereas EM-1 and EM-2 were without effect. In addition, pre-treatment of i.c.v. EM-1 did not block the rise in corticosterone after morphine. Corticotrophin-releasing factor (CRF) mRNA and arginine vasopressin (AVP) mRNA in the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) and POMC mRNA in the anterior pituitary were found to be unaffected by either morphine or endomorphins. Since release of other opioids are elevated in response to acute stress, we exposed rats to a range of stressors to determine whether plasma EM-1 and EM-2 can be stimulated by HPA axis activation. Plasma corticosterone, ACTH and beta-endorphin were elevated following acute restraint stress, but concentrations of plasma EM-1-immunoreactivity (ir) and EM-2-ir did not change significantly. Corticosterone, ACTH and beta-endorphin were further elevated in adjuvant-induced arthritis (AA) rats by a single injection of lipopolysaccharide (LPS), but not by restraint stress. In conclusion, neither EM-1 or EM-2 appear to influence the regulation of the HPA axis. These data suggest that endomorphins may be acting on a different subset of the mu-opioid receptor than morphine. The

  8. The role of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis in neuroendocrine responses to stress

    PubMed Central

    Smith, Sean M.; Vale, Wylie W.

    2006-01-01

    Animals respond to stress by activating a wide array of behavioral and physiological responses that are collectively referred to as the stress response. Corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) plays a central role in the stress response by regulating the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. In response to stress, CRF initiates a cascade of events that culminate in the release of glucocorticoids from the adrenal cortex. As a result of the great number of physiological and behavioral effects exerted by glucocorticoids, several mechanisms have evolved to control HPA axis activation and integrate the stress response. Glucocorticoid feedback inhibition plays a prominent role in regulating the magnitude and duration of glucocorticoid release. In addition to glucocorticoid feedback, the HPA axis is regulated at the level of the hypothalamus by a diverse group of afferent projections from limbic, mid-brain, and brain stem nuclei. The stress response is also mediated in part by brain stem noradrenergic neurons, sympathetic andrenornedullary circuits, and parasympathetic systems. In summary, the aim of this review is to discuss the role of the HPA axis in the integration of adaptive responses to stress. We also identify and briefly describe the major neuronal and endocrine systems that contribute to the regulation of the HPA axis and the maintenance of homeostasis in the face of aversive stimuli. PMID:17290797

  9. Effects of orchidectomy and testosterone replacement on mouse pyrrolidone carboxypeptidase activity in the HPA axis.

    PubMed

    García-López, M J; Martínez-Martos, J M; Mayas, M D; Carrera, M P; Ramírez-Expósito, M J

    2004-03-01

    Pyrrolidone carboxypeptidase, also known as pyroglutamyl aminopeptidase, removes pyroglutamyl terminal residues from biologically active peptides such as thyrotropin-releasing hormone. The aim of the present work was to study the influence of orchidectomy and testosterone replacement on soluble (pyrrolidone carboxypeptidase type I) and membrane-bound (pyrrolidone carboxypeptidase type II) activities in the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis. Forty male mice (Balb/C) were distributed into five groups: sham-operated controls, orchidectomized, and orchidectomized treated with increasing doses of testosterone in each group (3, 6 and 12 mg/kg). In the hypothalamus, orchidectomy increased pyrrolidone carboxypeptidase type I, whereas the highest dose of testosterone returned this activity to control levels. In the pituitary, neither pyrrolidone carboxypeptidase type I nor type II activities changed after orchidectomy, although both activities increased after administration of testosterone in both cases. On the other hand, orchidectomy increased pyrrolidone carboxypeptidase type I and type II activities in adrenal glands, while testosterone replacement returned it to control levels. These results suggest that testosterone differentially modulates pyrrolidone carboxypeptidase type I and type II activities, and therefore also their endogenous substrate regulation. Thus, the influence of sex hormones in the physiology of the HPA axis through the modulation of the Pyrrolidone carboxypeptidase type I and type II activities is of great importance on stress and neuropathology associated with HPA dysfunction

  10. Impact of study design on the evaluation of inhaled and intranasal corticosteroids' effect on hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis function.

    PubMed

    Fan, Ying; Ma, Lian; Pippins, Jennifer; Limb, Susan; Xu, Yun; Sahajwalla, Chandrahas G

    2014-10-01

    In part I of this review, an overview of the designs of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis studies in the setting of inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) or intranasal corticosteroids (INS) use was discussed. Part II provides detailed discussion on the HPA axis evaluation results for each common ICS and INS, and how these results are possibly affected by the factors of study design. Significant adrenal suppression at conventional ICS/INS doses appears to be rare in clinical settings. The magnitude of cortisol suppression varies widely among different study designs. Factors potentially impacting this variability include: the choice of dose, dosing duration, assay sensitivity, statistical methodology, study population, and compliance. All of these factors have the potential to affect the extent of HPA axis effects detected and should be considered when designing or interpreting the results of a HPA axis study.

  11. Eszopiclone stimulates the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis in the rat.

    PubMed

    Pechnick, Robert N; Lacayo, Liliana M; Manalo, Charlene M; Bholat, Yasmin; Spivak, Inna

    2011-07-01

    Eszopiclone (Lunesta®) is used for the treatment of insomnia. It is the S (+)-enantiomer of racemic zopiclone, a cyclopyrrolone with no structural similarity to the hypnotic drugs zolpidem and zaleplon or to the benzodiazepines and barbiturates. Although eszopiclone interacts with the gamma-aminobutyric acid A-type (GABA(A)) receptor complex, it has a different binding profile than other sedative/hypnotic agents and modulates the receptor complex in a unique manner. Thus, eszopiclone might produce different pharmacological effects compared to other sedative/hypnotic agents. Beside their behavioral properties, sedative/hypnotic drugs affect the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. In general, low doses of benzodiazepine-type drugs decrease, whereas high doses increase the activity of the HPA axis. Furthermore, benzodiazepines reduce stress-induced increases in HPA axis activity. The goal of the present study was to characterize the effects of eszopiclone on the HPA axis in the rat. Male rats were injected with saline or eszopiclone and trunk blood was collected for the measurement of plasma levels of adrenocorticotropin (ACTH) and corticosterone by radioimmunoassay. The acute administration of eszopiclone produced dose-dependent increases in plasma levels of ACTH and corticosterone, and tolerance developed to these effects after repeated drug administration. Pretreatment with eszopiclone did not affect stress-induced stimulation of the HPA axis. These results show that eszopiclone and the benzodiazepine-type drugs differentially affect the HPA axis.

  12. Prenatal xenobiotic exposure and intrauterine hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis programming alteration.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Chong; Xu, Dan; Luo, Hanwen; Lu, Juan; Liu, Lian; Ping, Jie; Wang, Hui

    2014-11-05

    The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis is one of the most important neuroendocrine axes and plays an important role in stress defense responses before and after birth. Prenatal exposure to xenobiotics, including environmental toxins (such as smoke, sulfur dioxide and carbon monoxide), drugs (such as synthetic glucocorticoids), and foods and beverage categories (such as ethanol and caffeine), affects fetal development indirectly by changing the maternal status or damaging the placenta. Certain xenobiotics (such as caffeine, ethanol and dexamethasone) may also affect the fetus directly by crossing the placenta into the fetus due to their lipophilic properties and lower molecular weights. All of these factors probably result in intrauterine programming alteration of the HPA axis, which showed a low basal activity but hypersensitivity to chronic stress. These alterations will, therefore, increase the susceptibility to adult neuropsychiatric (such as depression and schizophrenia) and metabolic diseases (such as hypertension, diabetes and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease). The "over-exposure of fetuses to maternal glucocorticoids" may be the main initiation factor by which the fetal HPA axis programming is altered. Meantime, xenobiotics can directly induce abnormal epigenetic modifications and expression on the important fetal genes (such as hippocampal glucocorticoid receptor, adrenal steroidogenic acute regulatory protein, et al) or damage by in situ oxidative metabolism of fetal adrenals, which may also be contributed to the programming alteration of fetal HPA axis.

  13. Modulation of the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis by Early Life Stress Exposure

    PubMed Central

    van Bodegom, Miranda; Homberg, Judith R.; Henckens, Marloes J. A. G.

    2017-01-01

    Exposure to stress during critical periods in development can have severe long-term consequences, increasing overall risk on psychopathology. One of the key stress response systems mediating these long-term effects of stress is the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis; a cascade of central and peripheral events resulting in the release of corticosteroids from the adrenal glands. Activation of the HPA-axis affects brain functioning to ensure a proper behavioral response to the stressor, but stress-induced (mal)adaptation of the HPA-axis' functional maturation may provide a mechanistic basis for the altered stress susceptibility later in life. Development of the HPA-axis and the brain regions involved in its regulation starts prenatally and continues after birth, and is protected by several mechanisms preventing corticosteroid over-exposure to the maturing brain. Nevertheless, early life stress (ELS) exposure has been reported to have numerous consequences on HPA-axis function in adulthood, affecting both its basal and stress-induced activity. According to the match/mismatch theory, encountering ELS prepares an organism for similar (“matching”) adversities during adulthood, while a mismatching environment results in an increased susceptibility to psychopathology, indicating that ELS can exert either beneficial or disadvantageous effects depending on the environmental context. Here, we review studies investigating the mechanistic underpinnings of the ELS-induced alterations in the structural and functional development of the HPA-axis and its key external regulators (amygdala, hippocampus, and prefrontal cortex). The effects of ELS appear highly dependent on the developmental time window affected, the sex of the offspring, and the developmental stage at which effects are assessed. Albeit by distinct mechanisms, ELS induced by prenatal stressors, maternal separation, or the limited nesting model inducing fragmented maternal care, typically results in HPA-axis

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

    PubMed

    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 upon the

  15. Bicuculline, a GABAA-receptor antagonist, blocked HPA axis activation induced by ghrelin under an acute stress.

    PubMed

    Gastón, M S; Cid, M P; Salvatierra, N A

    2017-03-01

    Ghrelin is a peptide of 28 amino acids with a homology between species, which acts on the central nervous system to regulate different actions, including the control of growth hormone secretion and metabolic regulation. It has been suggested that central ghrelin is a mediator of behavior linked to stress responses and induces anxiety in rodents and birds. Previously, we observed that the anxiogenic-like behavior induced by ghrelin injected into the intermediate medial mesopallium (IMM) of the forebrain was blocked by bicuculline (a GABAA receptor competitive antagonist) but not by diazepam (a GABAA receptor allosteric agonist) in neonatal meat-type chicks (Cobb). Numerous studies have indicated that hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activation mediates the response to stress in mammals and birds. However, it is still unclear whether this effect of ghrelin is associated with HPA activation. Therefore, we investigated whether anxiety behavior induced by intra-IMM ghrelin and mediated through GABAA receptors could be associated with HPA axis activation in the neonatal chick. In the present study, in an Open Field test, intraperitoneal bicuculline methiodide blocked anxiogenic-like behavior as well as the increase in plasma ACTH and corticosterone levels induced by ghrelin (30pmol) in neonatal chicks. Moreover, we showed for the first time that a competitive antagonist of GABAA receptor suppressed the HPA axis activation induced by an anxiogenic dose of ghrelin. These results show that the anxiogenic ghrelin action involves the activation of the HPA axis, with a complex functional interaction with the GABAA receptor.

  16. 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

  17. Alterations of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis in systemic immune diseases - a role for misguided energy regulation.

    PubMed

    Straub, R H; Buttgereit, F; Cutolo, M

    2011-01-01

    The investigation of the hypothalamicpituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis in chronic inflammation has demonstrated: 1) an anti-inflammatory influence of the HPA axis; 2) low serum levels of adrenal androgen; 3) equivocal results with respect to levels of adrenocorticotropic hormone and cortisol; 4) inadequately low secretion of adrenal hormones in relation to inflammation (the disproportion principle); 5) modulating role of TNF and IL-6 on the HPA axis; 6) disturbed cooperativity of HPA axis and sympathetic nervous system (uncoupling); 7) observable glucocorticoid resistance; 8) the circadian rhythmicity explains morning symptoms; 9) new medications based on malfunction of the HPA axis (e.g. adapted to the circadian rhythm of hormones and cytokines); and 10) the newly described role of the HPA axis in the context of misguided energy regulation in chronic inflammatory diseases. This review discusses items 1-6 and 10, while the other items are presented elsewhere in this Supplement. Evidence is presented that the basis for many alterations is in an adaptive program positively selected for short-lived inflammatory responses (energy appeal reaction), which becomes a disease-inherent pathogenetic factor, if it continues too long, that can drive systemic disease sequelae of chronic inflammatory diseases such as the metabolic syndrome.

  18. Resetting the dynamic range of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis stress responses through pregnancy.

    PubMed

    Brunton, P J

    2010-11-01

    The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis plays a key role in the neuroendocrine response to stress. Dynamic changes in HPA axis regulation and hence HPA responsivity occur over the lifetime of an animal. This article focuses on two extremes of the spectrum. The first occurs naturally during pregnancy when stress responses are dampened. The second, at the opposite end of the scale, occurs in offspring of mothers who were exposed to stress during pregnancy and display exaggerated HPA axis stress responses. Reduced glucocorticoid output in response to stress in pregnancy may have important consequences for conserving energy supply to the foetus(es), in modulating immune system adaptations and in protecting against adverse foetal programming by glucocorticoids. Understanding the mechanisms underpinning this adaptation in pregnancy may provide insights for manipulating HPA axis responsiveness in later life, particularly in the context of resetting HPA axis hyperactivity associated with prenatal stress exposure, which may underlie several major pathologies, including cardiovascular disease, diabetes mellitus type 2, obesity, cognitive decline and mood disorders.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. HPA- and HPT-axis alterations in chronic posttraumatic stress disorder.

    PubMed

    Olff, Miranda; Güzelcan, Yener; de Vries, Giel-Jan; Assies, Johanna; Gersons, Berthold P R

    2006-11-01

    Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) has been associated with dysregulation of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis as well as of the hypothalamus-pituitary-thyroid (HPT) axis. Findings have not been consistent and may depend on methodological issues like controlling for relevant variables. This study examines the levels of six HPA and HPT-axis related hormones in civilian PTSD patients without psychotropic medication. In a cross sectional study, 39 chronic PTSD patients and 44 healthy volunteers were included. Psychometric instruments included SCID, SI-PTSD, IES-R and BDI. The plasma hormones levels assessed were cortisol, dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA), and dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate (DHEA-S), prolactin, thyrotropin (TSH), and free thyroxin (fT4). Results showed that patients had significantly lower plasma cortisol, prolactin and TSH levels compared to the comparison group. The difference between TSH levels in patients and comparison subjects only emerged after controlling for relevant background variables. Furthermore, the severity of PTSD symptoms was negatively related to cortisol levels. Secondary analyses revealed no statistically significant effect of comorbid depression (26% of patients) on any of the hormone levels. Complex feedback mechanisms are likely to result in altered levels of stress related hormones in PTSD, and results depend on controlling for relevant variables. Further research with longitudinal designs is needed to find out whether these lower hormone levels are preexisting risk factors or consequence of trauma and whether these alterations are deleterious or adaptive.

  2. The inflamed axis: the interaction between stress, hormones, and the expression of inflammatory-related genes within key structures comprising the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis.

    PubMed

    Hueston, Cara M; Deak, Terrence

    2014-01-30

    Acute stress increases the expression of cytokines and other inflammatory-related factors in the CNS, plasma, and endocrine glands, and activation of inflammatory signaling pathways within the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis may play a key role in later stress sensitization. In addition to providing a summary of stress effects on neuroimmune changes within the CNS, we present a series of experiments that characterize stress effects on members of the interleukin-1β (IL-1) super-family and other inflammatory-related genes in key structures comprising the HPA axis (PVN, pituitary and adrenal glands), followed by a series of experiments examining the impact of exogenous hormone administration (CRH and ACTH) and dexamethasone on the expression of inflammatory-related genes in adult male Sprague-Dawley rats. The results demonstrated robust, time-dependent, and asynchronous expression patterns for IL-1 and IL-1R2 in the PVN, with substantial increases in IL-6 and COX-2 in the adrenal glands emerging as key findings. The effects of exogenous CRH and ACTH were predominantly isolated within the adrenals. Finally, pretreatment with dexamethasone severely blunted neuroimmune changes in the adrenal glands, but not in the PVN. These findings provide novel insight into the relationship between stress, the expression of inflammatory signaling factors within key structures comprising the HPA axis, and their interaction with HPA hormones, and provide a foundation for better understanding the role of cytokines as modulators of hypothalamic, pituitary and adrenal sensitivity.

  3. 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.

  4. A minimal physiologically based model of the HPA axis under influence of the sleep-wake cycles.

    PubMed

    Postnova, S; Fulcher, R; Braun, H A; Robinson, P A

    2013-05-01

    The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (also called the HPA or stress axis) exhibits distinct circadian and ultradian rhythms in cortisol release that cannot be explained solely by the feedback loops from cortisol to the control systems in the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) and pituitary gland. The HPA axis is intimately connected with other brain functions. In particular, it is strongly affected by the sleep-wake cycles via direct and indirect effects of the circadian and homeostatic mechanisms. For example, the HPA axis has direct inputs from the master circadian clock in the suprachiasmatic nuclei (SCN), and from the various sleep-wake related neuronal populations, which themselves are under the effects of the circadian and homeostatic processes. In this paper a first step towards a physiologically based mathematical model of the HPA-axis under effects of the sleep-wake cycles is presented. This model accounts for 3 major characteristics of daily cortisol profile in the blood: i) abrupt increase of cortisol concentration in response to awakening, the so-called cortisol-awakening response (CAR); ii) reduced cortisol levels during daytime with underlying ultradian oscillations; and iii) suppression of cortisol release during sleep. © Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York.

  5. Alterations in HPA-axis and autonomic nervous system functioning in childhood anxiety disorders point to a chronic stress hypothesis.

    PubMed

    Dieleman, Gwendolyn C; Huizink, Anja C; Tulen, Joke H M; Utens, Elisabeth M W J; Creemers, Hanneke E; van der Ende, Jan; Verhulst, Frank C

    2015-01-01

    It is of debate whether or not childhood anxiety disorders (AD) can be captured by one taxonomic construct. This study examined whether perceived arousal (PA), autonomic nervous system (ANS) and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis measures can distinguish children with different primary diagnoses of clinical anxiety disorders (AD) from each other, and from a general population reference group (GP). The study sample consisted of 152 AD children (comparing separation anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, social phobia and specific phobia), aged 8- to 12-years, and 200 same-aged reference children. HPA-axis functioning was measured by a diurnal cortisol profile. ANS functioning was measured by continuous measures of skin conductance level in rest and during a mental arithmetic task and high frequency heart rate variability in rest. PA was assessed by a questionnaire. The AD sample showed lower high frequency heart rate variability during rest, heightened anticipatory PA, higher basal and reactive skin conductance levels and lower basal HPA-axis functioning compared to the GP sample. The existence of three or more clinical disorders, i.e. a high clinical 'load', was associated with lower basal HPA-axis functioning, higher skin conductance level and lower posttest PA. Specific phobia could be discerned from social phobia and separation anxiety disorder on higher skin conductance level. Our findings indicated that children with AD have specific psychophysiological characteristics, which resemble the psychophysiological characteristics of chronic stress. A high clinical 'load' is associated with an altered ANS and HPA-axis functioning. Overall, ANS and HPA-axis functioning relate to AD in general, accept for specific phobia. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. 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. © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  7. 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

  8. Reliability of hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis assessment methods for use in population-based studies

    PubMed Central

    Wand, Gary S.; Malhotra, Saurabh; Kamel, Ihab; Horton, Karen

    2013-01-01

    Population-based studies have been hampered in exploring hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis (HPA) activity as a potential explanatory link between stress-related and metabolic disorders due to their lack of incorporation of reliable measures of chronic cortisol exposure. The purpose of this review is to summarize current literature on the reliability of HPA axis measures and to discuss the feasibility of performing them in population-based studies. We identified articles through PubMed using search terms related to cortisol, HPA axis, adrenal imaging, and reliability. The diurnal salivary cortisol curve (generated from multiple salivary samples from awakening to midnight) and 11 p.m. salivary cortisol had the highest between-visit reliabilities (r = 0.63–0.84 and 0.78, respectively). The cortisol awakening response and dexamethasone-suppressed cortisol had the next highest between-visit reliabilities (r = 0.33–0.67 and 0.42–0.66, respectively). Based on our own data, the inter-reader reliability (rs) of adrenal gland volume from non-contrast CT was 0.67–0.71 for the left and 0.47–0.70 for the right adrenal glands. While a single 8 a.m. salivary cortisol is one of the easiest measures to perform, it had the lowest between-visit reliability (R = 0.18–0.47). Based on the current literature, use of sampling multiple salivary cortisol measures across the diurnal curve (with awakening cortisol), dexamethasone-suppressed cortisol, and adrenal gland volume are measures of HPA axis tone with similar between-visit reliabilities which likely reflect chronic cortisol burden and are feasible to perform in population-based studies. PMID:21533585

  9. 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

  10. 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

    2016-02-12

    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.

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Kozachik, Sharon L.; Page, Gayle G.

    2016-01-01

    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

  13. HPA AXIS RELATED GENES AND RESPONSE TO PSYCHOLOGICAL THERAPIES: GENETICS AND EPIGENETICS

    PubMed Central

    Roberts, Susanna; Keers, Robert; Lester, Kathryn J; Coleman, Jonathan R. I.; Breen, Gerome; Arendt, Kristian; Blatter‐Meunier, Judith; Cooper, Peter; Creswell, Cathy; Fjermestad, Krister; Havik, Odd E.; Herren, Chantal; Hogendoorn, Sanne M.; Hudson, Jennifer L.; Krause, Karen; Lyneham, Heidi J.; Morris, Talia; Nauta, Maaike; Rapee, Ronald M.; Rey, Yasmin; Schneider, Silvia; Schneider, Sophie C.; Silverman, Wendy K.; Thastum, Mikael; Thirlwall, Kerstin; Waite, Polly

    2015-01-01

    Background Hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis functioning has been implicated in the development of stress‐related psychiatric diagnoses and response to adverse life experiences. This study aimed to investigate the association between genetic and epigenetics in HPA axis and response to cognitive behavior therapy (CBT). Methods Children with anxiety disorders were recruited into the Genes for Treatment project (GxT, N = 1,152). Polymorphisms of FKBP5 and GR were analyzed for association with response to CBT. Percentage DNA methylation at the FKBP5 and GR promoter regions was measured before and after CBT in a subset (n = 98). Linear mixed effect models were used to investigate the relationship between genotype, DNA methylation, and change in primary anxiety disorder severity (treatment response). Results Treatment response was not associated with FKBP5 and GR polymorphisms, or pretreatment percentage DNA methylation. However, change in FKBP5 DNA methylation was nominally significantly associated with treatment response. Participants who demonstrated the greatest reduction in severity decreased in percentage DNA methylation during treatment, whereas those with little/no reduction in severity increased in percentage DNA methylation. This effect was driven by those with one or more FKBP5 risk alleles, with no association seen in those with no FKBP5 risk alleles. No significant association was found between GR methylation and response. Conclusions Allele‐specific change in FKBP5 methylation was associated with treatment response. This is the largest study to date investigating the role of HPA axis related genes in response to a psychological therapy. Furthermore, this is the first study to demonstrate that DNA methylation changes may be associated with response to psychological therapies in a genotype‐dependent manner. PMID:26647360

  14. 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

  15. Genetic variability at HPA axis in major depression and clinical response to antidepressant treatment.

    PubMed

    Papiol, Sergi; Arias, Bárbara; Gastó, Cristóbal; Gutiérrez, Blanca; Catalán, Rosa; Fañanás, Lourdes

    2007-12-01

    Dysregulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis has been observed in major depression. Normalization of HPA axis has been suggested to play a role in the mechanisms of action of antidepressants. Our aim was to investigate the influence of genetic variants in CRHR1, CRHR2, CRH-BP and FKBP5 genes on both the vulnerability for depression and the response to antidepressant treatment. The sample consisted of 159 depressive outpatients and 96 healthy controls of Spanish origin. Patients were assessed for clinical features including, among others, age of onset, seasonality or suicidal behavior. The episode was treated with citalopram and followed along 12 weeks. Severity of symptoms was evaluated at the inclusion and then monthly along the follow-up using a 21-item Hamilton Depression Rating Score (HDRS). SNPs were assayed using Applied Biosystems SNaP-Shot and TaqMan technology. rs110402, in CRHR1 gene, was associated with an increased risk to present a seasonal pattern and an early age of onset of the first depressive episode. Allele G carriers of rs2270007 of CRHR2 gene, showed a worse overall response to citalopram along time of follow-up (Genotype effect F=7.45, P=0.007). G allele carriers showed 2.93 increased risk (95% CI [1.24-6.90]) for non-responding at 4th week to citalopram treatment (chi(2)=7.59, df=1, P=0.006). On the light of the moderate sample size, associations based on the mentioned polymorphisms need to be considered with caution and require further replication studies in other samples. Variability at genes encoding proteins with a pivotal role in HPA axis regulation seems to influence i) the expression of severity variables of the depressive spectrum including early age of onset or a seasonal pattern and ii) the interindividual variation in clinical response to SSRI antidepressants.

  16. Childhood trauma and HPA axis functionality in offspring of bipolar parents.

    PubMed

    Schreuder, Merel M; Vinkers, Christiaan H; Mesman, Esther; Claes, Stephan; Nolen, Willem A; Hillegers, Manon H J

    2016-12-01

    Children of a parent with bipolar disorder (bipolar offspring) have an increased risk for mood disorders. While genetic factors play a significant role in this population, susceptibility to environmental stress may also significantly contribute to this vulnerability for mood disorders. Childhood trauma has consistently been found to increase the risk for mood disorders, with persisting consequences for hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis functionality. However, it is currently unknown whether childhood trauma specifically affects HPA axis activity in individuals with a familial risk for bipolar disorder. Therefore, we investigated the effects of childhood trauma on daytime and evening cortisol levels and dexamethasone suppression in bipolar offspring (N=70) and healthy controls (N=44). In our study we found no significant differences in daytime and evening cortisol levels as well as dexamethasone suppression between bipolar offspring and healthy controls (all p-values>0.43). In contrast, childhood trauma differentially affected daytime cortisol levels in the bipolar offspring compared to healthy controls (childhood trauma X bipolar offspring interaction, β=-7.310, p=0.0414) with an effect of childhood trauma on daytime cortisol in bipolar offspring at trend level (p=0.058). In the bipolar offspring group, lifetime or current psychiatric diagnoses, and stressful life events separately did not affect cortisol levels or dexamethasone suppression (all p-values>p=0.50). These findings were independent of current or lifetime psychiatric diagnosis. In conclusion, trauma-related changes in daytime HPA axis activity appear to be a specific trait in bipolar offspring who have increased risk for mood disorders compared to healthy individuals. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  17. Expression of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis in common skin diseases: evidence of its association with stress-related disease activity.

    PubMed

    Kim, Jung Eun; Cho, Baik Kee; Cho, Dae Ho; Park, Hyun Jeong

    2013-07-06

    Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis hormones and their receptors expressed in the skin are known to function locally, but how these hormones affect the maintenance of skin homeostasis or the pathogenesis of skin diseases is not fully understood. We comprehensively reviewed the distribution and function of the central and peripheral HPA axis in various stress-related skin diseases. Previous studies have shown altered expression of central and peripheral HPA axis hormones in chronic inflammatory skin diseases and skin tumours, and that hyper-active lesional HPA axis hormones may negatively feedback to the central HPA axis and interact with some cytokines and neuropeptides, leading to symptom deterioration. This provides an evidence-based understanding of the expression of the central and peripheral HPA axis in common skin diseases and its association with disease activity.

  18. 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

  19. Post-dexamethasone serum copeptin corresponds to HPA axis responsiveness in human obesity.

    PubMed

    Schinke, Christian; Hesse, Swen; Stoppe, Muriel; Meyer, Klara; Schmidt, Elisa; Orthgiess, Johannes; Bechmann, Lukas; Bresch, Anke; Rullmann, Michael; Luthardt, Julia; Sabri, Osama; Blüher, Matthias; Kratzsch, Jürgen; Then Bergh, Florian

    2017-04-01

    Increased activities of the arginine-vasopressin (AVP) system and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis were shown to be associated with human obesity, but relationships between these systems in obesity remain unclear. To assess HPA axis responsiveness and its relation to serum concentrations of the AVP-surrogate copeptin in subjects with obesity (OB) in comparison to non-obesity controls (NOC). In a cross-sectional monocentric study, thirty-nine OB (f/m 25/14; age 36.5±10.0years; body mass index, BMI, 41.5±4.7kg/m(2)) were compared to twenty-two NOC (f/m 12/10; age 35.3±8.5years; BMI 23.1±2.4kg/m(2)), matched for age and sex. All individuals underwent the combined dexamethasone/CRH test. Plasma ACTH and cortisol curve indicators derived from the dex/CRH test (post-CRH concentrations 30min after 100μg CRH; maximum concentration, MAX; area-under-the-curve, AUC; ACTH/cortisol ratios). Copeptin was assessed in 1500h samples of the dex/CRH test (after 1.5mg of oral dexamethasone, prior to CRH administration). Copeptin serum concentrations were higher in OB (median [IQR]: OB 4.62 [2.60-5.88] vs. NOC 3.04 [2.52-4.29] pmol/l, P=0.04). Correspondingly, OB showed higher post-CRH cortisol concentrations (OB: 51.5 [25.9-159.3] vs. NOC: 28.6 [20.0-41.6] nmol/l, P=0.01) and a lower post-CRH ACTH/cortisol ratio (OB: 0.028 [0.016-0.053] vs. NOC: 0.048 [0.034-0.070] pmol/nmol, P<0.01). Serum copeptin was significantly associated with HPA responsiveness in OB (post-CRH ACTH: R=0.42, P<0.01), driven by OB men (post-CRH ACTH: R=0.76, P<0.01, post-CRH cortisol: R=0.64, P=0.02). All associations withstand adjustments for BMI and age. The association between increased copeptin with ACTH and cortisol release suggests a potential mechanistic interaction of the AVP system with HPA activation in human obesity. The relation of copeptin and HPA responsiveness should be further validated in situations with pronounced HPA activation, such as depression or multiple sclerosis

  20. Interaction of PGHS-2 and glutamatergic mechanisms controlling the ovine fetal hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis.

    PubMed

    Knutson, Nathan; Wood, Charles E

    2010-07-01

    Prostaglandins, generated within the fetal brain, are integral components of the mechanism controlling the fetal hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. Previous studies in this laboratory demonstrated that prostaglandin G/H synthase isozyme 2 (PGHS-2) inhibition reduces the fetal HPA axis response to cerebral hypoperfusion, blocks the preparturient rise in fetal plasma ACTH concentration, and delays parturition. We also discovered that blockade of N-methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptors reduces the fetal ACTH response to cerebral hypoperfusion. The present study was designed to test the hypothesis that PGHS-2 action and the downstream effect of HPA axis stimulation are stimulated by NMDA-mediated glutamatergic neurotransmission. Chronically catheterized late-gestation fetal sheep (n = 8) were injected with NMDA (1 mg iv). All responded with increases in fetal plasma ACTH and cortisol concentrations. Pretreatment with resveratrol (100 mg iv, n = 5), a specific inhibitor of PGHS-1, did not alter the magnitude of the HPA axis response to NMDA. Pretreatment with nimesulide (10 mg iv, n = 6), a specific inhibitor of PGHS-2, significantly reduced the HPA axis response to NMDA. To further explore this interaction, we injected NMDA in six chronically catheterized fetal sheep that were chronically infused with nimesulide (n = 6) at a rate of 1 mg/day into the lateral cerebral ventricle for 5-7 days. In this group, there was no significant ACTH response to NMDA. Finally, we tested whether the HPA axis response to prostaglandin E(2) (PGE(2)) is mediated by NMDA receptors. Seven chronically catheterized late-gestation fetal sheep were injected with 100 ng of PGE(2), which significantly increased fetal plasma ACTH and cortisol concentrations. Pretreatment with ketamine (10 mg iv), an NMDA antagonist, did not alter the ACTH or cortisol response to PGE(2). We conclude that generation of prostanoids via the action of PGHS-2 in the fetal brain augments the fetal HPA axis response

  1. 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.

  2. Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis Programming after Recurrent Hypoglycemia during Development.

    PubMed

    Rao, Raghavendra

    2015-08-28

    Permanent brain injury is a complication of recurrent hypoglycemia during development. Recurrent hypoglycemia also has adverse consequences on the neuroendocrine system. Hypoglycemia-associated autonomic failure, characterized by ineffective glucose counterregulation during hypoglycemia, is well described in children and adults on insulin therapy for diabetes mellitus. Whether recurrent hypoglycemia also has a programming effect on the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal cortex (HPA) axis has not been well studied. Hypoglycemia is a potent stress that leads to increased glucocorticoid secretion in all age groups, including the perinatal period. Other conditions associated with exposure to excess glucocorticoid in the perinatal period have a programming effect on the HPA axis activity. Limited animal data suggest the possibility of similar programming effect after recurrent hypoglycemia in the postnatal period. The age at exposure to hypoglycemia likely determines the HPA axis response in adulthood. Recurrent hypoglycemia in the early postnatal period likely leads to a hyperresponsive HPA axis, whereas recurrent hypoglycemia in the late postnatal period lead to a hyporesponsive HPA axis in adulthood. The age-specific programming effects may determine the neuroendocrine response during hypoglycemia and other stressful events in individuals with history of recurrent hypoglycemia during development.

  3. Effects of short- and long-duration hypothyroidism on function of the rat hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis.

    PubMed

    Johnson, E O; Kamilaris, T C; Calogero, A E; Konstandi, M; Chrousos, G P

    2013-02-01

    The effects of hypothyroidism on the functional integrity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis were investigated in adult male rats. HPA axis function was examined in vivo in sham-thyroidectomized male Sprague-Dawley rats or in thyroidectomized rats for 7 (short-term hypothyroidism) or 60 (long-term hypothyroidism) days. Peripheral ACTH and corticosterone responses to insulin-induced hypoglycemia and interleukin (IL)-1α stimulation were used to indirectly assess the hypothalamic CRH neuron. Hypothyroidism resulted in exaggerated ACTH responses to both hypoglycemic stress and IL-1α administration. The adrenal cortex of hypothyroid animals showed a significant reduction in adrenal reserves, as assessed by its response to low-dose ACTH, following suppression of the HPA axis with dexamethasone. Hypothyroid rats were also associated with significant decreases in cerebrospinal fluid corticosterone concentrations and decreased adrenal weights. The findings suggest that experimentally induced hypothyroidism is associated with a mild, yet significant, adrenal insufficiency, which involves abnormalities in all components of the HPA axis.

  4. Mitigating HPA Axis Dysregulation Associated With Placement Changes in Foster Care

    PubMed Central

    Fisher, Philip A.; Van Ryzin, Mark J.; Gunnar, Megan R.

    2012-01-01

    Summary Maltreated foster children often exhibit alterations in diurnal hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activity that are characterized by lower cortisol levels upon waking and smaller declines in morning-to-evening cortisol levels. Previous research has shown that this dysregulated pattern is associated with high caregiver stress levels over the course of foster care placements. In contrast, therapeutic interventions that emphasize consistent and responsive caregiving have been associated with more regulated cortisol rhythms. In this paper, two related issues were explored: whether placement changes (i.e., moving between foster homes or from a foster home to a permanent placement) were associated with more blunted daily cortisol rhythms and whether a caregiver-based intervention exerted a protective effect in this context. Because the intervention program has components specifically designed to prepare foster children for placement changes and to maintain consistent parenting techniques despite them, a prevention effect on HPA axis dysregulation during placement changes was hypothesized. The results of linear mixed modeling analyses showed that placement changes predicted dysregulation in cortisol rhythms in the regular foster care group but not in the intervention foster care group. These findings are discussed in terms of implications for child welfare policy and practice. PMID:20888698

  5. The HPA – Immune Axis and the Immunomodulatory Actions of Glucocorticoids in the Brain

    PubMed Central

    Bellavance, Marc-André; Rivest, Serge

    2014-01-01

    In response to physiological and psychogenic stressors, the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis orchestrates the systemic release of glucocorticoids (GCs). By virtue of nearly ubiquitous expression of the GC receptor and the multifaceted metabolic, cardiovascular, cognitive, and immunologic functions of GCs, this system plays an essential role in the response to stress and restoration of an homeostatic state. GCs act on almost all types of immune cells and were long recognized to perform salient immunosuppressive and anti-inflammatory functions through various genomic and non-genomic mechanisms. These renowned effects of the steroid hormone have been exploited in the clinic for the past 70 years and synthetic GC derivatives are commonly used for the therapy of various allergic, autoimmune, inflammatory, and hematological disorders. The role of the HPA axis and GCs in restraining immune responses across the organism is however still debated in light of accumulating evidence suggesting that GCs can also have both permissive and stimulatory effects on the immune system under specific conditions. Such paradoxical actions of GCs are particularly evident in the brain, where substantial data support either a beneficial or detrimental role of the steroid hormone. In this review, we examine the roles of GCs on the innate immune system with a particular focus on the CNS compartment. We also dissect the numerous molecular mechanisms through which GCs exert their effects and discuss the various parameters influencing the paradoxical immunomodulatory functions of GCs in the brain. PMID:24744759

  6. Do different data analytic approaches generate discrepant findings when measuring mother-infant HPA axis attunement?

    PubMed

    Bernard, Nicola K; Kashy, Deborah A; Levendosky, Alytia A; Bogat, G Anne; Lonstein, Joseph S

    2017-03-01

    Attunement between mothers and infants in their hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis responsiveness to acute stressors is thought to benefit the child's emerging physiological and behavioral self-regulation, as well as their socioemotional development. However, there is no universally accepted definition of attunement in the literature, which appears to have resulted in inconsistent statistical analyses for determining its presence or absence, and contributed to discrepant results. We used a series of data analytic approaches, some previously used in the attunement literature and others not, to evaluate the attunement between 182 women and their 1-year-old infants in their HPA axis responsivity to acute stress. Cortisol was measured in saliva samples taken from mothers and infants before and twice after a naturalistic laboratory stressor (infant arm restraint). The results of the data analytic approaches were mixed, with some analyses suggesting attunement while others did not. The strengths and weaknesses of each statistical approach are discussed, and an analysis using a cross-lagged model that considered both time and interactions between mother and infant appeared the most appropriate. Greater consensus in the field about the conceptualization and analysis of physiological attunement would be valuable in order to advance our understanding of this phenomenon. © 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  7. Gene × environment vulnerability factors for PTSD: the HPA-axis.

    PubMed

    Mehta, Divya; Binder, Elisabeth B

    2012-02-01

    Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a severely debilitating psychiatric condition. Although a lifetime trauma incidence of 40-90% has been reported in the general population, the overall lifetime prevalence for PTSD ranges between 7-12%, suggesting individual-specific differences towards the susceptibility to PTSD. While studies investigating main genetic effects associated with PTSD have yielded inconsistent findings, there is growing evidence supporting the role of gene-environment (G × E) interactions in PTSD. The hypothalamus pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis is one of the main systems activated after exposure to a trauma and perturbations in this system are one of the more consistent neurobiological abnormalities observed in PTSD. Genes regulating the HPA-axis are therefore interesting candidates for G × E studies in PTSD. This article will review the concept and initial results of G × E interactions with polymorphisms in these genes for PTSD. In addition, the use of alternate phenotypes and more complex interaction models such as G × G × E or G × E × E will be explored. Finally, putative molecular mechanisms for these interactions will be presented. The research presented in this article indicates that a combined analysis of environmental, genetic, endophenotype and epigenetic data will be necessary to better understand pathomechanisms in PTSD. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled 'Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder'. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Temporal dynamics of the HPA axis linked to exploratory behavior in a wild European songbird (Parus major).

    PubMed

    Baugh, Alexander T; Davidson, Sarah C; Hau, Michaela; van Oers, Kees

    2017-09-01

    Variation in the reactivity of the endocrine stress axis is thought to underlie aspects of persistent individual differences in behavior (i.e. animal personality). Previous studies, however, have focused largely on estimating baseline or peak levels of glucocorticoids (CORT), often in captive animals. In contrast, the temporal dynamics of the HPA axis-how quickly it turns on and off, for example-may better indicate how an individual copes with stressors. Moreover, these HPA components might be correlated, thereby representing endocrine suites. Using wild-caught great tits (Parus major) we tested birds for exploratory behavior using a standardized novel environment assay that serves as a validated proxy for personality. We then re-captured a subset of these birds (n=85) and characterized four components of HPA physiology: baseline, endogenous stress response, a dexamethasone (DEX) challenge to estimate the strength of negative feedback, and an adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) challenge to estimate adrenal capacity. We predicted that these four HPA responses would be positively correlated and that less exploratory birds would have a more rapid onset of the stress response (a CORT elevation during the baseline bleed) and weaker negative feedback (higher CORT after DEX). We found support for the first two predictions but not the third. All four components were positively correlated with each other and less exploratory birds exhibited an elevation in CORT during the baseline bleed (<3min from capture). Less exploratory birds, however, did not exhibit weaker negative feedback following the DEX challenge, but did exhibit weaker adrenal capacity. Together, our findings provide partial support for the hypothesis that the temporal reactivity of the HPA axis is linked with consistent individual differences in behavior, with more cautious (slower exploring) individuals exhibiting a faster CORT response. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. 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.

  10. Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis functioning and dysfunctional attitude in depressed patients with and without childhood neglect

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background To date, the relationships between childhood neglect, hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis functioning and dysfunctional attitude in depressed patients are still obscure. Methods The Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ) was used to assess childhood emotional neglect and physical neglect. Twenty-eight depressed patients with childhood neglect and 30 depressed patients without childhood neglect from Guangzhou Psychiatric Hospital were compared with 29 age- and gender-matched control subjects without childhood neglect and 22 control subjects with childhood neglect. Cortisol awakening response, the difference between the cortisol concentrations at awakening and 30 minutes later, provided a measure of HPA axis functioning. The Dysfunctional Attitude Scale measured cognitive schema. Results HPA axis functioning was significantly increased in depressed patients with childhood neglect compared with depressed patients without childhood neglect (p < 0.001). HPA axis activity in the control group with childhood neglect was significantly higher than in the depressed group without childhood neglect (p < 0.001). Total scores of childhood neglect were positively correlated with HPA axis functioning and dysfunctional attitude scores, but not with severity of depression. We did not find correlations with HPA axis functioning and dysfunctional attitude or with the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression scores. Conclusions Childhood neglect may cause hyperactivity of the HPA axis functioning and dysfunctional attitude, but does not affect depression severity. PMID:24548345

  11. Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis functioning and dysfunctional attitude in depressed patients with and without childhood neglect.

    PubMed

    Peng, Hongjun; Long, Ying; Li, Jie; Guo, Yangbo; Wu, Huawang; Yang, YuLing; Ding, Yi; He, Jianfei; Ning, Yuping

    2014-02-18

    To date, the relationships between childhood neglect, hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis functioning and dysfunctional attitude in depressed patients are still obscure. The Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (CTQ) was used to assess childhood emotional neglect and physical neglect. Twenty-eight depressed patients with childhood neglect and 30 depressed patients without childhood neglect from Guangzhou Psychiatric Hospital were compared with 29 age- and gender-matched control subjects without childhood neglect and 22 control subjects with childhood neglect. Cortisol awakening response, the difference between the cortisol concentrations at awakening and 30 minutes later, provided a measure of HPA axis functioning. The Dysfunctional Attitude Scale measured cognitive schema. HPA axis functioning was significantly increased in depressed patients with childhood neglect compared with depressed patients without childhood neglect (p < 0.001). HPA axis activity in the control group with childhood neglect was significantly higher than in the depressed group without childhood neglect (p < 0.001). Total scores of childhood neglect were positively correlated with HPA axis functioning and dysfunctional attitude scores, but not with severity of depression. We did not find correlations with HPA axis functioning and dysfunctional attitude or with the Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression scores. Childhood neglect may cause hyperactivity of the HPA axis functioning and dysfunctional attitude, but does not affect depression severity.

  12. The link between aberrant hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activity during development and the emergence of aggression-Animal studies.

    PubMed

    Walker, Sophie E; Papilloud, Aurélie; Huzard, Damien; Sandi, Carmen

    2016-10-14

    Aggressive behavior is not uniform, including proactive and reactive forms of aggression. Aberrant functioning of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis is frequently associated with abnormal aggression. Here, we review the rodent literature in order to assess whether developmental abnormalities in the HPA axis can be causally linked with the emergence of abnormal aggression. We examine studies that involve genetic models and life challenges (e.g., early life stress, drug exposure) that course with developmental alterations in the HPA axis. Although the lack of systematic studies hinders development of an integrated model, existing evidence supports a U-shaped function regarding differences in HPA axis functioning during development and the emergence of aggressive phenotypes. Thus, developmentally low or high HPA axis reactivity are typically found to be aligned with the emergence of aggressive phenotypes; however, existing information is insufficient to causally link divergent HPA axis aberration with specific types of aggression. Progress in this field is needed to support interventions in children aimed at ameliorating social dysfunctions associated with aberrations in HPA axis function. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis in lethal canine Staphylococcus aureus pneumonia

    PubMed Central

    Hicks, Caitlin W.; Sun, Junfeng; Solomon, Steven B.; Eichacker, Peter Q.; Sweeney, Daniel A.; Nieman, Lynnette K.; Whitley, Elizabeth M.; Behrend, Ellen N.; Natanson, Charles; Danner, Robert L.

    2014-01-01

    The clinical significance and even existence of critical illness-related corticosteroid insufficiency is controversial. Here, hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) function was characterized in severe canine Staphylococcus aureus pneumonia. Animals received antibiotics and titrated life-supportive measures. Treatment with dexamethasone, a glucocorticoid, but not desoxycorticosterone, a mineralocorticoid, improves outcome in this model. Total and free cortisol, adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH). and aldosterone levels, as well as responses to exogenous ACTH were measured serially. At 10 h after the onset of infection, the acute HPA axis stress response, as measured by cortisol levels, exceeded that seen with high-dose ACTH stimulation but was not predictive of outcome. In contrast to cortisol, aldosterone was largely autonomous from HPA axis control, elevated longer, and more closely associated with survival in early septic shock. Importantly, dexamethasone suppressed cortisol and ACTH levels and restored ACTH responsiveness in survivors. Differing strikingly, nonsurvivors, sepsis-induced hypercortisolemia, and high ACTH levels as well as ACTH hyporesponsiveness were not influenced by dexamethasone. During septic shock, only serial measurements and provocative testing over a well-defined timeline were able to demonstrate a strong relationship between HPA axis function and prognosis. HPA axis unresponsiveness and high aldosterone levels identify a septic shock subpopulation with poor outcomes that may have the greatest potential to benefit from new therapies. PMID:25294215

  14. Stress and obesity: the role of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis in metabolic disease.

    PubMed

    Bose, Mousumi; Oliván, Blanca; Laferrère, Blandine

    2009-10-01

    Chronic stress, combined with positive energy balance, may be a contributor to the increased risk for obesity, especially upper body obesity, and other metabolic diseases. This association may be mediated by alterations in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. In this review, we summarize the major research that has been conducted on the role of the HPA axis in obesity and metabolic disease. Dysregulation in the HPA axis has been associated with upper body obesity, but data are inconsistent, possibly due to methodological differences across studies. In addition to systemic effects, changes in local cortisol metabolism in adipose tissue may also influence the risk for obesity. HPA axis dysregulation may be the causal link between conditions such as maternal malnutrition and sleep deprivation with metabolic disease. The present review provides evidence for the relationship between chronic stress, alterations in HPA activity, and obesity. Understanding these associations and its interactions with other factors will be important in developing effective treatments for obesity and related metabolic diseases.

  15. 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

  16. Dysfunction of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis in opioid dependent subjects: effects of acute and protracted abstinence.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Guo-Fu; Ren, Yan-Ping; Sheng, Li-Xia; Chi, Yong; Du, Wan-Jun; Guo, Song; Jiang, Zuo-Ning; Xiao, Le; Luo, Xiao-Nian; Tang, Yi-Lang; Smith, Alicia K; Liu, Zhen-Qi; Zhang, Hong-Xi

    2008-01-01

    The function of the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) axis during opioid dependence has been inconsistent. We compared HPA axis measures between subjects during methadone stabilization and drug-free detoxification with healthy controls. Sixty heroin dependent patients received either non-opiate treatment (NOT) with benzodiazepines and clonidine (n = 30) or methadone stabilization treatment (MT, n = 30), and their serum levels of corticotropin releasing hormone (CRH), adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), and cortisol (COR) were measured and compared to those of healthy, nondependent controls. Compared with healthy controls, CRH was significantly lower (p < .001) while COR was higher (p < .001) during acute withdrawal in the NOT group. CRH and COR was lower (p < .001), while ACTH was normal in the MT group compared to healthy controls. Our findings suggest that chronic opioid dependence may cause reduced function of the HPA axis, while opioid withdrawal may decrease the response of the pituitary to CRH and increase the adrenal response to ACTH.

  17. Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, neuroendocrine factors and stress.

    PubMed

    Tsigos, Constantine; Chrousos, George P

    2002-10-01

    The stress system coordinates the adaptive responses of the organism to stressors of any kind.(1). The main components of the stress system are the corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) and locus ceruleus-norepinephrine (LC/NE)-autonomic systems and their peripheral effectors, the pituitary-adrenal axis, and the limbs of the autonomic system. Activation of the stress system leads to behavioral and peripheral changes that improve the ability of the organism to adjust homeostasis and increase its chances for survival. The CRH and LC/NE systems stimulate arousal and attention, as well as the mesocorticolimbic dopaminergic system, which is involved in anticipatory and reward phenomena, and the hypothalamic beta-endorphin system, which suppresses pain sensation and, hence, increases analgesia. CRH inhibits appetite and activates thermogenesis via the catecholaminergic system. Also, reciprocal interactions exist between the amygdala and the hippocampus and the stress system, which stimulates these elements and is regulated by them. CRH plays an important role in inhibiting GnRH secretion during stress, while, via somatostatin, it also inhibits GH, TRH and TSH secretion, suppressing, thus, the reproductive, growth and thyroid functions. Interestingly, all three of these functions receive and depend on positive catecholaminergic input. The end-hormones of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, glucocorticoids, on the other hand, have multiple roles. They simultaneously inhibit the CRH, LC/NE and beta-endorphin systems and stimulate the mesocorticolimbic dopaminergic system and the CRH peptidergic central nucleus of the amygdala. In addition, they directly inhibit pituitary gonadotropin, GH and TSH secretion, render the target tissues of sex steroids and growth factors resistant to these substances and suppress the 5' deiodinase, which converts the relatively inactive tetraiodothyronine (T(4)) to triiodothyronine (T(3)), contributing further to the suppression of

  18. 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.

  19. Concurrent and prospective associations between HPA axis activity and depression symptoms in newlywed women

    PubMed Central

    Ge, Fiona; Pietromonaco, Paula R.; DeBuse, Casey J.; Powers, Sally I.; Granger, Douglas A.

    2016-01-01

    We investigated the extent to which individual differences in activity of the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis (HPA) are associated with depressive symptoms among newlywed couples. Participants were 218 couples (M age 28.4 years; 94% White) who provided 5 saliva samples (later assayed for cortisol and DHEA-S) before and after participation in a discussion of a major area of disagreement in their relationship. Depressive symptoms were assessed initially, and approximately 19- and 37-months later. Results revealed an interactive effect suggesting that concordant levels of cortisol and DHEA-S (either both high or both low) were concurrently and prospectively associated with higher depression scores. Interestingly, this interactive effect was observed for wives only – not for husbands. These observations underscore contemporary theoretical assumptions that the expression of the association between HPA activity and depression is dependent on factors related to the interaction between characteristics of the person and features of the social environment, and moderated by co-occurring variation in endocrine milieu. PMID:27494071

  20. Itraconazole and inhaled fluticasone causing hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis suppression in adults with cystic fibrosis.

    PubMed

    Gilchrist, Francis J; Cox, Katrina J; Rowe, Rachel; Horsley, Alex; Webb, A Kevin; Jones, Andrew M; Bright-Thomas, Rowland J

    2013-07-01

    Although there have been case reports of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis suppression in patients with cystic fibrosis (CF) caused by the combination of oral itraconazole and inhaled fluticasone, to date no study has assessed the incidence of this potentially serious side effect. Synacthen tests were conducted on all patients with CF receiving itraconazole and inhaled fluticasone and an equal number of patients with CF receiving inhaled fluticasone but not itraconazole. Itraconazole levels were measured in patients receiving the therapy. Twelve patients receiving itraconazole and fluticasone underwent synacthen tests. All 12 had abnormal synacthen test results and 10/12 (83%) had HPA axis suppression. Two patients had severe HPA axis suppression with a peak cortisol <75 nmol/L and further 3 patients had moderately severe suppression with a peak cortisol <250 nmol/L. In contrast, only 2/12 on fluticasone alone had HPA axis suppression (both mild). The median (range) basal cortisol levels were significantly lower in those patients receiving itraconazole and inhaled fluticasone compared to those on fluticasone alone (219(22-508)nmol/L v 348(41-738)nnmol/L, p=0.02), similar results were seen for peak cortisol levels (404(59-706)nmol/L v 672(432-1178)nmol/L, p<0.001) and cortisol rise (179(37-240)nmol/L v 368(210-539)nmol/L, p<0.001). The median (range) itraconazole level was 5.5(1.7-14.7)mg/L. Neither itraconazole levels nor fluticasone dose correlated with the degree of adrenal suppression. In this study, all patients receiving itraconazole and inhaled fluticasone had abnormal synacthen test results. The incidence of HPA axis suppression with this treatment combination appears to be higher than that previously reported with itraconazole and inhaled budesonide. Copyright © 2012 European Cystic Fibrosis Society. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  1. 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

  2. Hormonal status modifies renin-angiotensin system-regulating aminopeptidases and vasopressin-degrading activity in the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis of male mice.

    PubMed

    García, María Jesús; Martínez-Martos, José Manuel; Mayas, María Dolores; Carrera, María Pilar; Ramírez-Expósito, María Jesús

    2003-06-20

    Local renin-angiotensin systems (RAS) have been postulated in brain, pituitary and adrenal glands. These local RAS have been implicated, respectively, in the central regulation of the cardiovascular system and body water balance, the secretion of pituitary hormones and the secretion of aldosterone by adrenal glands. By other hand, it is known that the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis is involved in blood pressure regulation, and is affected by sex hormones. The aim of the present work is to analyze the influence of testosterone on RAS-regulating aminopeptidase A, B and M activities and vasopressin-degrading activity in the HPA axis, measuring these activities in their soluble and membrane-bound forms in the hypothalamus, pituitary and adrenal glands of orchidectomized males and orchidectomized males treated subcutaneously with several doses of testosterone. The present data suggest that in male mice, testosterone influences the RAS- and vasopressin-degrading activities at all levels of the HPA axis.

  3. HPA axis reactivity to pharmacologic and psychological stressors in euthymic women with histories of postpartum versus major depression.

    PubMed

    Ferguson, Elizabeth H; Di Florio, Arianna; Pearson, Brenda; Putnam, Karen T; Girdler, Susan; Rubinow, David R; Meltzer-Brody, Samantha

    2017-03-01

    It is unclear whether women with a history of postpartum depression (PPD) have residual, abnormal hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis reactivity, as has been reported in major depression (MDD). Further unclear is whether the abnormalities in HPA axis reactivity associated with MDD represent a stable, underlying predisposition or a state-dependent phenomenon. This study sought the following: (1) to determine if euthymic postpartum women with a history of depression have an abnormal HPA axis reactivity to pharmacologic and psychological challenges and (2) to compare HPA reactivity in women with histories of PPD versus MDD. As a secondary objective, we wanted to determine the influence of trauma history on HPA axis function. Forty-five parous (12-24 months postpartum), euthymic women with history of MDD (n = 15), PPD (n = 15), and controls (n = 15) completed pharmacologic (dexamethasone/corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) test [DEX/CRH]) and psychological (Trier social stress test [TSST]) challenges during the luteal phase. Outcome measures were cortisol and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) response after DEX/CRH, and blood pressure, heart rate, epinephrine, norepinephrine, and cortisol response during the TSST. All groups had robust cortisol and ACTH response to DEX/CRH and cortisol response to TSST. Groups did not differ significantly in cortisol or ACTH response to DEX/CRH or in blood pressure, heart rate, epinephrine, norepinephrine, or cortisol response to TSST. Cortisol/ACTH ratio did not differ significantly between groups. Trauma history was associated with decreased cortisol response to DEX/CRH in women with histories of MDD, which was not significant after correction (F 8,125, p = 0.02, Greenhouse-Geisser corrected p = 0.11). Currently euthymic women with histories of MDD or PPD did not demonstrate residual abnormal stress responsivity following administration of either a pharmacologic or psychological stressor.

  4. Defining the boundaries of atypical depression: evidence from the HPA axis supports course of illness distinctions.

    PubMed

    Stewart, Jonathan W; Quitkin, Frederic M; McGrath, Patrick J; Klein, Donald F

    2005-06-01

    Treatment outcome and brain laterality differ between early onset (<20 years) chronically (no well-being >2 months) depressed patients with atypical features (early/chronic atypical) and those with either later onset or less chronic illness (late/nonchronic atypical). Because hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis abnormalities have been hypothesized to distinguish atypical depression from melancholia, we examined whether HPA measures would also differentiate these two groups of depressed patients with atypical features. Three-hour afternoon cortisol levels, stimulation of cortisol by afternoon dextroamphetamine, and suppression of cortisol by dexamethasone were investigated in 85 depressed patients with atypical features. The latter group was divided into early/chronic atypical and late/nonchronic atypical based on chart review of course of illness. Patients with early/chronic atypical had significantly lower mean 3 h afternoon cortisol levels (N=21) and 4:00 p.m. post-dexamethasone cortisol levels (N=20) than did those with late/nonchronic atypical (N=43 with afternoon cortisol; N=26 with post-dexamethasone cortisol). Post-dextroamphetamine cortisol levels were numerically higher in the early/chronic atypical group (N=15 vs. 19), but this failed to reach conventional significance (0.05HPA data are consistent with earlier treatment and brain laterality findings that course of illness distinguishes biologically distinct groups within depressed patients with atypical features. The DSM should consider adding course of illness requirements to its criteria for atypical features.

  5. Genistein stimulates the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis in adult rats: morphological and hormonal study.

    PubMed

    Trifunović, Svetlana; Manojlović-Stojanoski, Milica; Ajdzanović, Vladimir; Nestorović, Nataša; Ristić, Nataša; Medigović, Ivana; Milošević, Verica

    2012-05-01

    Genistein, the soy isoflavone structurally similar to estradiol, is widely consumed for putative beneficial health effects. However, there is a lack of data about the genisteins' effects in adult males, especially its effects on the hipothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. Therefore, the present study was carried out to investigate the effects of genistein on the HPA axis in orchidectomized adult rats, and to create a parallel with those of estradiol. Changes in the hypothalamic corticotrophin-releasing hormone (CRH) neurons and pituitary corticotrophs (ACTH cells) were evaluated stereologically, while corticosterone and ACTH levels were determined biochemically. Orchidectomy (Orx) provoked the enlargement (p<0.05) of: hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus volume (60%), percentage of CRH neurons (23%), percentage of activated CRH neurons (45%); pituitary weight (15%) and ACTH level (57%). In comparison with Orx, estradiol treatment provoked the enlargement (p<0.05) of: percentage of CRH neurons (28%), percentage of activated CRH neurons (2.7-fold), pituitary weight (131%) and volume (82%), ACTH level (69%), the serum (103%) and adrenal tissue (4.8 fold) level of corticosterone. Clearly, Orx has induced the increase in HPA axis activity, which even augments after estradiol treatment. Also, compared to Orx, genistein treatment provoked the enhancement (p<0.05) of: percentage of activated CRH neurons (2.3-fold), pituitary weight (28%) and volume (21%), total number of ACTH cells (22%) ACTH level (45%), the serum (2.6-fold) and adrenal tissue (2.8 fold) level of corticosterone. It can be concluded that an identical tendency, concerning the HPA axis parameters, follows estradiol and genistein administration to the orchidectomized adult rats.

  6. 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.

  7. Glutamatergic and HPA-axis pathway genes in bipolar disorder comorbid with alcohol- and substance use disorders.

    PubMed

    Dalvie, Shareefa; Fabbri, Chiara; Ramesar, Raj; Serretti, Alessandro; Stein, Dan J

    2016-02-01

    Glutamatergic neurotransmission has been shown to be dysregulated in bipolar disorder (BD), alcohol use disorder (AUD) and substance use disorder (SUD). Similarly, disruption in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA)-axis has also been observed in these conditions. BD is often comorbid with AUD and SUD. The effects of the glutamatergic and HPA systems have not been extensively examined in individuals with BD-AUD and BD-SUD comorbidity. The aim of this investigation was to determine whether variants in the glutamatergic pathway and HPA-axis are associated with BD-AUD and BD-SUD comorbidity. The research cohort consisted of 498 individuals with BD type I from the Systematic Treatment Enhancement Program for Bipolar Disorder (STEP-BD). A subset of the cohort had comorbid current AUD and current SUD. A total of 1935 SNPs from both the glutamatergic and HPA pathways were selected from the STEP-BD genome-wide dataset. To identify population stratification, IBS clustering was performed using the program Plink 1.07. Single SNP association and gene-based association testing were conducted using logistic regression. A pathway analysis of glutamatergic and HPA genes was performed, after imputation using IMPUTE2. No single SNP was associated with BD-AUD or BD-SUD comorbidity after correction for multiple testing. However, from the gene-based analysis, the gene PRKCI was significantly associated with BD-AUD. The pathway analysis provided overall negative findings, although several genes including GRIN2B showed high percentage of associated SNPs for BD-AUD. Even though the glutamatergic and HPA pathways may not be involved in BD-AUD and BD-SUD comorbidity, PRKCI deserves further investigation in BD-AUD.

  8. Modeling the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis: A review and extension

    PubMed Central

    Rahmandad, Hazhir; Wittenborn, Andrea K.

    2015-01-01

    Multiple models of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis have been developed to characterize the oscillations seen in the hormone concentrations and to examine HPA axis dysfunction. We reviewed the existing models, then replicated and compared five of them by finding their correspondence to a dataset consisting of ACTH and cortisol concentrations of 17 healthy individuals. We found that existing models use different feedback mechanisms, vary in the level of details and complexities, and offer inconsistent conclusions. None of the models fit the validation dataset well. Therefore, we re-calibrated the best performing model using partial calibration and extended the model by adding individual fixed effects and an exogenous circadian function. Our estimated parameters reduced the mean absolute percent error significantly and offer a validated reference model that can be used in diverse applications. Our analysis suggests that the circadian and ultradian cycles are not created endogenously by the HPA axis feedbacks, which is consistent with the recent literature on the circadian clock and HPA axis. PMID:26277048

  9. The HPA axis response to stress in women: effects of aging and fitness.

    PubMed

    Traustadóttir, Tinna; Bosch, Pamela R; Matt, Kathleen S

    2005-05-01

    This study tested the hypotheses that aging is associated with greater hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis reactivity to psychological stress, and whether aerobic fitness is associated with a lower HPA axis response to psychological stress. Three groups, consisting of young-unfit women (27.9+/-2.5 yr, n=10), older-unfit women (66.3+/-1.4 yr, n=14), and older-fit women (66.6+/-2.0 yr, n=12), underwent the Matt Stress Reactivity Protocol (MSRP). The MSRP is a stress test battery that combines mental challenges, a physical challenge, and a psychosocial stressor. Definition of fitness was based on maximal oxygen consumption (VO(2max)) where unfit was defined as having VO(2max)average for the respective age group. The MSRP elicited increases in heart rate, blood pressure, ACTH, and cortisol (P<0.001). The older-unfit women had significantly greater cortisol responses to the challenge than both the young-unfit and the older-fit women (P<0.05), who did not differ from each other. ACTH levels were significantly higher in the older-unfit women at baseline and throughout the trial, compared to both young-unfit and the older-fit (P<0.01). The ACTH response was not different between any of the groups. The young-unfit women had greater heart rate responses than the older-unfit (P<0.01), while the latter had greater systolic blood pressure responses (P<0.01). There were no significant differences between the older-unfit and older-fit in terms of heart rate or blood pressure responses. Our result shows that among unfit women, aging is associated with greater HPA axis reactivity to psychological stress, and that higher aerobic fitness among older women can attenuate these age-related changes as indicated by a blunted cortisol response to psychological stress. These findings suggest that exercise training may be an effective way of modifying some of the neuroendocrine changes associated with aging.

  10. Methylation of HPA axis related genes in men with hypersexual disorder.

    PubMed

    Jokinen, Jussi; Boström, Adrian E; Chatzittofis, Andreas; Ciuculete, Diana M; Öberg, Katarina Görts; Flanagan, John N; Arver, Stefan; Schiöth, Helgi B

    2017-03-10

    Hypersexual Disorder (HD) defined as non-paraphilic sexual desire disorder with components of compulsivity, impulsivity and behavioral addiction, and proposed as a diagnosis in the DSM 5, shares some overlapping features with substance use disorder including common neurotransmitter systems and dysregulated hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis function. In this study, comprising 67 HD male patients and 39 male healthy volunteers, we aimed to identify HPA-axis coupled CpG-sites, in which modifications of the epigenetic profile are associated with hypersexuality. The genome-wide methylation pattern was measured in whole blood using the Illumina Infinium Methylation EPIC BeadChip, measuring the methylation state of over 850K CpG sites. Prior to analysis, the global DNA methylation pattern was pre-processed according to standard protocols and adjusted for white blood cell type heterogeneity. We included CpG sites located within 2000bp of the transcriptional start site of the following HPA-axis coupled genes: Corticotropin releasing hormone (CRH), corticotropin releasing hormone binding protein (CRHBP), corticotropin releasing hormone receptor 1 (CRHR1), corticotropin releasing hormone receptor 2 (CRHR2), FKBP5 and the glucocorticoid receptor (NR3C1). We performed multiple linear regression models of methylation M-values to a categorical variable of hypersexuality, adjusting for depression, dexamethasone non-suppression status, Childhood Trauma Questionnaire total score and plasma levels of TNF-alpha and IL-6. Of 76 tested individual CpG sites, four were nominally significant (p<0.05), associated with the genes CRH, CRHR2 and NR3C1. Cg23409074-located 48bp upstream of the transcription start site of the CRH gene - was significantly hypomethylated in hypersexual patients after corrections for multiple testing using the FDR-method. Methylation levels of cg23409074 were positively correlated with gene expression of the CRH gene in an independent cohort of 11 healthy

  11. Association, haplotype, and gene-gene interactions of the HPA axis genes with suicidal behaviour in affective disorders.

    PubMed

    Leszczyńska-Rodziewicz, Anna; Szczepankiewicz, Aleksandra; Pawlak, Joanna; Dmitrzak-Weglarz, Monika; Hauser, Joanna

    2013-01-01

    Family twin and adoption studies have noted the heritability of specific biological factors that influence suicidal behaviour. Exposure to stress is one of the factors that strongly contribute to suicide attempts. The biological response to stress involves the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA). Therefore, we found it interesting to study polymorphisms of genes involved in the HPA axis (CRHR1, NR3C1, and AVPBR1). The study was performed on 597 patients, 225 of whom had a history of suicide attempts. We did not observe any significant differences in the studied polymorphisms between the group of patients with a history of suicide attempts and the control subjects. Our haplotype analysis of the AVPR1b gene revealed an association between the GCA haplotype and suicide attempts; however, this association was not significant after correcting for multiple testing. We did not observe any other association in haplotype and MDR analysis. We report here a comprehensive analysis of the HPA axis genes and a lack of association for genetic variations regarding the risk of suicide attempts in affective disorder patients. Nonetheless, the inconsistencies with the previously published results indicate the importance of the further investigation of these polymorphisms with respect to the risk of suicide attempts.

  12. The Effect of Nicotine on HPA Axis Activity in Females is Modulated by the FKBP5 Genotype.

    PubMed

    Koopmann, Anne; Bez, Jennifer; Lemenager, Tagrid; Hermann, Derik; Dinter, Christina; Reinhard, Iris; Schuster, Rilana; Wiedemann, Klaus; Winterer, Georg; Kiefer, Falk

    2016-05-01

    Tobacco smoking modulates activity in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and is used to cope with stress, especially by females. The single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs1360780, linked to FK506-binding protein 51 (FKBP5), has been shown to affect HPA axis functioning, and has thus been suggested as a promising candidate for indicating vulnerability to stress-related disorders. The aim of this study was to investigate the interaction between nicotine consumption and rs1360780 on cortisol plasma levels in females. A total of 296 female smokers (assessed by the Fagerström Test for Nicotine Dependence; FTND) were genotyped for the SNP rs1360780. We measured participants' cortisol plasma concentration in blood plasma collected 3 h after standardized tobacco smoking exposure. In the 36 TT-homozygotes, we found a significant negative correlation between the FTND sum score and cortisol plasma concentrations. Using linear regression analysis, we found that the FTND sum score accounted for 12.4% of the variance of cortisol plasma levels. This association was not detected in C-allele carriers. Our results suggest that nicotine is an important confounder in the modulation of HPA axis activity by FKBP5. In light of these findings, future studies on FKBP5 should seek to include data on nicotine consumption as a covariate.

  13. Prenatal ethanol exposure enhances the susceptibility to metabolic syndrome in offspring rats by HPA axis-associated neuroendocrine metabolic programming.

    PubMed

    Xia, L P; Shen, L; Kou, H; Zhang, B J; Zhang, L; Wu, Y; Li, X J; Xiong, J; Yu, Y; Wang, H

    2014-04-07

    The present study was designed to demonstrate that prenatal ethanol exposure (PEE) could enhance the susceptibility of high-fat diet-induced metabolic syndrome (MS) in adult male offspring via a hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis-associated neuroendocrine metabolic programmed mechanism. Pregnant Wistar rats were intragastricly administrated ethanol 4 g/kg·d from gestational day 11 until term delivery. All male offspring were fed with high-fat diet after weaning, exposed to an unpredictable chronic stress at postnatal week (PW) 17 and sacrificed at PW20. In PEE group, body weight presented a "catch-up growth" pattern, and the HPA axis exhibited a lower basal activity but an enhanced sensitivity to chronic stress, leading to increased levels of serum glucose, insulin, insulin resistant index, total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein-cholesterol, and decreased levels of high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol. Furthermore, many lipid droplets and vacuolar degeneration were observed in the hypothalamus, pituitary gland and liver. PEE induces enhanced susceptibility to MS in adult offspring fed with high-fat diet, and the underlying mechanism involves a HPA axis-associated neuroendocrine metabolic programming alteration. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis response to acute psychosocial stress: Effects of biological sex and circulating sex hormones.

    PubMed

    Stephens, Mary Ann C; Mahon, Pamela B; McCaul, Mary E; Wand, Gary S

    2016-04-01

    Dysregulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis influences the risk for developing stress-related disorders. Sex-dependent differences in the HPA axis stress response are believed to contribute to the different prevalence rates of stress-related disorders found in men and women. However, studies examining the HPA axis stress response have shown mixed support for sex differences, and the role of endogenous sex hormones on HPA axis response has not been adequately examined in humans. This study utilized the largest sample size to date to analyze the effects of biological sex and sex hormones on HPA axis social stress responses. Healthy, 18- to 30- year-old community volunteers (N=282) completed the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST), a widely used and well-validated stress-induction laboratory procedure. All women (n=135) were tested during the follicular phase of their menstrual cycle (when progesterone levels are most similar to men). Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and cortisol measures were collected at multiple points throughout pre- and post-TSST. Testosterone and progesterone (in men) and progesterone and estradiol (in women) were determined pre-TSST. Following the TSST, men had greater ACTH and cortisol levels than women. Men had steeper baseline-to-peak and peak-to-end ACTH and cortisol response slopes than women; there was a trend for more cortisol responders among men than women. Testosterone negatively correlated with salivary cortisol response in men, while progesterone negatively correlated with ACTH and cortisol responses in women. These data confirm that men show more robust activation of the HPA axis response to the TSST than do women in the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle. Testosterone results suggest an inhibitory effect on HPA axis reactivity in men. Progesterone results suggest an inhibitory effect on HPA axis reactivity in women. Future work is needed to explain why men mount a greater ACTH and cortisol response to the

  17. Long-term effects of repeated maternal separation and ethanol intake on HPA axis responsiveness in adult rats.

    PubMed

    Odeon, María Mercedes; Yamauchi, Laura; Grosman, Mauricio; Acosta, Gabriela Beatriz

    2017-02-15

    It has been shown that early life manipulations produce behavioral, neural, and hormonal effects. The long term consequences of repeated maternal separation (RMS) plus cold stress and ethanol intake were evaluated during adolescence and adult rats on hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis in male adult Wistar rats. RMS+ cold stress was applied from postnatal day (PD) 2 in which the pups were separated from their mothers and exposed to cold stress (4°C) 1h per day for 20days; controls remained with their mothers. Then they were exposed to either voluntary ethanol (6%) or dextrose (1%) intake for 7days: PD22-29 and PD59-66. Half of the animals were sacrificed, while the others were exposed to acute stress (AS) for 2h and then they were killed. RMS+ cold stress: a) increased voluntary ethanol intake in adolescent and adult rats; b) reduced protein expression (Western measurements) in corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) in hypothalamus (Hyp) and mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) in hippocampus (Hic) while increased glucocorticoid receptor (GR) in Hic; c) decreased plasmatic levels of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and increased corticosterone (COR) levels in HPA axis, d) adult rats exposure a new AS incremented ACTH and COR levels. However, this modification did not alter the HPA axis capacity to respond to a new type of stressor. These results demonstrate the consequences of early life stress on the vulnerability of ethanol consumption and HPA axis responsiveness to a stressor in adult rats. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  18. HPA Axis Genes, and Their Interaction with Childhood Maltreatment, are Related to Cortisol Levels and Stress-Related Phenotypes.

    PubMed

    Gerritsen, Lotte; Milaneschi, Yuri; Vinkers, Christiaan H; van Hemert, Albert M; van Velzen, Laura; Schmaal, Lianne; Penninx, Brenda Wjh

    2017-06-07

    Stress responses are controlled by the hypothalamus pituitary adrenal (HPA)-axis and maladaptive stress responses are associated with the onset and maintenance of stress-related disorders such as major depressive disorder (MDD). Genes that play a role in the HPA-axis regulation may likely contribute to the relation between relevant neurobiological substrates and stress-related disorders. Therefore, we performed gene-wide analyses for 30 a priori literature-based genes involved in HPA-axis regulation in 2014 subjects (34% male; mean age: 42.5) to study the relations with lifetime MDD diagnosis, cortisol awakening response, and dexamethasone suppression test (DST) levels (subsample N=1472) and hippocampal and amygdala volume (3T MR images; subsample N=225). Additionally, gene by childhood maltreatment (CM) interactions were investigated. Gene-wide significant results were found for dexamethasone suppression (CYP11A1, CYP17A1, POU1F1, AKR1D1), hippocampal volume (CYP17A1, CYP11A1, HSD3B2, PROP1, AVPRA1, SRD5A1), amygdala volume (POMC, CRH, HSD3B2), and lifetime MDD diagnosis (FKBP5 and CRH), all permutation p-values<0.05. Interactions with CM were found for several genes; the strongest interactions were found for NR3C2, where the minor allele of SNP rs17581262 was related to smaller hippocampal volume, smaller amygdala volume, higher DST levels, and higher odds of MDD diagnosis only in participants with CM. As hypothesized, several HPA-axis genes are associated with stress-related endophenotypes including cortisol response and reduced brain volumes. Furthermore, we found a pleiotropic interaction between CM and the mineralocorticoid receptor gene, suggesting that this gene plays an important moderating role in stress and stress-related disorders.Neuropsychopharmacology advance online publication, 5 July 2017; doi:10.1038/npp.2017.118.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and autonomic nervous system activity in disruptive children and matched controls.

    PubMed

    van Goozen, S H; Matthys, W; Cohen-Kettenis, P T; Buitelaar, J K; van Engeland, H

    2000-11-01

    To investigate whether a pattern of lower autonomic nervous system (ANS) and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activity is found in children with disruptive behavior disorders (DBD) under nonstressful and stressful conditions, and whether such a pattern would correspond with their feelings of control and negative emotionality. The effects of stress were studied by comparing cortisol response, heart rate (HR), skin conductance level (SCL), and subjective feelings of 26 children with DBD and 26 matched normal controls. An additional 12 normal control children were studied in a nonstress control condition. Baseline HR and SCL but not cortisol were lower in the DBD group. Stress significantly affected cortisol, HR, SCL, and negative moods, although children with DBD showed a weaker HPA stress response and the difference between the groups was greater under stress. Children with DBD are characterized by lower ANS activity and HPA axis responsivity, but higher levels of emotional arousal. It is possible that in children with DBD the HPA axis and ANS, on the one hand, and their emotional arousal, on the other, are less well coordinated. It is speculated that this could be due to differences in genetic makeup or to stressful conditions during pre- or postnatal life.

  2. Effects of orchidectomy and testosterone replacement on mouse enkephalin-degrading aminopeptidase activity in the HPA axis.

    PubMed

    García-López, M J; Martínez-Martos, J M; Mayas, M D; Carrera, M P; Ramírez-Expósito, M J

    2003-12-01

    Opiates are involved in the regulation of several functions in the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis under physiological conditions. The aim of the present work is to study the influence of orchidectomy and testosterone (T) replacement on soluble (S) and membrane bound (MB) enkephalin-degrading aminopeptidase (EDA) activities in the HPA axis. Forty male mice (Balb/C) were distributed in five groups: sham-operated control (C), orchidectomized (OR-C), and orchidectomized treated with increasing doses of T (3, 6 or 12 mg/kg). In hypothalamus, orchidectomy did not modify either S or MB EDA, although T replacement increased S but not MB EDA. In pituitary, neither S nor MB EDA activities changed with orchidectomy, although both activities changed after T replacement. On the other hand, in adrenal glands, orchidectomy increased S and MB EDA activities, whereas T replacement returned both activities to control levels. These results suggest a direct effect of T in S and MB EDA activities and therefore, an influence on their endogenous substrates regulation.

  3. Estrogen receptors ERα and ERβ participation in hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis activation by hemorrhagic stress.

    PubMed

    Silva-Alves, Luana Maria; Barcelos Filho, Procópio Cleber Gama de; Franci, Celso Rodrigues

    2017-05-04

    The sympato-adrenal-system and hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis are anatomically and functionally connected with participation of several brain areas that express estrogen receptors (ERα and ERβ). We assessed the neuronal activity of these areas for FOS expression and the action of PPT (ERα agonist) or DPN (ERβ agonist) in HPA axis activity during hemorrhagic stress. Ovariectomized Wistar rats treated with vehicle (DMSO) or ER agonists were catheterized for blood collection. Animals received (control) or not (hemorrhagic) immediate reposition with the same volume of saline. Immunohistochemistry was performed for FOS, tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) and corticotropin releasing hormone (CRH) in the brain areas. In vehicle-treated animals, hemorrhage enhanced: plasma corticosterone (CORT), oxytocin (OT) and vasopressin (AVP) measured by radioimmunoassay; the expression of TH-FOS co-localized neurons in ventrolateral medulla (A1C1) and FOS expression in medial parvocellular paraventricular nucleus (mpPVN). In controls, PPT decreased: plasma CORT; FOS expression at locus coeruleus (LC); FOS and CRH-FOS at mpPVN, compared to vehicle. After hemorrhage, PPT decreased: plasma CORT; FOS expression at LC and mpPVN; TH-FOS at LC, solitary tract nucleus (NTS), A1C1; CRH-FOS at mpPVN, compared to vehicle. After hemorrhage DPN decreased: plasma CORT; FOS expression at LC and mpPVN; TH-FOS at LC, A1C1; CRH-FOS at mpPVN, compared to vehicle. PPT blocked the increase of OT secretion and increased AVP secretion, after hemorrhage. DPN reduced OT and increased AVP levels, regardless hemorrhage. In hemorrhagic stress, ERα and ERβ reduced the HPA axis activation and neuronal activity in brain areas involved in the HPA axis control.

  4. Vitamin A regulates hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis status in LOU/C rats.

    PubMed

    Marissal-Arvy, Nathalie; Hamiani, Rachel; Richard, Emmanuel; Moisan, Marie-Pierre; Pallet, Véronique

    2013-10-01

    The aim of this study was to explore the involvement of retinoids in the hypoactivity and hyporeactivity to stress of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis in LOU/C rats. We measured the effects of vitamin A deficiency administered or not with retinoic acid (RA) on plasma corticosterone in standard conditions and in response to restraint stress and on hypothalamic and hippocampal expression of corticosteroid receptors, corticotropin-releasing hormone and 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (11β-HSD1) in LOU/C rats. Interestingly, under control conditions, we measured a higher plasma concentration of retinol in LOU/C than in Wistar rats, which could contribute to the lower basal activity of the HPA axis in LOU/C rats. Vitamin A deficiency induced an increased HPA axis activity in LOU/C rats, normalized by RA administration. Compared with LOU/C control rats, vitamin A-deficient rats showed a delayed and heightened corticosterone response to restraint stress. The expression of corticosteroid receptors was strongly decreased by vitamin A deficiency in the hippocampus, which could contribute to a less efficient feedback by corticosterone on HPA axis tone. The expression of 11β-HSD1 was increased by vitamin A deficiency in the hypothalamus (+62.5%) as in the hippocampus (+104.7%), which could lead to a higher production of corticosterone locally and contribute to alteration of the hippocampus. RA supplementation treatment restored corticosterone concentrations and 11β-HSD1 expression to control levels. The high vitamin A status of LOU/C rats could contribute to their low HPA axis activity/reactivity and to a protective effect against 11β-HSD1-mediated deleterious action on cognitive performances during ageing.

  5. Depression, hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis, and hippocampal and entorhinal cortex volumes--the SMART Medea study.

    PubMed

    Gerritsen, Lotte; Comijs, Hannie C; van der Graaf, Yolanda; Knoops, Arnoud J G; Penninx, Brenda W J H; Geerlings, Mirjam I

    2011-08-15

    Structural brain changes have often been found in major depressive disorder (MDD), and it is thought that hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis hyperactivity may explain this relation. We investigated the association of MDD and history of depression with hippocampal and entorhinal cortex volumes and whether HPA axis activity explained this association. In 636 participants with a history of atherosclerotic disease (mean age 62 ± 9 years, 81% male) from the second Manifestation of ARTerial disease-Memory depression and aging (SMART-Medea) study, a 12-month diagnosis of MDD and history of depression were assessed. Age of first depressive episode was classified into early-onset depression (< 50 years) and late-onset depression (≥ 50 years). HPA axis regulation was assessed by four morning saliva samples, two evening samples, and one awakening sample after .5 mg dexamethasone. Hippocampus and entorhinal cortex volume were manually outlined on three-dimensional T1-weighted magnetic resonance images. General linear models adjusted for demographics, vascular risk, antidepressant use, and white matter lesions showed that ever having had MDD was associated with smaller hippocampal volumes but not with entorhinal cortex volumes. Remitted MDD was related to smaller entorhinal cortex volumes (p < .05). Participants with early-onset depression had smaller hippocampal volumes than those who were never depressed (p < .05), whereas participants with late-onset depression had smaller entorhinal cortex volumes (p < .05). HPA axis activity did not explain these differences. We found differential associations of age of onset of depression on hippocampal and entorhinal cortex volumes, which could not be explained by alterations in HPA axis regulation. Copyright © 2011 Society of Biological Psychiatry. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

    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). Rome III+ IBS patients and healthy controls underwent CRF (1μg/kg ovine) and ACTH (250μg) 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. 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. 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. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis function in Sjögren's syndrome: mechanisms of neuroendocrine and immune system homeostasis.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Elizabeth O; Kostandi, Maria; Moutsopoulos, Haralampos M

    2006-11-01

    To date, evidence suggests that rheumatic diseases are associated with hypofunctioning of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. Sjögren's syndrome (SS), the second most common autoimmune disorder, is characterized by diminished lacrimal and salivary gland secretion. To examine HPA axis activity in SS patients, the adrenocorticotropin (ACTH) response to ovine corticotropin-releasing factor (oCRH) was used as a direct measure of corticotrophic function, and the plasma cortisol response to the ACTH released during oCRH stimulation as an indirect measure of adrenal function. Significantly lower basal ACTH and cortisol levels were found in patients with SS and were associated with a blunted pituitary and adrenal response to oCRH compared to normal controls. Fibromyalgia (FM) patients demonstrated elevated evening basal ACTH and cortisol levels and a somewhat exaggerated peak, delta, and net integrated ACTH response to oCRH. A subgroup of SS patients also met the diagnostic criteria for FM and demonstrated a pituitary-adrenal response that was intermediate to SS and FM. These findings suggest not only adrenal axis hypoactivity in SS and FM patients, but also that varying patterns of adrenal and thyroid axes dysfunction may exist in patients with different rheumatic diseases.

  9. Stressing diabetes? The hidden links between insulinotropic peptides and the HPA axis.

    PubMed

    Diz-Chaves, Yolanda; Gil-Lozano, Manuel; Toba, Laura; Fandiño, Juan; Ogando, Hugo; González-Matías, Lucas C; Mallo, Federico

    2016-08-01

    Diabetes mellitus exerts metabolic stress on cells and it provokes a chronic increase in the long-term activity of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis, perhaps thereby contributing to insulin resistance. GLP-1 receptor (GLP-1R) agonists are pleiotropic hormones that not only affect glycaemic and metabolic control, but they also produce many other effects including activation of the HPA axis. In fact, several of the most relevant effects of GLP-1 might involve, at least in part, the modulation of the HPA axis. Thus, the anorectic activity of GLP-1 could be mediated by increasing CRF at the hypothalamic level, while its lipolytic effects could imply a local increase in glucocorticoids and glucocorticoid receptor (GC-R) expression in adipose tissue. Indeed, the potent activation of the HPA axis by GLP-1R agonists occurs within the range of therapeutic doses and with a short latency. Interestingly, the interactions of GLP-1 with the HPA axis may underlie most of the effects of GLP-1 on food intake control, glycaemic metabolism, adipose tissue biology and the responses to stress. Moreover, such activity has been observed in animal models (mice and rats), as well as in normal humans and in type I or type II diabetic patients. Accordingly, better understanding of how GLP-1R agonists modulate the activity of the HPA axis in diabetic subjects, especially obese individuals, will be crucial to design new and more efficient therapies for these patients.

  10. Leptin fails to blunt the lipopolysaccharide-induced activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis in rats.

    PubMed

    Basharat, Saadia; Parker, Jennifer A; Murphy, Kevin G; Bloom, Stephen R; Buckingham, Julia C; John, Christopher D

    2014-05-01

    Obesity is a risk factor for sepsis morbidity and mortality, whereas the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis plays a protective role in the body's defence against sepsis. Sepsis induces a profound systemic immune response and cytokines serve as excellent markers for sepsis as they act as mediators of the immune response. Evidence suggests that the adipokine leptin may play a pathogenic role in sepsis. Mouse endotoxaemic models present with elevated leptin levels and exogenously added leptin increased mortality whereas human septic patients have elevated circulating levels of the soluble leptin receptor (Ob-Re). Evidence suggests that leptin can inhibit the regulation of the HPA axis. Thus, leptin may suppress the HPA axis, impairing its protective role in sepsis. We hypothesised that leptin would attenuate the HPA axis response to sepsis. We investigated the direct effects of an i.p. injection of 2 mg/kg leptin on the HPA axis response to intraperitoneally injected 25 μg/kg lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in the male Wistar rat. We found that LPS potently activated the HPA axis, as shown by significantly increased plasma stress hormones, ACTH and corticosterone, and increased plasma interleukin 1β (IL1β) levels, 2 h after administration. Pre-treatment with leptin, 2 h before LPS administration, did not influence the HPA axis response to LPS. In turn, LPS did not affect plasma leptin levels. Our findings suggest that leptin does not influence HPA function or IL1β secretion in a rat model of LPS-induced sepsis, and thus that leptin is unlikely to be involved in the acute-phase endocrine response to bacterial infection in rats.

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

    PubMed

    Seale, J V; Wood, S A; Atkinson, H C; Harbuz, M S; Lightman, S L

    2005-02-15

    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 17beta-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.

  12. Dissection of Glucocorticoid Receptor-mediated Inhibition of the Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal Axis by Gene Targeting in Mice

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

    Negative feedback regulation of glucocorticoid (GC) synthesis and secretion occurs through the function of glucocorticoid receptor (GR) at sites in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, as well as in brain regions such as the hippocampus, prefrontal cortex, and sympathetic nervous system. This function of GRs in negative feedback coordinates basal glucocorticoid secretion and stress-induced increases in secretion that integrate GC production with the magnitude and duration of the stressor. This review describes the effects of GR loss along major sites of negative feedback including the entire brain, the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus (PVN), and the pituitary. In genetic mouse models, we evaluate circadian regulation of the HPA axis, stress-stimulated neuroendocrine response and behavioral activity, as well as the integrated response of organism metabolism. Our analysis provides information on contributions of region-specific GR-mediated negative feedback to provide insight in understanding HPA axis dysregulation and the pathogenesis of psychiatric and metabolic disorders. PMID:25256348

  13. Endocannabinoids in brain plasticity: Cortical maturation, HPA axis function and behavior.

    PubMed

    Dow-Edwards, Diana; Silva, Lindsay

    2017-01-01

    Marijuana use during adolescence has reached virtually every strata of society. The general population has the perception that marijuana use is safe for mature people and therefore is also safe for developing adolescents. However, both clinical and preclinical research shows that marijuana use, particularly prior to age 16, could have long-term effects on cognition, anxiety and stress-related behaviors, mood disorders and substance abuse. These effects derive from the role of the endocannabinoid system, the endogenous cannabinoid system, in the development of cortex, amygdala, hippocampus and hypothalamus during adolescence. Endocannabinoids are necessary for normal neuronal excitation and inhibition through actions at glutamate and GABA terminals. Synaptic pruning at excitatory synapses and sparing of inhibitory synapses likely results in changes in the balance of excitation/inhibition in individual neurons and within networks; processes which are necessary for normal cortical development. The interaction between prefrontal cortex (PFC), amygdala and hippocampus is responsible for emotional memory, anxiety-related behaviors and drug abuse and all utilize the endogenous cannabinoid system to maintain homeostasis. Also, endocannabinoids are required for fast and slow feedback in the normal stress response, processes which mature during adolescence. Therefore, exogenous cannabinoids, such as marijuana, have the potential to alter the course of development of each of these major systems (limbic, hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and neocortex) if used during the critical period of brain development, adolescence. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled SI: Adolescent plasticity. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. Interaction between 5-HTTLPR and BDNF Val66Met polymorphisms on HPA axis reactivity in preschoolers.

    PubMed

    Dougherty, Lea R; Klein, Daniel N; Congdon, Eliza; Canli, Turhan; Hayden, Elizabeth P

    2010-02-01

    This study examined whether the interaction between the serotonin transporter promoter region (5-HTTLPR) and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) Val66Met polymorphisms was associated with hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis reactivity to stress. A community sample of 144 preschool-aged children was genotyped and exposed to stress-inducing laboratory tasks. Salivary cortisol was obtained at four time points during a standardized laboratory assessment before and after stressors involving separation from a parent and frustrating tasks. Children homozygous for the short-5-HTTLPR allele and carrying the Met-BDNF allele evidenced a significantly lower initial level of cortisol, followed by a positive increase in cortisol in response to the laboratory stressors. In contrast, children who were homozygous for the short-5-HTTLPR and the Val-BDNF alleles evidenced a greater decline in cortisol in response to the laboratory stressors. Findings indicated that the BDNF gene moderated the association between 5-HTTLPR and children's biological stress responses, suggesting that epistatic effects play a role in individual differences in stress regulation, and possibly genetic vulnerability to stress-related disorders. Copyright 2009 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  15. Molecular regulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis in adult male guinea pigs after prenatal stress at different stages of gestation.

    PubMed

    Kapoor, Amita; Leen, Jason; Matthews, Stephen G

    2008-09-01

    Studies in humans and animals have demonstrated that maternal stress during fetal development can lead to altered hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis function and behaviour postnatally. We have previously shown adult male guinea pigs that were born to mothers exposed to a stressor during the phase of rapid fetal brain growth (gestational days (GD) 50, 51 and 52; prenatal stress (PS)50) exhibit significantly increased basal plasma cortisol levels. In contrast, male guinea pig offspring whose mothers were exposed to stress later in gestation (GD60, 61 and 62; PS60) exhibited a significantly higher plasma cortisol response to activation of the HPA axis. In the present study, we hypothesized that the endocrine changes in HPA axis function observed in male guinea pig offspring would be reflected by altered molecular regulation of the HPA axis. Corticosteroid receptors in the hippocampus, hypothalamus and pituitary were measured, as well as corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) and adrenal enzymes in the paraventricular nucleus, pituitary and adrenal cortex, respectively, by in situ hybridization and Western blot. PS50 male offspring exhibited a significant reduction in glucocorticoid receptor (GR) mRNA (P <0.01) in the CA3 region of the hippocampus and significantly increased POMC mRNA (P <0.05) in the pituitary, consistent with the increase in basal HPA axis activity observed. In line with elevated activity of the HPA axis, both PS50 and PS60 male offspring exhibited significantly higher steroidogenic factor (SF)-1 (P <0.001) and melanocortin 2 receptor (MC2-R) mRNA (P <0.001) in the adrenal cortex. This study demonstrates that short periods of prenatal stress during critical windows of neuroendocrine development affect the expression of key regulators of HPA axis activity leading to the changes in endocrine function observed in prenatally stressed male offspring. Further, these changes are dependent on the timing of the maternal

  16. Cranial irradiation modulates hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activity and corticosteroid receptor expression in the hippocampus of juvenile rat.

    PubMed

    Velickovic, Natasa; Djordjevic, Ana; Drakulic, Dunja; Stanojevic, Ivana; Secerov, Bojana; Horvat, Anica

    2009-01-01

    Glucocorticoids, essential for normal hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activity, exert their action on the hippocampus through two types of corticosteroid receptors: the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) and the mineralocorticoid receptor (MR). Recent studies report that exposure of juvenile rats to cranial irradiation adversely affects HPA axis stability leading to its activation along with radiation- induced inflammation. This study was aimed to examine the acute effects of radiation on HPA axis activity and hippocampal corticosteroid receptor expression in 18-day-old rats. Since immobilization was part of irradiation procedure, both irradiated and sham-irradiated animals were exposed to this unavoidable stress. Our results demonstrate that the irradiated rats exhibited different pattern of corticosteroid receptor expression and hormone levels compared to respective controls. These differences included upregulation of GR protein in the hippocampus with a concomitant elevation of GR mRNA and an increase in circulating level of corticosterone. In addition, the expression of MR, both at the level of protein and gene expression, was not altered. Taken together, this study demonstrates that cranial irradiation in juvenile rats leads to enhanced HPA axis activity and increased relative GR/MR ratio in hippocampus. The present paper intends to show that neuroendocrine response of normal brain tissue to localized irradiation comprise both activation of HPA axis and altered corticosteroid receptor balance, probably as consequence of innate immune activation.

  17. Microinfusion of a nitric oxide donor in discrete brain regions activates the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis.

    PubMed

    Seo, D O; Rivier, C

    2001-11-01

    We previously showed that the intracerebroventricular injection of the nitric oxide (NO) donor 3-morpholino-sydnonimine (SIN-1) released adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and upregulated transcripts for corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) and vasopressin in the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) of the rat hypothalamus. In the present work, we microinfused SIN-1 into the PVN itself, the amygdala, the hippocampus or the frontal cortex to identify the brain regions that modulate the influence of NO on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. Microinfusion into the PVN, which contains most of the CRF and vasopressin neurones that control HPA axis activity, significantly released ACTH. Microinfusion into the amygdala or the hippocampus, areas which also regulate HPA axis activity, similarly increased plasma ACTH levels. However, these responses were smaller and showed a delayed onset, compared to that observed following PVN treatment. In contrast, microinfusion of SIN-1 into the frontal cortex, which is not believed to exert a major direct influence on the HPA axis, was without effect. The observation that compared to microinfusion into the PVN, peak ACTH levels were both smaller and delayed when SIN-1 was microinfused into the amygdala or the hippocampus, and that SIN-1 only increased NO levels when injected into the PVN, suggests that the NO donor injected outside the PVN activates this nucleus by targeting pathways that connect it to these other regions rather than by leakage. Collectively, our results provide important clues regarding the putative role of these regions in modulating the influence of NO on the HPA axis.

  18. Characterization of CRF, AVT, and ACTH cDNA and pituitary-adrenal axis function in Japanese quail divergently selected for tonic immobility.

    PubMed

    Hazard, D; Couty, M; Guémené, D

    2007-09-01

    Higher corticosterone (CORT) responses to acute stress have previously been reported in quail selected for short (STI) duration of tonic immobility (TI) than for long TI (LTI), although behavioral studies indicated that LTI quail were more fearful. To investigate adrenal and pituitary function in these quail lines and their possible involvement in the differences in hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis reactivity, we measured CORT responses to adrenocorticotropin (1-24 ACTH), corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF), and arginine vasotocin (AVT) after characterizing the nucleotide acid sequences of these peptides in quail. Although maximum adrenal responses, assessed by ACTH challenge, were higher in STI quail, adrenal sensitivity was comparable for the two genotypes. It is therefore unlikely that differences in HPA axis reactivity involved the adrenal level. AVT and ACTH induced comparable CORT responses in both genotypes, whereas those induced by CRF were much lower. AVT is thus more potent than CRF in quail, but the respective maximum pituitary capacity of both genotypes to secrete ACTH was similar, and it is doubtful that the AVT pathway is involved in the difference in HPA axis reactivity between genotypes. On the other hand, the higher CORT responses induced by CRF in STI quail suggest that CRF might be involved in the differences in HPA axis reactivity between LTI and STI genotypes.

  19. Effects of resistance exercise on the HPA axis response to psychological stress during short-term smoking abstinence in men.

    PubMed

    Ho, Jen-Yu; Kraemer, William J; Volek, Jeff S; Vingren, Jakob L; Fragala, Maren S; Flanagan, Shawn D; Maladouangdock, Jesse; Szivak, Tunde K; Hatfield, Disa L; Comstock, Brett A; Dunn-Lewis, Courtenay; Ciccolo, Joseph T; Maresh, Carl M

    2014-03-01

    The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of resistance exercise on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA) response to mental challenge, withdrawal symptoms, urge to smoke, and cognitive stress during 24-hour smoking abstinence. 8 sedentary smokers (mean±SD age: 20.1±1.7y; height: 171.6±10.8cm; body mass: 70.4±12.0kg; smoking history: 2.9±0.8y) completed a 24-hour ad libitum smoking trial (SMO) followed by two 24-hour smoking abstinence trials. During abstinence trials, participants performed six whole body resistance exercises (EX) or a control condition (CON) in the morning, followed by mental challenge tasks in the afternoon. Plasma adrenocorticotropin hormone (ACTH), and salivary and serum cortisol were measured during each visit at rest (REST), and then before (PRE-EX), immediately after (IP-EX), and 30min after exercise (30-EX); and before (PRE-MC), immediately after (IP-MC), and 30min after mental challenge (30-MC). Resistance exercise significantly (p≤0.05) elevated plasma ACTH and serum cortisol at IP-EX during EX compared with SMO and CON trials. Resting ACTH, salivary and serum cortisol concentrations at Pre-MC did not differ between EX and CON trials. The HPA axis response to mental challenge was similar after EX and CON trials. Finally, resistance exercise did not reduce withdrawal symptoms, urge to smoke, or stress. Resistance exercise did not substantially alter resting HPA hormones or the HPA response to mental challenge tasks during 24h of smoking abstinence. © 2013.

  20. Exercise training reduces alcohol consumption but does not affect HPA-axis activity in heavy drinkers.

    PubMed

    Georgakouli, Kalliopi; Manthou, Eirini; Georgoulias, Panagiotis; Ziaka, Anastasia; Fatouros, Ioannis G; Mastorakos, Georgios; Koutedakis, Yiannis; Theodorakis, Yannis; Jamurtas, Athanasios Z

    2017-10-01

    It has been suggested that physical exercise could have potential beneficial effects in substance abusers, which are based on both physiological and psychological theories. Although a few studies have examined the effect of exercise on alcohol intake and fitness in individuals with alcohol use disorders (AUDs), there is a gap in the literature concerning the physiological and biochemical mechanisms that could be affected by physical exercise in this population. The purpose of the present study was to examine physiological and biochemical responses to exercise after an 8-week supervised exercise training (ET) intervention in heavy drinkers. The investigation was mainly focused on the relationship among exercise, opioids, the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA) activity and heavy alcohol drinking. Eleven (Age: 30.3±3.5yrs; Body Mass Index: 28.4±0.86kg/m(2)) male heavy drinkers volunteered to participated in an 8-week supervised intervention of moderate intensity exercise (50-60% of Heart Rate Reserve). All participants were exhibiting low physical activity and used to drink heavily. Before intervention, the participants were asked to record their daily alcohol intake without changing their physical activity levels for 4weeks (control condition). During the 8-week supervised ET intervention, participants were recording their daily alcohol intake and were motivated to increase gradually the duration and frequency of ET. Blood samples were collected prior to and after 4weeks of the control condition, the day before the beginning of the ET intervention, and at the end of the 4th and 8th week of ET intervention. Blood samples were analyzed for β-E, epinephrine, norepinephrine, adrenocorticotropin, cortisol, gamma-glutamyl transferase (γ-GT), aspartate transaminase and alanine transaminase. Physiological and alcohol-related indices were also examined. The 8-week supervised ET intervention resulted in reduced alcohol consumption, reduced γ-GT levels, and fitness

  1. Modulation of HPA axis response to social stress in schizophrenia by childhood trauma.

    PubMed

    Lange, Claudia; Huber, Christian G; Fröhlich, Daniela; Borgwardt, Stefan; Lang, Undine E; Walter, Marc

    2017-08-01

    HPA axis functioning plays an important role in the etiology of schizophrenia spectrum disorders (SSD). However, only few studies have examined HPA axis responsivity to psychosocial stress in SSD, and results are heterogeneous. Furthermore, childhood trauma is known to influence psychopathology and treatment outcome in SSD, but studies on the influence of childhood trauma on stress related HPA axis activity are missing. The purpose of this study was to investigate cortisol response to a psychosocial stress challenge in SSD patients, and to examine its association with severity of childhood trauma. The present study included 25 subacutely ill patients with a current episode of a chronic SSD and 25 healthy controls. Participants underwent the modified Trier Social Stress Test, and salivary cortisol levels were assessed. The childhood trauma questionnaire was used to assess severity of adverse life events. Overall, cortisol response was blunted in the patient group compared to the control group (p<0.01). Furthermore, we identified two patient subgroups (cortisol responders (n=12) vs. non-responders (n=13) to the modified TSST) that differed in their severity of childhood trauma experience: responders had experienced more emotional abuse in their past (p<0.042). Therefore, childhood trauma might influence stress-related HPA axis activity in SSD. Our data contribute to the hypothesis that severity of childhood trauma may be of pathophysiological relevance in schizophrenia. In addition, it may be an overlooked factor contributing to inconsistent findings regarding HPA axis response to psychosocial stress in SSD. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  2. Acute and long-term treatments with the selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor citalopram modulate the HPA axis activity at different levels in male rats.

    PubMed

    Jensen, J B; Jessop, D S; Harbuz, M S; Mørk, A; Sánchez, C; Mikkelsen, J D

    1999-06-01

    It is well established that the maximal therapeutic effect of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) are achieved in depressive patients after several weeks of treatment, but the adaptive processes leading to the therapeutic effects are unclear. It has been shown that hyperactivity in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis in depressive patients is affected by long-term antidepressant treatment. These changes occur in association with the mood normalising effect, suggesting that antidepressants affect the HPA axis and this effect is associated with the therapeutic effect. Male Wistar rats were treated with the SSRI, citalopram, to investigate time-related changes in components that may be involved in the desensitization of the HPA axis. A single injection of citalopram (10 mg/kg, s.c.), increased the plasma levels of ACTH and corticosterone in a dose-dependent manner and increased the number of c-Fos containing cells in the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus. A daily treatment with the same compound (10 mg/kg, s.c.) for 14 days decreased the expression of POMC mRNA ( approximately 40%). In addition, a blunted response to citalopram was observed in animals long-term treated with citalopram. Also CRF-stimulated cAMP accumulation in the pituitary was altered. In conclusion, acute citalopram activated the HPA-axis at the hypothalamic level and long-term citalopram treatment desensitized the HPA-axis at the pituitary level. These results support the hypothesis that the therapeutic effects of long-term antidepressant treatments reduce HPA axis responsiveness.

  3. Activation of ATP-sensitive potassium channel by iptakalim normalizes stress-induced HPA axis disorder and depressive behaviour by alleviating inflammation and oxidative stress in mouse hypothalamus.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Xiao-Jie; Zhao, Zhan; Yang, Dan-Dan; Cao, Lu-Lu; Zhang, Ling; Ji, Juan; Gu, Jun; Huang, Ji-Ye; Sun, Xiu-Lan

    2017-02-01

    Stress-induced disturbance of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis is strongly implicated in incidence of mood disorders. A heightened neuroinflammatory response and oxidative stress play a fundamental role in the dysfunction of the HPA axis. We have previously demonstrated that iptakalim (Ipt), a new ATP-sensitive potassium (K-ATP) channel opener, could prevent oxidative injury and neuroinflammation against multiple stimuli-induced brain injury. The present study was to demonstrate the impacts of Ipt in stress-induced HPA axis disorder and depressive behavior. We employed 2 stress paradigms: 8 weeks of continuous restraint stress (chronic restraint stress, CRS) and 2h of restraint stress (acute restraint stress, ARS), to mimic both chronic stress and severe acute stress. Prolonged (4 weeks) and short-term (a single injection) Ipt treatment was administered 30min before each stress paradigm. We found that HPA axis was altered after stress, with different responses to CRS (lower ACTH and CORT, higher AVP, but normal CRH) and ARS (higher CRH, ACTH and CORT, but normal AVP). Both prolonged and short-term Ipt treatment normalized stress-induced HPA axis disorders and abnormal behaviors in mice. CRS and ARS up-regulated mRNA levels of inflammation-related molecules (TNFα, IL-1β, IL-6 and TLR4) and oxidative stress molecules (gp91phox, iNOS and Nrf2) in the mouse hypothalamus. Double immunofluorescence showed CRS and ARS increased microglia activation (CD11b and TNFα) and oxidative stress in neurons (NeuN and gp91phox), which were alleviated by Ipt. Therefore, the present study reveals that Ipt could prevent against stress-induced HPA axis disorders and depressive behavior by alleviating inflammation and oxidative stress in the hypothalamus.

  4. Immunology, signal transduction, and behavior in hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis-related genetic mouse models.

    PubMed

    Silberstein, Susana; Vogl, Annette M; Bonfiglio, Juán José; Wurst, Wolfgang; Holsboer, Florian; Arzt, Eduardo; Deussing, Jan M; Refojo, Damián

    2009-02-01

    A classical view of the neuroendocrine-immune network assumes bidirectional interactions where pro-inflammatory cytokines influence hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis-derived hormones that subsequently affect cytokines in a permanently servo-controlled circle. Nevertheless, this picture has been continuously evolving over the last years as a result of the discovery of redundant expression and extended functions of many of the molecules implicated. Thus, cytokines are not only expressed in cells of the immune system but also in the central nervous system, and many hormones present at hypothalamic-pituitary level are also functionally expressed in the brain as well as in other peripheral organs, including immune cells. Because of this intermingled network of molecules redundantly expressed, the elucidation of the unique roles of HPA axis-related molecules at every level of complexity is one of the major challenges in the field. Genetic engineering in the mouse offers the most convincing method for dissecting in vivo the specific roles of distinct molecules acting in complex networks. Thus, various immunological, behavioral, and signal transduction studies performed with different HPA axis-related mutant mouse lines to delineate the roles of beta-endorphin, the type 1 receptor of corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRHR1), and its ligand CRH will be discussed here.

  5. Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis responses of horses to therapeutic riding program: effects of different riders.

    PubMed

    Fazio, Esterina; Medica, Pietro; Cravana, Cristina; Ferlazzo, Adriana

    2013-06-13

    In order to determine whether therapeutic riding could result in higher levels of stress than recreational riding, hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis response was evaluated in six horses by monitoring circulating β-endorphin, ACTH and cortisol concentrations. Horses were already accustomed to be trained both for therapy and riding school activity since 2004. Intervention consisted of 60-minute therapeutic sessions, two times per week for 6weeks with different riders: disabled and recreational riders (session A and B respectively). The therapeutic riders' group (A) consisted of six children with psychomotor disabilities; the recreational riders' group (B) consisted of six healthy children without any previous horse riding experience. Horses were asked to perform the same gaits and exercises at all sessions, both with disabled and healthy users. The statistical analysis showed that during both sessions the mean basal β-endorphin and ACTH levels of horses did not show any significant changes, while the one way RM-ANOVA showed significant effects of sessions A on the cortisol (F=11.50; P<0.01) levels. Horses submitted to sessions A showed lower cortisol levels both at 5min (P<0.001) and at 30min (P<0.005) after therapeutic sessions than those after session B. Results suggest that in tested horses and for the variables settled, HPA axis was less responsive to disabled than healthy, recreational riders. Among the endocrine responses, cortisol was one of the indicators of HPA axis stress response.

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Newby, Elizabeth A.; Myers, Dean A.

    2015-01-01

    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

  8. The importance of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis as a therapeutic target in anorexia nervosa.

    PubMed

    Bou Khalil, Rami; Souaiby, Lama; Farès, Nassim

    2017-03-15

    Anorexia nervosa (AN) is an eating disorder, mainly affecting women, with a lifetime prevalence of about 1%, that can run a chronic course. While an effective pharmacotherapy is lacking, it is hypothesized that the progesterone and type II glucocorticoid receptor antagonist mifepristone (RU486) might be useful, as it is well known that the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA) is activated in AN. Even if secondary to the eating disorder, an active HPA axis may contribute to maintaining the neuroendocrine, emotional and behavioral effects observed in AN. More specifically, it is suggested that the HPA axis interacts with limbic structures, including the insular and prefrontal cortices, to uphold the changes in interoceptive and emotional awareness seen in AN. As such, it is proposed that mifepristone (RU486) reverses these effects by acting on these limbic regions. In conclusion, the theoretical efficacy of mifepristone (RU486) in improving symptoms of AN should be tested in randomized clinical trials. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  9. Caffeine-induced activated glucocorticoid metabolism in the hippocampus causes hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis inhibition in fetal rats.

    PubMed

    Xu, Dan; Zhang, Benjian; Liang, Gai; Ping, Jie; Kou, Hao; Li, Xiaojun; Xiong, Jie; Hu, Dongcai; Chen, Liaobin; Magdalou, Jacques; Wang, Hui

    2012-01-01

    Epidemiological investigations have shown that fetuses with intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR) are susceptible to adult metabolic syndrome. Clinical investigations and experiments have demonstrated that caffeine is a definite inducer of IUGR, as children who ingest caffeine-containing food or drinks are highly susceptible to adult obesity and hypertension. Our goals for this study were to investigate the effect of prenatal caffeine ingestion on the functional development of the fetal hippocampus and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and to clarify an intrauterine HPA axis-associated neuroendocrine alteration induced by caffeine. Pregnant Wistar rats were intragastrically administered 20, 60, and 180 mg/kg · d caffeine from gestational days 11-20. The results show that prenatal caffeine ingestion significantly decreased the expression of fetal hypothalamus corticotrophin-releasing hormone. The fetal adrenal cortex changed into slight and the expression of fetal adrenal steroid acute regulatory protein (StAR) and cholesterol side-chain cleavage enzyme (P450scc), as well as the level of fetal adrenal endogenous corticosterone (CORT), were all significantly decreased after caffeine treatment. Moreover, caffeine ingestion significantly increased the levels of maternal and fetal blood CORT and decreased the expression of placental 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase-2 (11β-HSD-2). Additionally, both in vivo and in vitro studies show that caffeine can downregulate the expression of fetal hippocampal 11β-HSD-2, promote the expression of 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase 1 and glucocorticoid receptor (GR), and enhance DNA methylation within the hippocampal 11β-HSD-2 promoter. These results suggest that prenatal caffeine ingestion inhibits the development of the fetal HPA axis, which may be associated with the fetal overexposure to maternal glucocorticoid and activated glucocorticoid metabolism in the fetal hippocampus. These results will be beneficial in

  10. Caffeine-Induced Activated Glucocorticoid Metabolism in the Hippocampus Causes Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis Inhibition in Fetal Rats

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Dan; Zhang, Benjian; Liang, Gai; Ping, Jie; Kou, Hao; Li, Xiaojun; Xiong, Jie; Hu, Dongcai; Chen, Liaobin; Magdalou, Jacques; Wang, Hui

    2012-01-01

    Epidemiological investigations have shown that fetuses with intrauterine growth retardation (IUGR) are susceptible to adult metabolic syndrome. Clinical investigations and experiments have demonstrated that caffeine is a definite inducer of IUGR, as children who ingest caffeine-containing food or drinks are highly susceptible to adult obesity and hypertension. Our goals for this study were to investigate the effect of prenatal caffeine ingestion on the functional development of the fetal hippocampus and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and to clarify an intrauterine HPA axis-associated neuroendocrine alteration induced by caffeine. Pregnant Wistar rats were intragastrically administered 20, 60, and 180 mg/kg·d caffeine from gestational days 11–20. The results show that prenatal caffeine ingestion significantly decreased the expression of fetal hypothalamus corticotrophin-releasing hormone. The fetal adrenal cortex changed into slight and the expression of fetal adrenal steroid acute regulatory protein (StAR) and cholesterol side-chain cleavage enzyme (P450scc), as well as the level of fetal adrenal endogenous corticosterone (CORT), were all significantly decreased after caffeine treatment. Moreover, caffeine ingestion significantly increased the levels of maternal and fetal blood CORT and decreased the expression of placental 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase-2 (11β-HSD-2). Additionally, both in vivo and in vitro studies show that caffeine can downregulate the expression of fetal hippocampal 11β-HSD-2, promote the expression of 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase 1 and glucocorticoid receptor (GR), and enhance DNA methylation within the hippocampal 11β-HSD-2 promoter. These results suggest that prenatal caffeine ingestion inhibits the development of the fetal HPA axis, which may be associated with the fetal overexposure to maternal glucocorticoid and activated glucocorticoid metabolism in the fetal hippocampus. These results will be beneficial in

  11. Self- or parent report of (co-occurring) internalizing and externalizing problems, and basal or reactivity measures of HPA-axis functioning: a systematic evaluation of the internalizing-hyperresponsivity versus externalizing-hyporesponsivity HPA-axis hypothesis.

    PubMed

    Hartman, Catharina A; Hermanns, Vera W; de Jong, Peter J; Ormel, Johan

    2013-09-01

    Previous research findings on the link between adolescents' psychopathology and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activity have been heterogeneous. Adolescents (n=211) with a preadolescent DSM-IV diagnosis participated in a lab-based social stress task. Saliva cortisol was assessed at awakening and during social stress. It was investigated if continuous measures of internalizing and externalizing problems and their interaction, using both self- and parent report, were associated with basal or reactivity measures of HPA-axis functioning. During social stress, an enhanced total release of cortisol was associated with self-reported internalizing problems and a blunted total release of cortisol with self-reported externalizing problems. Post hoc analyses revealed that the association between enhanced cortisol output and internalizing problems held for boys but not for girls. Associations with morning cortisol measures were overall weak. Only in the context of stress, and particularly when based on self-report, blunted cortisol output was associated with externalizing and enhanced cortisol output with internalizing problems. Our broad approach demonstrates the importance of who reports on psychopathology, the use of dimensional measures of psychopathology, simultaneous analysis of internalizing and externalizing problems, and the use of awakening and social stress related measures of cortisol. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. Short-term safety assessment of clobetasol propionate 0.05% shampoo: hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis suppression, atrophogenicity, and ocular safety in subjects with scalp psoriasis.

    PubMed

    Andres, Philippe; Poncet, Michel; Farzaneh, Sidou; Soto, Pascale

    2006-04-01

    Clobetasol propionate is known to be a very effective treatment for psoriasis; however, its use is limited by potent corticosteroid class related side effects such as hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis suppression and atrophogenicity. The aim of this single-center, parallel group, randomized study was to assess the HPA axis suppression potential, atrophogenicity, and ocular tolerability of clobetasol propionate shampoo in 26 patients with scalp psoriasis. Suitable subjects were treated once daily for 4 weeks with clobetasol propionate shampoo, to be rinsed off after 15 minutes or with a leave-on clobetasol propionate gel. The study demonstrated that clobetasol propionate shampoo did not lead to HPA axis suppression or to skin atrophy. Conversely, the gel led to HPA axis suppression and a decrease in skin thickness. Neither formulation had an impact on ocular safety. Despite the short contact application time, the clobetasol propionate shampoo provides similar efficacy results to the gel.

  13. HPA axis response to psychological stress and treatment retention in residential substance abuse treatment: a prospective study.

    PubMed

    Daughters, Stacey B; Richards, Jessica M; Gorka, Stephanie M; Sinha, Rajita

    2009-12-01

    Substance abuse treatment programs are often characterized by high rates of premature treatment dropout, which increases the likelihood of relapse to drug use. Negative reinforcement models of addiction emphasize an individual's inability to tolerate stress as a key factor for understanding poor substance use treatment outcomes, and evidence indicates that dysregulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis contributes to an individual's inability to respond adaptively to stress. The aim of the current study was to examine whether HPA axis response to stress is predictive of treatment retention among a sample of drug users in residential substance abuse treatment. Prospective study assessing treatment retention among 102 individuals enrolled in residential substance abuse treatment. Participants completed two computerized stress tasks, and HPA axis response to stress was measured via salivary cortisol at five time points from baseline (pre-stress) to 30 min post-stress exposure. The main outcome measures were treatment dropout (categorical) and total number of days in treatment (continuous). A significantly higher salivary cortisol response to stress was observed in treatment dropouts compared to treatment completers. Further, Cox proportional hazards survival analyses indicated that a higher peak cortisol response to stress was associated with a shorter number of days to treatment dropout. Results indicate that a higher salivary cortisol level in response to stress is associated with an inability to remain in substance abuse treatment. These findings are the first to document a biological marker of stress as a predictor of substance abuse treatment dropout, and support the development and implementation of treatments targeting this vulnerability.

  14. The lipocalin-type prostaglandin D2 synthase knockout mouse model of insulin resistance and obesity demonstrates early hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis hyperactivity.

    PubMed

    Evans, Jodi F; Islam, Shahidul; Urade, Yoshihiro; Eguchi, Naomi; Ragolia, Louis

    2013-02-01

    Obesity and diabetes are closely associated with hyperactivation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. In this study, the diet-induced obese C57BL/6 mouse was used to test the hypothesis that chronically elevated metabolic parameters associated with the development of obesity such as cholesterol and glucose can aggravate basal HPA axis activity. Because the lipocalin-type prostaglandin D(2) synthase (L-PGDS) knockout (KO) mouse is a model of accelerated insulin resistance, glucose intolerance, and obesity, it was further hypothesized that HPA activity would be greater in this model. Starting at 8 weeks of age, the L-PGDS KO and C57BL/6 mice were maintained on a low-fat or high-fat diet. After 20 or 37 weeks, fasting metabolic parameters and basal HPA axis hormones were measured and compared between genotypes. Correlation analyses were performed to identify associations between obesity-related chronic metabolic changes and changes in the basal activity of the HPA axis. Our results have identified strong positive correlations between total cholesterol, LDL-cholesterol, glucose, and HPA axis hormones that increase with age in the C57BL/6 mice. These data confirm that obesity-related elevations in cholesterol and glucose can heighten basal HPA activity. Additionally, the L-PGDS KO mice show early elevations in HPA activity with no age-related changes relative to the C57BL/6 mice.

  15. Acute effects of intravenous heroin on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis response: a controlled trial.

    PubMed

    Walter, Marc; Gerber, Hana; Kuhl, Hans Christian; Schmid, Otto; Joechle, Wolfgang; Lanz, Christian; Brenneisen, Rudolf; Schächinger, Hartmut; Riecher-Rössler, Anita; Wiesbeck, Gerhard A; Borgwardt, Stefan J

    2013-04-01

    Heroin dependence is associated with a stressful environment and with dysfunction of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. The present study examined the acute effects of intravenous heroin versus placebo on the HPA axis response in heroin-dependent patients. Twenty-eight heroin-dependent patients in heroin-assisted treatment and 20 age- and sex-matched healthy participants were included in a controlled trial in which patients were twice administered heroin or saline in a crossover design, and healthy controls were only administered saline. The HPA axis response was measured by adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) levels and by cortisol levels in serum and saliva before and 20 and 60 minutes after substance administration. Craving, withdrawal, and anxiety levels were measured before and 60 minutes after substance application. Plasma concentrations of heroin and its main metabolites were assessed using high-performance liquid chromatography. Heroin administration reduces craving, withdrawal, and anxiety levels and leads to significant decreases in ACTH and cortisol concentrations (P < 0.01). After heroin administration, cortisol concentrations did not differ from healthy controls, and ACTH levels were significantly lower (P < 0.01). In contrast, when patients receive saline, all hormone levels were significantly higher in patients than in healthy controls (P < 0.01). Heroin-dependent patients showed a normalized HPA axis response compared to healthy controls when they receive their regular heroin dose. These findings indicate that regular opioid administration protects addicts from stress and underscore the clinical significance of heroin-assisted treatment for heroin-dependent patients.

  16. Relationship between the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal-axis and fatty acid metabolism in recurrent depression.

    PubMed

    Mocking, Roel J T; Ruhé, Henricus G; Assies, Johanna; Lok, Anja; Koeter, Maarten W J; Visser, Ieke; Bockting, Claudi L H; Schene, Aart H

    2013-09-01

    Alterations in hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA)-axis activity and fatty acid (FA)-metabolism have been observed in (recurrent) major depressive disorder (MDD). Through the pathophysiological roles of FAs in the brain and cardiovascular system, a hypothesized relationship between HPA-axis activity and FA-metabolism could form a possible missing link accounting for the association of HPA-axis hyperactivity with recurrence and cardiovascular disease in MDD. In 137 recurrent MDD-patients and 73 age- and sex-matched controls, we therefore investigated associations between salivary cortisol (morning and evening) and the following indicators of FA-metabolism measured in the red blood cell membrane: (I) three main FAs [eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and arachidonic acid (AA)], and (II) structural FA indices (unsaturation, chain length, peroxidation) calculated from concentrations of 29 FAs to delineate overall FA-characteristics. In addition, we compared these associations in patients with those in controls. In patients, evening cortisol concentrations were significantly negatively associated with DHA (B=-1.358; SE=0.499; t=-2.72; p=.006), the unsaturation index (B=-0.021; SE=0.009; t=-2.42; p=.018), chain length index (B=-0.060; SE=0.025; t=-2.41; p=.019), and peroxidation index (B=-0.029; SE=0.012; t=-2.48; p=.015). The relations between cortisol and the latter three variables were significantly negative in patients relative to controls. Significance remained after correction for confounders. Our results suggest a relationship between HPA-axis activity and FA-metabolism in recurrent MDD. Future randomized experimental intervention studies using clinical outcome measures could help to further elucidate the suggested effects of hypercortisolemia in the brain and cardiovascular system in recurrent MDD.

  17. Adaptive responses of the maternal hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis during pregnancy and lactation.

    PubMed

    Brunton, P J; Russell, J A; Douglas, A J

    2008-06-01

    Over the past 40 years, it has been recognised that the maternal hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis undergoes adaptations through pregnancy and lactation that might contribute to avoidance of adverse effects of stress on the mother and offspring. The extent of the global adaptations in the HPA axis has been revealed and the underlying mechanisms investigated within the last 20 years. Both basal, including the circadian rhythm, and stress-induced adrenocorticotrophic hormone and glucocorticoid secretory patterns are altered. Throughout most of pregnancy, and in lactation, these changes predominantly reflect reduced drive by the corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) neurones in the parvocellular paraventricular nucleus (pPVN). An accompanying profound attenuation of HPA axis responses to a wide variety of psychological and physical stressors emerges after mid-pregnancy and persists until the end of lactation. Central to this suppression of stress responsiveness is reduced activation of the pPVN CRF neurones. This is consequent on the reduced effectiveness of the stimulation of brainstem afferents to these CRF neurones (for physical stressors) and of altered processing by limbic structures (for emotional stressors). The mechanism of reduced CRF neurone responses to physical stressors in pregnancy is the suppression of noradrenaline release in the PVN by an up-regulated endogenous opioid mechanism, which is induced by neuroactive steroid produced from progesterone. By contrast, in lactation suckling the young provides a neural stimulus that dampens the HPA axis circadian rhythm and reduces stress responses. Reduced noradrenergic input activity is involved in reduced stress responses in lactation, although central prolactin action also appears important. Such adaptations limit the adverse effects of excess glucocorticoid exposure on the foetus(es) and facilitate appropriate metabolic and immune responses.

  18. Stability analysis of a hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis model with inclusion of glucocorticoid receptor and memory

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaslik, Eva; Navolan, Dan Bogdan; Neamţu, Mihaela

    2017-01-01

    This paper analyzes a four-dimensional model of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis that includes the influence of the glucocorticoid receptor in the pituitary. Due to the spatial separation between the hypothalamus, pituitary and adrenal glands, distributed time delays are introduced in the mathematical model. The existence of the positive equilibrium point is proved and a local stability and bifurcation analysis is provided, considering several types of delay kernels. The fractional-order model with discrete time delays is also taken into account. Numerical simulations are provided to illustrate the effectiveness of the theoretical findings.

  19. The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis.

    PubMed

    Feek, C M; Marante, D J; Edwards, C R

    1983-11-01

    Anterior pituitary corticotrophin cells secrete ACTH as part of a larger precursor molecule, pro-opiomelanocortin. Post-translational cleavage of this precursor yields three major peptides: ACTH, beta-LPH and N-POMC. Experiments both in vivo and in vitro suggest that N-POMC may act as a prohormone amplifier for ACTH-induced adrenal steroidogenesis and as regulator of adrenocortical cell growth. The secretion of POMC is under the control of CRF. These findings are discussed in relation to the pathophysiology of corticotrophinoma. The primary defect in this condition appears to reside at the level of the anterior pituitary cell and is readily amenable to treatment by trans-sphenoidal microsurgery. The estimation of plasma ACTH concentrations is proving useful in the monitoring of various clinical conditions including Addison's disease and congenital adrenal hyperplasia.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  3. The Impact of Maternal Childhood Abuse on Maternal and Infant HPA Axis Function in the Postpartum Period

    PubMed Central

    Brand, Sarah R.; Brennan, Patricia A.; Newport, D. Jeffrey; Smith, Alicia K.; Weiss, Tamara; Stowe, Zachary N.

    2009-01-01

    Summary Background Early life trauma, particularly child abuse, has been associated with aberrations in hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis functioning in adulthood. However, the relationship of early abuse and later adult neuroendocrine changes may be moderated by additional factors such as comorbid psychopathology and recent life stress. Parental exposure to child abuse may have transgenerational effects, with offspring of abuse victims showing similar neuroendocrine profiles as their mothers. The majority of previous studies in this area focus on adult offspring, and the degree to which the effects of parental child abuse can be detected earlier in the development of the offspring remains obscure. Methods The current study utilized a clinical sample of women with a history of MDD (N= 126), to examine the effects of maternal early life sexual and physical abuse (Childhood Trauma Questionnaire; CTQ) on both maternal and infant salivary cortisol levels during a laboratory stress paradigm at 6 months postpartum. Results Maternal child abuse was associated with steeper declines in cortisol in the mothers, and lower baseline cortisol in their infants. Comorbid maternal PTSD, current maternal depressive symptoms, and recent life stressors were significant moderators of maternal cortisol change. Maternal abuse history was associated with increases in cortisol levels in those mothers who experienced these additional stressors. Similarly, a history of early maternal abuse and comorbid PTSD was associated with greater increases in infant cortisol levels. Conclusions Maternal childhood abuse was associated with HPA axis function in both the mother and the infant during the postpartum period. PMID:19931984

  4. Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis dysregulation and cortisol activity in obesity: A systematic review.

    PubMed

    Incollingo Rodriguez, Angela C; Epel, Elissa S; White, Megan L; Standen, Erin C; Seckl, Jonathan R; Tomiyama, A Janet

    2015-12-01

    Although there is substantial evidence of differential hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activity in both generalized and abdominal obesity, consistent trends in obesity-related HPA axis perturbations have yet to be identified. To systematically review the existing literature on HPA activity in obesity, identify possible explanations for inconsistencies in the literature, and suggest methodological improvements for future study. Included papers used Pubmed, Google Scholar, and the University of California Library search engines with search terms body mass index (BMI), waist-to-hip ratio (WHR), waist circumference, sagittal diameter, abdominal versus peripheral body fat distribution, body fat percentage, DEXA, abdominal obesity, and cortisol with terms awakening response, slope, total daily output, reactivity, feedback sensitivity, long-term output, and 11β-HSD expression. Empirical research papers were eligible provided that they included at least one type of obesity (general or abdominal), measured at least one relevant cortisol parameter, and a priori tested for a relationship between obesity and cortisol. A general pattern of findings emerged where greater abdominal fat is associated with greater responsivity of the HPA axis, reflected in morning awakening and acute stress reactivity, but some studies did show underresponsiveness. When examined in adipocytes, there is a clear upregulation of cortisol output (due to greater expression of 11β-HSD1), but in hepatic tissue this cortisol is downregulated. Overall obesity (BMI) appears to also be related to a hyperresponsive HPA axis in many but not all studies, such as when acute reactivity is examined. The reviewed literature contains numerous inconsistencies and contradictions in research methodologies, sample characteristics, and results, which partially precluded the development of clear and reliable patterns of dysregulation in each investigated cortisol parameter. The literature to date is

  5. Novel aspects of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis regulation and glucocorticoid actions

    PubMed Central

    Uchoa, Ernane Torres; Aguilera, Greti; Herman, James P.; Fiedler, Jenny L.; Deak, Terrence; Cordeiro de Sousa, Maria Bernardete

    2014-01-01

    Normal hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activity leading to rhythmic and episodic release of adrenal glucocorticoids is essential for body homeostasis and survival during stress. Acting through specific intracellular receptors in the brain and periphery, glucocorticoids regulate behavior, metabolic, cardiovascular, immune, and neuroendocrine activities. In contrast to chronic elevated levels, circadian and acute stress-induced increases in glucocorticoids are necessary for hippocampal neuronal survival and memory acquisition and consolidation, through inhibiting apoptosis, facilitating glutamate transmission and inducing immediate early genes and spine formation. In addition to its metabolic actions leading to increasing energy availability, glucocorticoids have profound effects on feeding behavior, mainly through modulation of orexigenic and anorixegenic neuropeptides. Evidence is also emerging that in addition to the recognized immune suppressive actions of glucocorticoids by counteracting adrenergic proinflammatory actions, circadian elevations have priming effects in the immune system, potentiating acute defensive responses. In addition, negative feedback by glucocorticoids involves multiple mechanisms leading to limiting HPA axis activation and preventing deleterious effects of excessive glucocorticoid production. Adequate glucocorticoid secretion to meet body demands is tightly regulated by a complex neural circuitry controlling hypothalamic corticotrophin releasing hormone (CRH) and vasopressin secretion, the main regulators of pituitary adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH). Rapid feedback mechanisms, likely involving non-genomic actions of glucocorticoids, mediate immediate inhibition of hypothalamic CRH and ACTH secretion, while intermediate and delayed mechanisms mediated by genomic actions involve modulation of limbic circuitry and peripheral metabolic messengers. Consistent with their key adaptive roles, HPA axis components are evolutionarily

  6. Suicidal intent and the HPA-axis characteristics of suicide attempters with major depressive disorder and adjustment disorders.

    PubMed

    Lindqvist, Daniel; Träskman-Bendz, Lil; Vang, Fredrik

    2008-01-01

    The main purpose of the study was to investigate Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal (HPA) axis characteristics in relation to suicidal intent among suicide attempters with Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and Adjustment Disorders (AD). The relationship between suicidal intent, assessed by means of the Suicidal Intent Scale (SIS), and serum cortisol after a Dexamethasone Suppression Test (DST) was investigated in 78 suicide attempters, divided into diagnostic subgroups. There was a significant negative correlation between suicidal intent and post DST cortisol in patients with MDD. Our findings may be attributed to pathophysiological processes, where a high suicidal intent is revealed during a potential chronic course of MDD, which in turn results in a seemingly normal stress system.

  7. The stress-buffering effect of acute exercise: Evidence for HPA axis negative feedback.

    PubMed

    Zschucke, Elisabeth; Renneberg, Babette; Dimeo, Fernando; Wüstenberg, Torsten; Ströhle, Andreas

    2015-01-01

    According to the cross-stressor adaptation hypothesis, physically trained individuals show lower physiological and psychological responses to stressors other than exercise, e.g. psychosocial stress. Reduced stress reactivity may constitute a mechanism of action for the beneficial effects of exercise in maintaining mental health. With regard to neural and psychoneuroendocrine stress responses, the acute stress-buffering effects of exercise have not been investigated yet. A sample of highly trained (HT) and sedentary (SED) young men was randomized to either exercise on a treadmill at moderate intensity (60-70% VO2max; AER) for 30 min, or to perform 30 min of "placebo" exercise (PLAC). 90 min later, an fMRI experiment was conducted using an adapted version of the Montreal Imaging Stress Task (MIST). The subjective and psychoneuroendocrine (cortisol and α-amylase) changes induced by the exercise intervention and the MIST were assessed, as well as neural activations during the MIST. Finally, associations between the different stress responses were analysed. Participants of the AER group showed a significantly reduced cortisol response to the MIST, which was inversely related to the previous exercise-induced α-amylase and cortisol fluctuations. With regard to the sustained BOLD signal, we found higher bilateral hippocampus (Hipp) activity and lower prefrontal cortex (PFC) activity in the AER group. Participants with a higher aerobic fitness showed lower cortisol responses to the MIST. As the Hipp and PFC are brain structures prominently involved in the regulation of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, these findings indicate that the acute stress-buffering effect of exercise relies on negative feedback mechanisms. Positive affective changes after exercise appear as important moderators largely accounting for the effects related to physical fitness.

  8. Association of HPA axis hormones with copeptin after psychological stress differs by sex.

    PubMed

    Spanakis, Elias K; Wand, Gary S; Ji, Nan; Golden, Sherita Hill

    2016-01-01

    Copeptin levels are elevated in severe medical conditions, an effect that is attributed to elevated arginine vasopressin (AVP) levels in response to physiological stress, resulting in activation of hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. In the current study, we wanted to determine if copeptin is responsive to psychological stress, correlates with cortisol and adrenocorticotropin hormone (ACTH), and if associations differed by sex. In a cross-sectional study that included 100 healthy men (41%) and women (59%) (aged 18-30 years; mean 24.6 ± 3 years), who underwent the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST), we examined the association between percent change (peak-baseline/baseline) in copeptin levels and percent change in log ACTH and cortisol. Three baselines samples were drawn followed by blood sampling at 20, 35, 50, 65 and 85 min after TSST. There was a significant positive association between the percent change in copeptin and the percent change in log-transformed salivary cortisol (β-coefficient=0.95; p=0.02). The association between percent change in copeptin and log-transformed serum cortisol was not statistically significant in the overall population. There was a trend for a non-significant association between percent change in copeptin and percent change in log-transformed ACTH (β-coefficient=1.14; p=0.06). In males, there was a significant positive association between the percent change in copeptin levels and log-transformed salivary (β-coefficient=1.33, p=0.016) and serum cortisol (β-coefficient=0.69, p=0.01), whereas in women there was no statistically significant association. We found a significant positive association between percent change in copeptin and percent change in salivary and serum cortisol among males only. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. Combined pre- and postnatal environmental enrichment programs the HPA axis differentially in male and female rats.

    PubMed

    Welberg, L; Thrivikraman, K V; Plotsky, P M

    2006-06-01

    Experimental environmental enrichment (EE) is usually applied in adulthood or immediately after weaning, with robust effects on physiology and behaviour. To investigate the effects of EE earlier in life, female rats were maintained under moderate enrichment during pregnancy and, together with their pups, during lactation until weaning. A separate group of dams housed under standard conditions during pregnancy and lactation served as controls. Dams housed under EE exhibited fewer nursing episodes and were off the nest more often, but the frequency of pup licking was not affected on postnatal days 3-5. EE effects on hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis responses to an acute stressor were determined in adult male and female offspring with and without previous exposure to the chronic stressor of constant light. In female offspring, chronic stress significantly increased basal corticosterone (CORT) levels, but not if rats had been exposed to early EE. Furthermore, while control females exposed to chronic stress showed a greatly reduced adrenocorticotropin (ACTH) response to an acute stressor, EE females did not display this desensitization. There was no significant effect of EE on basal ACTH and CORT levels in adult male offspring, nor did it alter their response to acute stress. Maternal licking frequency was moderately but significantly correlated with net corticosterone increases in response to acute stress, the direction of the correlation crucially depending on the offspring's sex and stress conditions. This study shows that EE during pregnancy and lactation has long-lasting effects on reactivity to acute and chronic stress in offspring and that these effects are dependent on the offspring's sex but not greatly on early postpartum maternal behaviour.

  10. Evidence of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis suppression during moderate-to-high-dose inhaled corticosteroid use.

    PubMed

    Cavkaytar, Ozlem; Vuralli, Dogus; Arik Yilmaz, Ebru; Buyuktiryaki, Betul; Soyer, Ozge; Sahiner, Umit M; Kandemir, Nurgun; Sekerel, Bulent E

    2015-11-01

    The possible risk of adverse effects due to regular use of inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) is a real concern. Our aim was to describe the factors that have an impact on hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis suppression (HPA-AS) in children and adolescents taking ICS regularly. The HPA axis status of patients who were on moderate-to-high-dose ICS [>176 and >264 μg/day fluticasone propionate-hydrofluoroalkane (FP-HFA) for patients 0-11 and ≥12 years, respectively] was investigated. Various types of ICS were converted to FP-HFA equivalent according to National Asthma Education and Prevention Program (NAEPP) guidelines. Participants with a baseline (8 a.m.) serum cortisol <15 μg/dL underwent a low-dose ACTH stimulation test (LDAT) to diagnose HPA-AS. Among 91 patients, 60 (75.9 %) participants underwent LDAT, and seven (7.7, 95 % CI 3.5-15.3 %) were diagnosed with HPA-AS. Ciclesonide was more frequently used by the participants with HPA-AS compared to patients with a normal HPA axis (42.9 vs. 4.8 %, p = 0.009). Use of ICS at moderate-to-high doses for at least 7 months distinguished participants with HPA-AS from those with a normal HPA axis. Among the duration, type, and dose of ICS, solely the use of ICS with a body mass index (BMI)-adjusted daily dose of ≥22 μg FP was found to increase the risk for HPA-AS (odds ratio (OR) 7.22, 95 % confidence interval (CI) 1.23-42.26, p = 0.028). The receiver operating characteristics (ROC) curve analysis revealed a cutoff value of 291 μg/day FP (area under the curve (AUC) = 0.840, p = 0.003) for predicting HPA-AS Conclusion: The prevalence of HPA-AS was found to be 7.7 % in children taking not only high-dose ICS but also moderate-dose ICS. Dose alone was found to be an actual risk factor for HPA-AS.

  11. In Obesity, HPA Axis Activity Does Not Increase with BMI, but Declines with Aging: A Meta-Analysis of Clinical Studies

    PubMed Central

    Tenk, Judit; Mátrai, Péter; Hegyi, Péter; Rostás, Ildikó; Garami, András; Szabó, Imre; Solymár, Margit; Pétervári, Erika; Czimmer, József; Márta, Katalin; Mikó, Alexandra; Füredi, Nóra; Párniczky, Andrea; Zsiborás, Csaba; Balaskó, Márta

    2016-01-01

    Background Obesity is one of the major public health challenges worldwide. It involves numerous endocrine disorders as etiological factors or as complications. Previous studies strongly suggested the involvement of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activity in obesity, however, to date, no consistent trend in obesity-associated alterations of the HPA axis has been identified. Aging has been demonstrated to aggravate obesity and to induce abnormalities of the HPA axis. Thus, the question arises whether obesity is correlated with peripheral indicators of HPA function in adult populations. Objectives We aimed to meta-analyze literature data on peripheral cortisol levels as indicators of HPA activity in obesity during aging, in order to identify possible explanations for previous contradictory findings and to suggest new approaches for future clinical studies. Data Sources 3,596 records were identified through searching of PubMed, Embase and Cochrane Library Database. Altogether 26 articles were suitable for analyses. Study Eligibility Criteria Empirical research papers were eligible provided that they reported data of healthy adult individuals, included body mass index (BMI) and measured at least one relevant peripheral cortisol parameter (i.e., either morning blood cortisol or 24-h urinary free cortisol). Statistical Methods We used random effect models in each of the meta-analyses calculating with the DerSimonian and Laird weighting methods. I-squared indicator and Q test were performed to assess heterogeneity. Meta-regression was applied to explore the effect of BMI and age on morning blood and urinary free cortisol levels. To assess publication bias Egger’s test was used. Results Obesity did not show any correlation with the studied peripheral cortisol values. On the other hand, peripheral cortisol levels declined with aging within the obese, but not in the non-obese groups. Conclusions Our analysis demonstrated that obesity or healthy aging does not

  12. Serotonin transporter genotype modulates HPA axis output during stress: effect of stress, dexamethasone test and ACTH challenge

    PubMed Central

    Sorenson, Andrea N.; Sullivan, Erin C.; Mendoza, Sally P.; Capitanio, John P.; Higley, J. Dee

    2014-01-01

    Background Studies show that the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis is dysregulated in depression. Some studies suggest that variation in the serotonin transporter genotype (hereafter 5HTT) modulates both risk for depression and psychopathological HPA axis responsiveness. Rhesus monkeys are well suited to model such relationships. Rhesus macaque models of human psychopathology have assessed the effect of the serotonin transporter (rh5HTT) on levels of cortisol in stressed subjects. These studies show that that under conditions of stress, heterozygous females (Ls) reared under adversity exhibit high levels of cortisol. Studies have not to our knowledge, however, assessed the potential additive effect on the cortisol response in a number of macaque subjects homozygous for the serotonin transporter short allele (ss). Moreover, little is known about the level of the central or peripheral nervous system at which the 5HTT genotype acts to modulate the cortisol response. Methods This study assesses a relatively large number of subjects homozygous and heterozygous for the rh5HTT short and long alleles (a) during stress; (b) following a dexamethasone suppression test; and (c) following an adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) challenge. Subjects included 190 infant rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta – 84 males and 106 females; 118 LL, 60 Ls, and 12 ss subjects), obtaining two blood plasma samples during the stress of separation from their mothers. Then on the following day, we obtained a blood sample following a dexamethasone test, and later that day we obtained a blood sample after an ACTH challenge test. Subjects ranged in age between 90 and 128 days, with a mean age of 107 days. Results Subjects homozygous for the short allele had significantly higher levels of cortisol across all test conditions, when compared to those homozygous for the long allele, or those heterozygous with Ls alleles. Subsequent analyses showed a high correlation between individual cortisol

  13. Serotonin transporter genotype modulates HPA axis output during stress: effect of stress, dexamethasone test and ACTH challenge.

    PubMed

    Sorenson, Andrea N; Sullivan, Erin C; Mendoza, Sally P; Capitanio, John P; Higley, J Dee

    2013-09-09

    Studies show that the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis is dysregulated in depression. Some studies suggest that variation in the serotonin transporter genotype (hereafter 5HTT) modulates both risk for depression and psychopathological HPA axis responsiveness. Rhesus monkeys are well suited to model such relationships. Rhesus macaque models of human psychopathology have assessed the effect of the serotonin transporter (rh5HTT) on levels of cortisol in stressed subjects. These studies show that that under conditions of stress, heterozygous females (Ls) reared under adversity exhibit high levels of cortisol. Studies have not to our knowledge, however, assessed the potential additive effect on the cortisol response in a number of macaque subjects homozygous for the serotonin transporter short allele (ss). Moreover, little is known about the level of the central or peripheral nervous system at which the 5HTT genotype acts to modulate the cortisol response. This study assesses a relatively large number of subjects homozygous and heterozygous for the rh5HTT short and long alleles (a) during stress; (b) following a dexamethasone suppression test; and (c) following an adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) challenge. Subjects included 190 infant rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta - 84 males and 106 females; 118 LL, 60 Ls, and 12 ss subjects), obtaining two blood plasma samples during the stress of separation from their mothers. Then on the following day, we obtained a blood sample following a dexamethasone test, and later that day we obtained a blood sample after an ACTH challenge test. Subjects ranged in age between 90 and 128 days, with a mean age of 107 days. Subjects homozygous for the short allele had significantly higher levels of cortisol across all test conditions, when compared to those homozygous for the long allele, or those heterozygous with Ls alleles. Subsequent analyses showed a high correlation between individual cortisol levels across the three different

  14. Sexually diergic hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) responses to single-dose nicotine, continuous nicotine infusion, and nicotine withdrawal by mecamylamine in rats

    PubMed Central

    Gentile, Natalie E.; Andrekanic, Julie D.; Karwoski, Tracy E.; Czambel, R. Kenneth; Rubin, Robert T.; Rhodes, Michael E.

    2011-01-01

    Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) responses to single-dose nicotine (NIC) are sexually diergic: Female rats have higher adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and corticosterone (CORT) responses than do males. In the present study we determined HPA responses in male and female rats following single doses of NIC, a single-dose of NIC immediately following continuous NIC for two weeks, and NIC withdrawal by single-dose mecamylamine (MEC) following continuous NIC infusion for two weeks. Blood sampling occurred before and after MEC and NIC administrations for determination of ACTH and CORT. In accordance with our previous findings, female ACTH and CORT responses to single-dose NIC were greater than male responses. This sex difference remained after single-dose NIC followed continuous NIC infusion, but HPA responses in both sexes were significantly lower in magnitude and duration than in the single-dose NIC alone groups. Sex differences also were observed following NIC withdrawal by MEC: The HPA responses to pretreatment with MEC were significantly higher in magnitude and duration in the continuous NIC groups than in the single-dose NIC groups. These results demonstrate that HPA responses to NIC are reduced and transient following continuous NIC infusion but are enhanced and sustained following NIC withdrawal by MEC after continuous NIC, suggesting that NIC habituation and withdrawal influence the stress responses in a diergic manner. These findings highlight the importance of sex differences in the effect of NIC on HPA axis activity and stress responsiveness, which may have implications for directing NIC-addiction treatment specifically towards men and women. PMID:21396990

  15. Hormonal status modifies renin-angiotensin system-regulating aminopeptidases and vasopressin-degrading activity in the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis of female mice.

    PubMed

    García, María Jesús; Martínez-Martos, José Manuel; Mayas, María Dolores; Carrera, María Pilar; De la Chica, Susana; Cortés, Pedro; Ramírez-Expósito, María Jesús

    2008-07-01

    The hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA) participates in the maintenance of cardiovascular functions and in the control of blood pressure. By other hand, it is known that blood pressure regulation and HPA activity are affected by sex hormones. The aim of the present work is to analyze the influence of estradiol and progesterone on renin-angiotensin system (RAS)-regulating aminopeptidase A, aminopeptidase B and aminopeptidase N activities and vasopressin-degrading activity in the HPA axis of ovariectomized mice and ovariectomized mice treated subscutaneously with different doses of estradiol and progesterone. Our data suggest that in female mice, estradiol and progesterone influence RAS-regulating and vasopressin-degrading activities at different levels of the HPA axis.

  16. HPA-Axis Activation as a Key Moderator of Childhood Trauma Exposure and Adolescent Mental Health.

    PubMed

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

    2017-02-18

    Individual differences in a child's sensitivity to stress may influence whether youth exposed to trauma develop symptoms of psychopathology. We examined the interaction between HPA-axis reactivity to an acute stressor and exposure to different types of childhood trauma as predictors of mental health symptoms in a sample of youth. Youth (n = 121, ages 9-16; 47% female) completed a standardized stress task, including 5 post-stress salivary cortisol samples. Parents also completed the Child Behavior Checklist as a measure of child internalizing and externalizing symptoms in the past month, and completed the Early Trauma Inventory (ETI) as a measure of their child's trauma exposure. More emotional abuse and non-intentional trauma were associated with greater internalizing symptoms. Youth exposed to physical abuse who demonstrated slower HPA-axis reactivity had elevated internalizing and externalizing symptoms. Youth exposed to emotional abuse or non-intentional traumatic events who demonstrated faster HPA-axis reactivity had elevated internalizing and externalizing symptoms. Profiles of exaggerated or attenuated HPA-axis reactivity to acute stress may be risk factors for psychopathology in children facing different stressful social environments.

  17. Glucocorticoid receptor gene methylation and HPA-axis regulation in adolescents. The TRAILS study.

    PubMed

    van der Knaap, Lisette J; Oldehinkel, Albertine J; Verhulst, Frank C; van Oort, Floor V A; Riese, Harriëtte

    2015-08-01

    Early life adversity and psychopathology are thought to be linked through HPA-axis deregulation. Changes in methylation levels of stress reactivity genes such as the glucocorticoid receptor gene (NR3C1) can be induced by adversity. Higher NR3C1 methylation levels have been associated with a reduced NR3C1 expression, possibly leading to impaired negative feedback regulation of the HPA-axis. In this study we tested whether methylation levels of NR3C1 were associated with HPA-axis regulation, operationalized as cortisol responses. In 361 adolescents (mean age 16.1, SD=0.6), salivary cortisol samples were collected before, during, and after a social stress task, from which response measures (cortisol activation and recovery) were calculated. Higher NR3C1 methylation levels were associated with a flattened cortisol recovery slope, indicating a delayed recovery time. Cortisol response activation was not associated with NR3C1 methylation. These results suggest that methylation of NR3C1 may impair negative feedback of the HPA-axis in adolescents.

  18. Influence of hormonal status on enkephalin-degrading aminopeptidase activity in the HPA axis of female mice.

    PubMed

    García-López, M J; Martínez-Martos, J M; Mayas, M D; Carrera, M P; Ramírez-Expósito, M J

    2005-04-01

    Opioids are involved in the regulation of hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activity under physiological conditions. In the present work, we analyzed the influence of ovariectomy and estradiol (E), progesterone (P) or estradiol plus progesterone (E+P) replacement on soluble (S) and membrane-bound (MB) enkephalin-degrading aminopeptidase activity (EDA) in the HPA axis. Female mice (Balb/C) were distributed in 15 groups of 10 animals each: sham-operated controls (C), ovariectomized controls (OV-C), and ovariectomized mice treated with increasing doses of E (10, 20 or 40 mg/kg), P (100, 200 or 400 mg/kg) or E+P (10+100, 20+200 or 40+400 mg/kg). In hypothalamus, ovariectomy increased both S and MB EDA activities, whereas E replacement returned them to control levels, although MB EDA activity increased again after the replacement with 40 mg/kg E. P replacement increased S EDA activity, but returned MB EDA activity to control levels. The replacement of E+P returned both S and MB EDA activities to control levels, although MB EDA activity was lower than control values after the replacement with 10+100 mg/kg E+P. In pituitary, neither ovariectomy nor the replacement of E or E+P changed S EDA, although the highest concentrations of P increased S EDA activity. However, ovariectomy increased MB EDA and E replacement returned the activity to control or below control levels, depending on the concentration used. However, P administration returned the activity to control or below control levels depending on the concentration used, although 200 mg/kg P had no effects on MB EDA. E+P replacement returned pituitary MB EDA activity to control levels. In adrenal glands, ovariectomy did change either S or MB EDA. However, E, P or E+P replacement decreased S EDA activity in different degrees, depending of the dose administrated. No changes were detected in MB EDA after hormone replacement. These results indicate that female steroid hormones influence EDA activity at different

  19. [Activity of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenals axis in the Siberian tiger (Panthera tigris altaica) in captivity and in the wild, and their dynamics throughout the year].

    PubMed

    Naidenko, S V; Ivanov, E A; Lukarevskiĭ, V S; Hernandez-Blanko, J A; Sorokin, P A; Litvinov, M N; Kotliar, A K; Rozhnov, V V

    2011-01-01

    A noninvasive evaluation method of hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenals axis (HPA) activity in the Siberian tiger was verified. Comparison of the activity level of HPA in Siberian tigers in the wild and in captivity, and their alterations over the year was carried out. Significant seasonal deviations between activity levels of HPA in tigers in captivity were not found. In the wild, this level was significantly higher, reaching the maximum from November to January, which can be related with an unfavorable influence on tigers in low temperatures and deep snow cover.

  20. Stressor-specific effects of sex on HPA axis hormones and activation of stress-related neurocircuitry.

    PubMed

    Babb, Jessica A; Masini, Cher V; Day, Heidi E W; Campeau, Serge

    2013-11-01

    Experiencing stress can be physically and psychologically debilitating to an organism. Women have a higher prevalence of some stress-related mental illnesses, the reasons for which are unknown. These experiments explore differential HPA axis hormone release in male and female rats following acute stress. Female rats had a similar threshold of HPA axis hormone release following low intensity noise stress as male rats. Sex did not affect the acute release, or the return of HPA axis hormones to baseline following moderate intensity noise stress. Sensitive indices of auditory functioning obtained by modulation of the acoustic startle reflex by weak pre-pulses did not reveal any sexual dimorphism. Furthermore, male and female rats exhibited similar c-fos mRNA expression in the brain following noise stress, including several sex-influenced stress-related regions. The HPA axis response to noise stress was not affected by stage of estrous cycle, and ovariectomy significantly increased hormone release. Direct comparison of HPA axis hormone release to two different stressors in the same animals revealed that although female rats exhibit robustly higher HPA axis hormone release after restraint stress, the same effect was not observed following moderate and high intensity loud noise stress. Finally, the differential effect of sex on HPA axis responses to noise and restraint stress cannot readily be explained by differential social cues or general pain processing. These studies suggest the effect of sex on acute stress-induced HPA axis hormone activity is highly dependent on the type of stressor.

  1. Sex differences in HPA axis activity in response to a meal.

    PubMed

    Martens, Eveline A P; Lemmens, Sofie G T; Adam, Tanja C M; Westerterp-Plantenga, Margriet S

    2012-05-15

    Sex may influence the relationship between HPA axis functioning and obesity. This has been suggested to be due to sex-specific differences in body composition, body fat distribution and psychological variables. Age and the use of oral contraceptives may also influence the relationship between HPA axis functioning and obesity. To systematically investigate whether body composition, body fat distribution, psychological variables, age, or possible oral contraceptive use contribute to sex differences in HPA axis activity in response to a meal. Subjects were men (n=19) and women (n=19) between 18 and 51 years old with BMI between 20.3 and 33.2 kg/m(2). HPA axis activity was measured by salivary free cortisol levels before consuming a meal, and at 45, 75 and 125 min postprandial on four repeated test days. Anthropometric and body composition measurements were performed. Questionnaires were used to assess cognitive eating behavior and trait anxiety level. No differences between the test days in postprandial cortisol responses appeared. Responses were significantly higher in men compared with women (p<.05). No significant correlations were found between cortisol concentrations and sex-specific body composition or body fat distribution. Psychological variables did not contribute to differences in cortisol responses after a meal between men and women. In women, baseline cortisol concentrations correlated inversely with age (p=.024). Higher HPA axis activity following a meal in men vs. women remained irrespective of sex-specific differences in body composition, body fat distribution, psychological variables, or in age. In women baseline cortisol concentrations were age-dependent. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  2. Long-term effects of early parental loss due to divorce on the HPA axis.

    PubMed

    Bloch, Miki; Peleg, Ido; Koren, Danny; Aner, Hamotal; Klein, Ehud

    2007-04-01

    We investigated the long-term effects of divorce and early separation from one parent on HPA axis reactivity, in young adults without psychopathology. Participants were 44 young subjects, 22 whose parents divorced before they reached age 10, and 22 controls. Psychiatric symptomatology was measured with the Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI), family perceived stress by the Dyadic Adjustment Scale (DAS), and bonding by the Parental Bonding Instrument (PBI). Assessment of HPA axis function included baseline morning cortisol and ACTH and cortisol response to a CRH stimulation test. No baseline or stimulated group differences were observed for ACTH. Cortisol levels were consistently but insignificantly lower in the divorce group throughout the CRH stimulation reaching statistical significance only at 5 min (p<0.03). Group by time effect reached a trend level (p<0.06). A correlation was found between psychiatric symptomatology and PBI scores; however, both parameters did not correlate with HPA axis activity. A significant correlation was found between DAS scores and ACTH. A regression model revealed a contributing effect for both family stress and child-parent bonding to stimulated ACTH levels. These preliminary findings suggest that even in the absence of adult psychopathology, a history of childhood separation from one parent due to divorce may lead to detectable, albeit mild, long-term alterations in HPA axis activity. Furthermore, they suggest that level of stress at home and parental bonding are important determinants of this effect. It is likely that divorce has significant and sustained effects on children's HPA axis only in the context of a traumatic separation.

  3. Total flavonoids extracted from xiaobuxin-tang on the hyperactivity of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis in chronically stressed rats.

    PubMed

    An, Lei; Zhang, You-Zhi; Liu, Xin-Min; Yu, Neng-Jiang; Chen, Hong-Xia; Zhao, Nan; Yuan, Li; Li, Yun-Feng

    2011-01-01

    Our previous studies have demonstrated that the total flavonoids (XBXT-2) isolated from the extract of Xiaobuxin-Tang (XBXT), a traditional Chinese herbal decoction, ameliorated behavioral alterations and hippocampal dysfunctions in chronically stressed rats. Studies over the last decades have suggested that the hyperactivity of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis is one of the most consistent findings in stress-related depression. Herein, we used the same chronic mild stress model of rats as before to further investigate the effect of XBXT-2 on the hyperactivity of HPA axis, including the stress hormones levels and glucocorticoid receptors (GRs) expression. Our ELISA results showed that chronic administration of XBXT-2 (25, 50 mg kg(-1), p.o., 28 days, the effective doses for behavioral responses) significantly decreased serum corticosterone level and its upstream stress hormone adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) level in chronically stressed rats. Furthermore, western blotting result demonstrated XBXT-2 treatment ameliorated stress-induced decrease of GRs expression in hippocampus, an important target involved in the hyperactivity of HPA axis. These results were similar to that of classic antidepressant imipramine treatment (10 mg kg(-1), p.o.). In conclusion, the modulation of HPA axis produced by XBXT-2, including the inhibition of stress hormones levels and up-regulation of hippocampal GRs expression, may be an important mechanism underlying its antidepressant-like effect in chronically stressed rats.

  4. Total Flavonoids Extracted from Xiaobuxin-Tang on the Hyperactivity of Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis in Chronically Stressed Rats

    PubMed Central

    An, Lei; Zhang, You-Zhi; Liu, Xin-Min; Yu, Neng-Jiang; Chen, Hong-Xia; Zhao, Nan; Yuan, Li; Li, Yun-Feng

    2011-01-01

    Our previous studies have demonstrated that the total flavonoids (XBXT-2) isolated from the extract of Xiaobuxin-Tang (XBXT), a traditional Chinese herbal decoction, ameliorated behavioral alterations and hippocampal dysfunctions in chronically stressed rats. Studies over the last decades have suggested that the hyperactivity of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis is one of the most consistent findings in stress-related depression. Herein, we used the same chronic mild stress model of rats as before to further investigate the effect of XBXT-2 on the hyperactivity of HPA axis, including the stress hormones levels and glucocorticoid receptors (GRs) expression. Our ELISA results showed that chronic administration of XBXT-2 (25, 50 mg kg−1, p.o., 28 days, the effective doses for behavioral responses) significantly decreased serum corticosterone level and its upstream stress hormone adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) level in chronically stressed rats. Furthermore, western blotting result demonstrated XBXT-2 treatment ameliorated stress-induced decrease of GRs expression in hippocampus, an important target involved in the hyperactivity of HPA axis. These results were similar to that of classic antidepressant imipramine treatment (10 mg kg−1, p.o.). In conclusion, the modulation of HPA axis produced by XBXT-2, including the inhibition of stress hormones levels and up-regulation of hippocampal GRs expression, may be an important mechanism underlying its antidepressant-like effect in chronically stressed rats. PMID:20028718

  5. Investigating the effect of acute sleep deprivation on hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal-axis response to a psychosocial stressor.

    PubMed

    Vargas, Ivan; Lopez-Duran, Nestor

    2017-05-01

    The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis has been previously identified as one potential mechanism that may explain the link between sleep deprivation and negative health outcomes. However, few studies have examined the direct association between sleep deprivation and HPA-axis functioning, particularly in the context of stress. Therefore, the aim of the current study was to investigate the relationship between acute sleep deprivation and HPA-axis reactivity to a psychosocial stressor. Participants included 40 healthy, young adults between the ages of 18-29. The current protocol included spending two nights in the laboratory. After an adaptation night (night 1), participants were randomized into either a sleep deprivation condition (29 consecutive hours awake) or a control condition (night 2). Following the second night, all participants completed the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST). Salivary cortisol was collected before, during, and after the TSST. Results indicated that there were significant group differences in cortisol stress reactivity. Specifically, compared to participants in the control condition, participants in the sleep deprivation condition had greater baseline (i.e., pre-stress) cortisol, yet a blunted cortisol response to the TSST. Taken together, a combination of elevated baseline cortisol (and its subsequent effect on HPA-axis regulatory processes) and a relative 'ceiling' on the amount of cortisol a laboratory stressor can produce may explain why participants in the sleep deprivation condition demonstrated blunted cortisol responses. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  6. RasGRF1 Regulates the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis Specifically in Early-Adolescent Female Mice

    PubMed Central

    Uzturk, Belkis Gizem; Jin, Shan-xue; Rubin, Beverly; Bartolome, Christopher; Feig, Larry A.

    2015-01-01

    Dysregulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis has been implicated in the induction and prolongation of a variety of psychiatric disorders. As such, much effort has been made to understand the molecular mechanisms involved in its control. However, the vast majority of the studies on the HPA axis have used adult animals, and among these the majority has used males. Here we show that in knockout mice lacking the guanine nucleotide exchange factor, RasGRF1, habituation to 30 minutes a day of restraint stress is markedly accelerated, such that these mice do not display elevated corticosterone levels or enhanced locomotion after 7 days of stress exposure, like WT mice do. Strikingly, this phenotype is present in early-adolescent female RasGRF1 knockout mice, but not in their early-adolescent male, mid-adolescent female, adult female or adult male counterparts. Moreover, not only is there a clear response to restraint stress in early-adolescent female RasGRF1 knockout mice, their response after 1, 3, and 5 exposures is magnified ~3-fold compared to WT mice. These findings imply that distinct mechanisms exist to regulate the HPA axis in early-adolescent females that involves RasGRF1. A full understanding of how RasGRF1 controls the HPA axis response to stress may be required to design effective strategies to combat stress-associated psychiatric disorders initiated in young females. PMID:26246084

  7. Analyses of hair and salivary cortisol for evaluating hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activation in patients with autoimmune disease.

    PubMed

    Montero-López, Eva; Santos-Ruiz, Ana; González, Raquel; Navarrete-Navarrete, Nuria; Ortego-Centeno, Norberto; Martínez-Augustín, Olga; Rodríguez-Blázquez, Manuel; Peralta-Ramírez, María Isabel

    2017-08-30

    Although many studies have shown that patients with autoimmune disease present a hypoactive hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA), controversial results have been described. Our objective was to study HPA axis activity in women with autoimmune disease compared to healthy women. Therefore, we analyzed salivary cortisol over the course of a day, and hair cortisol concentrations from the three preceding months, from 65 women divided into two groups: healthy women (n = 30), with a mean age of 44.70 ± 11.65 years; and women with autoimmune disease (n = 35), with a mean age of 48.26 ± 9.04 years. The latter group comprises women with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), Sjögren's syndrome (SS), and systemic sclerosis (SSc). Perceived stress and psychopathological symptomatology were also evaluated. Autoimmune disease group scored higher on the somatization subscale SCL-90-R and lower on the anxiety subscale than the control group. Regarding HPA axis activation, the area under curve for cortisol levels during the day was higher for the autoimmune disease group. In addition, higher cortisol levels in hair were found in the group with autoimmune disease. Our findings show greater short and long-term HPA axis activity in women with autoimmune disease than in healthy women.

  8. Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis response to acute psychosocial stress: Effects of biological sex and circulating sex hormones

    PubMed Central

    Stephens, Mary Ann C.; Mahon, Pamela B.; McCaul, Mary E.; Wand, Gary S.

    2016-01-01

    Summary Dysregulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis influences the risk for developing stress-related disorders. Sex-dependent differences in the HPA axis stress response are believed to contribute to the different prevalence rates of stress-related disorders found in men and women. However, studies examining the HPA axis stress response have shown mixed support for sex differences, and the role of endogenous sex hormones on HPA axis response has not been adequately examined in humans. This study utilized the largest sample size to date to analyze the effects of biological sex and sex hormones on HPA axis social stress responses. Healthy, 18- to 30- year-old community volunteers (N=282) completed the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST), a widely used and well-validated stress-induction laboratory procedure. All women (n=135) were tested during the follicular phase of their menstrual cycle (when progesterone levels are most similar to men). Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and cortisol measures were collected at multiple points throughout pre- and post-TSST. Testosterone and progesterone (in men) and progesterone and estradiol (in women) were determined pre-TSST. Following the TSST, men had greater ACTH and cortisol levels than women. Men had steeper baseline-to-peak and peak-to-end ACTH and cortisol response slopes than women; there was a trend for more cortisol responders among men than women. Testosterone negatively correlated with salivary cortisol response in men, while progesterone negatively correlated with ACTH and cortisol responses in women. These data confirm that men show more robust activation of the HPA axis response to the TSST than do women in the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle. Testosterone results suggest an inhibitory effect on HPA axis reactivity in men. Progesterone results suggest an inhibitory effect on HPA axis reactivity in women. Future work is needed to explain why men mount a greater ACTH and cortisol response to

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. Metabolic syndrome, activity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and inflammatory mediators in depressive disorder.

    PubMed

    Martinac, Marko; Pehar, Davor; Karlović, Dalibor; Babić, Dragan; Marcinko, Darko; Jakovljević, Miro

    2014-03-01

    Depression has been associated with various cardiovascular risk factors such as hypertension, obesity, atherogenic dyslipidemia and hyperglycemia. In depressive disorder, hyperactivity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and changes in the immune system have been observed. On the other hand, somatic diseases such as obesity, hyperlipidemia, hypertension and diabetes mellitus type 2 are now perceived as important comorbid conditions in patients with depression. The pathogenesis of the metabolic syndrome and depression is complex and poorly researched; however, it is considered that the interaction of chronic stress, psychotrauma, hypercotisolism and disturbed immune functions contribute to the development of these disorders. The aim of the study was to investigate the relationship between depression and metabolic syndrome regarding the HPA axis dysfunction and altered inflammatory processes. Literature search in Medline and other databases included articles written in English published between 1985 and 2012. Analysis of the literature was conducted using a systematic approach with the search terms such as depression, metabolic syndrome, inflammation, cytokines, glucocorticoids, cortisol, and HPA axis. In conclusion, the relationship between depression and metabolic syndrome is still a subject of controversy. Further prospective studies are required to clarify the possible causal relationship between depression and metabolic syndrome and its components. Furthermore, it is important to explore the possibility of a common biologic mechanism in the pathogenesis of these two disorders, in which special attention should be paid to the immune system function, especially the possible specific mechanisms by which cytokines can induce and maintain depressive symptoms and metabolic disorders. The data presented here emphasize the importance of recognition and treatment of depressive disorders with consequent reduction in the incidence of metabolic syndrome, but

  12. Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis response to stress in male DUI recidivists.

    PubMed

    Couture, Sophie; Brown, Thomas G; Ouimet, Marie Claude; Gianoulakis, Christina; Tremblay, Jacques; Carbonneau, René

    2008-01-01

    Cortisol is a stress hormone mediated by the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and a psychobiological marker of genetic risk for alcoholism and other high-risk behavioural characteristics. In previous work with driving under the influence of alcohol (DUI) recidivists, we uncovered a significant inverse relationship between the frequency of past DUI convictions and salivary cortisol, whose strength surpassed those observed between DUI frequency and measures of alcohol abuse and other DUI-related characteristics. This finding emerged using a methodology not specifically contrived to test this relationship. The goals of this follow-up study were to (a) examine if a standardized stress-induction protocol would produce a significant inverse relationship between cortisol response and number of DUI offences; and (b) clarify whether HPA axis dysregulation could be linked to particular DUI-related behavioural correlates, such as alcohol use severity, sensation seeking, and antisocial features. Thirty male DUI recidivists were recruited as well as 11 male non-DUI drivers as a comparison group. Results indicated an inverse relationship between DUI frequency and cortisol response (r(39)=-0.36, p=0.021), as well as a lower cortisol response in DUI offenders than the comparison group (F(1,39)=5.71, p=0.022). Finally, for recidivists, hierarchical regression analyses indicated that experience seeking (R(2)=0.23, p=0.008), followed by number of cigarettes smoked daily ((Delta)R(2)=0.12, p=0.031), combined to explain 35% of the variance in cortisol (F(2,29)=7.26, p=0.003). These findings indicate that severe recidivism may have psychobiological underpinnings, and that HPA axis dysregulation appears to be a mechanism common to high-risk behaviours including DUI recidivism, sensation seeking, and cigarette smoking.

  13. 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.

  14. Regulation of 5-HT receptors and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. Implications for the neurobiology of suicide.

    PubMed

    López, J F; Vázquez, D M; Chalmers, D T; Watson, S J

    1997-12-29

    Disturbances in the serotonin (5-HT) system is the neurobiological abnormality most consistently associated with suicide. Hyperactivity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis is also described in suicide victims. The HPA axis is the classical neuroendocrine system that responds to stress and whose final product, corticosteroids, targets components of the limbic system, particularly the hippocampus. We will review results from animal studies that point to the possibility that many of the 5-HT receptor changes observed in suicide brains may be a result of, or may be worsened by, the HPA overactivity that may be present in some suicide victims. The results of these studies can be summarized as follows: (1) chronic unpredictable stress produces high corticosteroid levels in rats; (2) chronic stress also results in changes in specific 5-HT receptors (increases in cortical 5-HT2A and decreases in hipocampal 5-HT1A and 5-HT1B); (3) chronic antidepressant administration prevents many of the 5-HT receptor changes observed after stress; and (4) chronic antidepressant administration reverses the overactivity of the HPA axis. If indeed 5-HT receptors have a partial role in controlling affective states, then their modulation by corticosteroids provides a potential mechanism by which these hormones may regulate mood. These data may also provide a biological understanding of how stressful events may increase the risk for suicide in vulnerable individuals and may help us elucidate the neurobiological underpinnings of treatment resistance.

  15. The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and serotonin abnormalities: a selective overview for the implications of suicide prevention.

    PubMed

    Pompili, Maurizio; Serafini, Gianluca; Innamorati, Marco; Möller-Leimkühler, Anne Maria; Giupponi, Giancarlo; Girardi, Paolo; Tatarelli, Roberto; Lester, David

    2010-12-01

    Suicidal behavior and mood disorders are one of the world's largest public health problems. The biological vulnerability for these problems includes genetic factors involved in the regulation of the serotonergic system and stress system. The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis is a neuroendocrine system that regulates the body's response to stress and has complex interactions with brain serotonergic, noradrenergic and dopaminergic systems. Corticotropin-releasing hormone and vasopressin act synergistically to stimulate the secretion of ACTH that stimulates the biosynthesis of corticosteroids such as cortisol from cholesterol. Cortisol is a major stress hormone and has effects on many tissues, including on mineralocorticoid receptors and glucocorticoid receptors in the brain. Glucocorticoids produce behavioral changes, and one important target of glucocorticoids is the hypothalamus, which is a major controlling center of the HPA axis. Stress plays a major role in the various pathophysiological processes associated with mood disorders and suicidal behavior. Serotonergic dysfunction is a well-established substrate for mood disorders and suicidal behavior. Corticosteroids may play an important role in the relationship between stress, mood changes and perhaps suicidal behavior by interacting with 5-HT1A receptors. Abnormalities in the HPA axis in response to increased levels of stress are found to be associated with a dysregulation in the serotonergic system, both in subjects with mood disorders and those who engage in suicidal behavior. HPA over-activity may be a good predictor of mood disorders and perhaps suicidal behavior via abnormalities in the serotonergic system.

  16. Depression and alterations in hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal and hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid axis function in male abstinent methamphetamine abusers.

    PubMed

    Li, Su-Xia; Yan, Shi-Yan; Bao, Yan-Ping; Lian, Zhi; Qu, Zhi; Wu, Ya-Ping; Liu, Zhi-Min

    2013-09-01

    The present study was to investigate depression and alterations in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) and hypothalamic-pituitary-thyroid (HPT) axis function in methamphetamine (METH) abusers after abstinence. Depression was assessed using the 13-item Beck Depression Inventory (BDI-13) scale; blood samples from in-patients who were METH abusers and age-matched and sex-matched healthy controls were collected. The demographic characteristics and history of METH abuse also was assessed. We found that serum levels of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and thyroxine were increased; and serum levels of cortisol, triiodothyronine, and thyroid-stimulating hormone were decreased; and the BDI score was higher in METH abusers compared with control. In addition, there was no correlation between the BDI-13 score and any of hormones of HPA and HPT axis was found. Particularly, we found abnormally higher ACTH level and mismatched with lower cortisol level in abstinent METH abusers. These results indicate that METH abusers and that their HPA and HPT functions are all altered after abstinence. Chronically using METH may destroy the regulatory function of the HPA axis, especially the feedback regulation of cortisol to ACTH. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  17. 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.

  18. Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activity in patients with pathological gambling and internet use disorder.

    PubMed

    Geisel, Olga; Panneck, Patricia; Hellweg, Rainer; Wiedemann, Klaus; Müller, Christian A

    2015-03-30

    Alterations in secretion of stress hormones within the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis have repeatedly been found in substance-related addictive disorders. It has been suggested that glucocorticoids might contribute to the development and maintenance of substance use disorders by facilitatory effects on behavioral responses to substances of abuse. The objective of this pilot study was to investigate HPA axis activity in patients with non-substance-related addictive disorders, i.e. pathological gambling and internet use disorder. We measured plasma levels of copeptin, a vasopressin surrogate marker, adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and cortisol in male patients with pathological gambling (n=14), internet use disorder (n=11) and matched healthy controls for pathological gambling (n=13) and internet use disorder (n=10). Plasma levels of copeptin, ACTH and cortisol in patients with pathological gambling or internet use disorder did not differ among groups. However, cortisol plasma levels correlated negatively with the severity of pathological gambling as measured by the PG-YBOCS. Together with our findings of increased serum levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in pathological gambling but not internet use disorder, these results suggest that the pathophysiology of pathological gambling shares some characteristics with substance-related addictive disorders on a neuroendocrinological level, whereas those similarities could not be observed in internet use disorder.

  19. Prospective investigation of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis in patients with tularemia.

    PubMed

    Demiraslan, Hayati; Şimşek, Yasin; Tanriverdi, Fatih; Doğanay, Mehmet; Keleştemur, Hasan Fahrettin

    2015-01-01

    To investigate prospectively the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis by adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) stimulation test. Tularemia was diagnosed according to guidelines. An ACTH stimulation test (1 µg) and a dexamethasone suppression test (DST; 1 mg) were performed in patients in the acute phase of tularemia before antibiotic treatment and in the chronic phase. Nineteen patients (mean age: 41.0 ± 13.2 years; 57.9% female) with tularemia were enrolled in the study in 2011 and 2012. Cortisol response to ACTH stimulation test was sufficient in all patients during the acute phase. After the DST, the cortisol was not suppressed during the acute phase in only one patient. The median control time of 11 patients after acute tularemia was 13 months. During the chronic phase, cortisol response to ACTH stimulation was normal in all patients, and after DST cortisol was suppressed in all patients. The peak cortisol level after the ACTH stimulation test in the acute phase was higher than that in the chronic phase, but the difference was not statistically significant. The HPA axis of patients with tularemia was not significantly affected in the acute and chronic phases.

  20. Effects of specific mu and kappa opiate tolerance and abstinence on hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis secretion in the rat.

    PubMed

    Ignar, D M; Kuhn, C M

    1990-12-01

    Chronic administration of opiates to rats results in HPA axis tolerance and abstinence-induced hypersecretion. The effects of specific mu and kappa tolerance and withdrawal on the functional secretion of the HPA axis were evaluated in this study. Adult male rats were injected s.c. twice daily with saline, morphine or U50,488 for 5 days. Serum adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH) or corticosterone (CS) were determined by radioimmunoassay as measures of HPA axis function. Tolerance to morphine (10 mg/kg) and U50,488 (1 mg/kg), but no cross-tolerance, was observed suggesting the development of mu- or kappa-specific tolerance, respectively. Tolerance does not occur at the pituitary or adrenal levels after these paradigms because ACTH and CS responses to exogenous corticotropin-releasing factor and ACTH, respectively, were not attenuated. CS secretion in response to novelty stress was not affected by either chronic opiate treatment, but the circadian variation of CS levels was slightly blunted after chronic morphine. In contrast, the elevation of CS secretion by quipazine (0.5 mg/kg) and physostigmine (0.1 mg/kg) was attenuated after chronic U50,488, but not morphine administration. Both spontaneous and antagonist-precipitated withdrawal from morphine, but not U50,488, resulted in elevation of CS levels. Low doses of morphine suppressed morphine abstinence-induced CS hypersecretion, whereas, U50,488 and clonidine had no effect. In conclusion, alterations of HPA axis function occur during chronic mu or kappa opiate administration that are receptor-specific and involve multiple neural controls of the HPA axis.

  1. Stress in adolescence and drugs of abuse in rodent models: Role of dopamine, CRF, and HPA axis

    PubMed Central

    Burke, Andrew R.; Miczek, Klaus A.

    2014-01-01

    Rationale Research on adolescence and drug abuse increased substantially in the past decade. However, drug-addiction related behaviors following stressful experiences during adolescence are less studied. We focus on rodent models of adolescent stress cross-sensitization to drugs of abuse. Objectives Review the ontogeny of behavior, dopamine, corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF), and the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis in adolescent rodents. We evaluate evidence that stressful experiences during adolescence engender hypersensitivity to drugs of abuse and offer potential neural mechanisms. Results and Conclusions Much evidence suggests that final maturation of behavior, dopamine systems, and HPA axis occurs during adolescence. Stress during adolescence increases amphetamine- and ethanol-stimulated locomotion, preference, and self-administration under many conditions. The influence of adolescent stress on subsequent cocaine- and nicotine-stimulated locomotion and preference is less clear. The type of adolescent stress, temporal interval between stress and testing, species, sex, and the drug tested are key methodological determinants for successful cross-sensitization procedures. The sensitization of the mesolimbic dopamine system is proposed to underlie stress cross-sensitization to drugs of abuse in both adolescents and adults through modulation by CRF. Reduced levels of mesocortical dopamine appear to be a unique consequence of social stress during adolescence. Adolescent stress may reduce the final maturation of cortical dopamine through D2 dopamine receptor regulation of dopamine synthesis or glucocorticoid-facilitated pruning of cortical dopamine fibers. Certain rodent models of adolescent adversity are useful for determining neural mechanisms underlying the cross-sensitization to drugs of abuse. PMID:24370534

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

    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

  3. Interactions of chronic lead exposure and intermittent stress: consequences for brain catecholamine systems and associated behaviors and HPA axis function.

    PubMed

    Virgolini, Miriam B; Chen, Kevin; Weston, Doug D; Bauter, Mark R; Cory-Slechta, Deborah A

    2005-10-01

    Elevated lead (Pb) burden and high stress levels are co-occurring risk factors in low socioeconomic status (SES) children. Our previous work demonstrated that maternal Pb exposure can permanently alter hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis function and responsivity to stress challenges in offspring. The current study sought to determine the consequences of chronic Pb exposures initiated later in development combined with variable intermittent stress challenges. Male rats were exposed chronically from weaning to 0, 50, or 150 ppm Pb acetate drinking solutions (producing blood Pb levels of <5, 9-15, and 23-27 mug/dl, respectively). Pb itself decreased basal plasma corticosterone, with greater effects at 50 than 150 ppm; 150 ppm reduced both cytosolic and nuclear glucocorticoid receptor binding. Responsivity to stress challenges including novelty, cold, and restraint, was measured as changes in Fixed Interval (FI) schedule-controlled behavior in a subset of rats within each group. FI performance was modified by novelty stress only in Pb-treated rats, whereas cold and restraint stress effects were comparable across groups. Novelty elevated corticosterone equivalently across groups, but cold stress markedly increased corticosterone only in Pb-treated groups. The pattern of Pb-induced changes in serotonin (5-HT) or its metabolite 5-HIAA in frontal cortex, nucleus accumbens, striatum, and hypothalamus resembled that observed for basal corticosterone levels indicating a relationship between these variables. In addition to suggesting the potential for HPA axis-mediated effects of Pb on the central nervous system, these findings also raise questions about whether single chemicals studied in isolation from other relevant risk factors can adequately identify neurotoxic hazards.

  4. Increased plasma levels of circulating cell-free mitochondrial DNA in suicide attempters: associations with HPA-axis hyperactivity

    PubMed Central

    Lindqvist, D; Fernström, J; Grudet, C; Ljunggren, L; Träskman-Bendz, L; Ohlsson, L; Westrin, Å

    2016-01-01

    Preclinical data suggest that chronic stress may cause cellular damage and mitochondrial dysfunction, potentially leading to the release of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) into the bloodstream. Major depressive disorder has been associated with an increased amount of mtDNA in leukocytes from saliva samples and blood; however, no previous studies have measured plasma levels of free-circulating mtDNA in a clinical psychiatric sample. In this study, free circulating mtDNA was quantified in plasma samples from 37 suicide attempters, who had undergone a dexamethasone suppression test (DST), and 37 healthy controls. We hypothesized that free circulating mtDNA would be elevated in the suicide attempters and would be associated with hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA)-axis hyperactivity. Suicide attempters had significantly higher plasma levels of free-circulating mtDNA compared with healthy controls at different time points (pre- and post-DST; all P-values<2.98E−12, Cohen's d ranging from 2.55 to 4.01). Pre-DST plasma levels of mtDNA were positively correlated with post-DST cortisol levels (rho=0.49, P<0.003). Suicide attempters may have elevated plasma levels of free-circulating mtDNA, which are related to impaired HPA-axis negative feedback. This peripheral index is consistent with an increased cellular or mitochondrial damage. The specific cells and tissues contributing to plasma levels of free-circulating mtDNA are not known, as is the specificity of this finding for suicide attempters. Future studies are needed in order to better understand the relevance of increased free-circulating mtDNA in relation to the pathophysiology underlying suicidal behavior and depression. PMID:27922635

  5. Increased plasma levels of circulating cell-free mitochondrial DNA in suicide attempters: associations with HPA-axis hyperactivity.

    PubMed

    Lindqvist, D; Fernström, J; Grudet, C; Ljunggren, L; Träskman-Bendz, L; Ohlsson, L; Westrin, Å

    2016-12-06

    Preclinical data suggest that chronic stress may cause cellular damage and mitochondrial dysfunction, potentially leading to the release of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) into the bloodstream. Major depressive disorder has been associated with an increased amount of mtDNA in leukocytes from saliva samples and blood; however, no previous studies have measured plasma levels of free-circulating mtDNA in a clinical psychiatric sample. In this study, free circulating mtDNA was quantified in plasma samples from 37 suicide attempters, who had undergone a dexamethasone suppression test (DST), and 37 healthy controls. We hypothesized that free circulating mtDNA would be elevated in the suicide attempters and would be associated with hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA)-axis hyperactivity. Suicide attempters had significantly higher plasma levels of free-circulating mtDNA compared with healthy controls at different time points (pre- and post-DST; all P-values<2.98E-12, Cohen's d ranging from 2.55 to 4.01). Pre-DST plasma levels of mtDNA were positively correlated with post-DST cortisol levels (rho=0.49, P<0.003). Suicide attempters may have elevated plasma levels of free-circulating mtDNA, which are related to impaired HPA-axis negative feedback. This peripheral index is consistent with an increased cellular or mitochondrial damage. The specific cells and tissues contributing to plasma levels of free-circulating mtDNA are not known, as is the specificity of this finding for suicide attempters. Future studies are needed in order to better understand the relevance of increased free-circulating mtDNA in relation to the pathophysiology underlying suicidal behavior and depression.

  6. 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.

  7. Dopamine D1 and D2 dopamine receptors regulate immobilization stress-induced activation of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis.

    PubMed

    Belda, Xavier; Armario, Antonio

    2009-10-01

    Whereas the role of most biogenic amines in the control of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) response to stress has been extensively studied, the role of dopamine has not. We studied the effect of different dopamine receptor antagonists on HPA response to a severe stressor (immobilization, IMO) in adult male Sprague-Dawley rats. Haloperidol administration reduced adrenocorticotropin hormone and corticosterone responses to acute IMO, particularly during the post-IMO period. This effect cannot be explained by a role of dopamine to maintain a sustained activation of the HPA axis as haloperidol did not modify the response to prolonged (up to 6 h) IMO. Administration of more selective D1 and D2 receptor antagonists (SCH23390 and eticlopride, respectively) also resulted in lower and/or shorter lasting HPA response to IMO. Dopamine, acting through both D1 and D2 receptors, exerts a stimulatory role on the activation of the HPA axis in response to a severe stressor. The finding that dopamine is involved in the maintenance of post-stress activation of the HPA axis is potentially important because the actual pathological impact of HPA activation is likely to be related to the area under the curve of plasma glucocorticoid levels, which is critically dependent on how long after stress high levels of glucocorticoid are maintained.

  8. 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

  9. The Recovery of Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis Is Rapid in Subclinical Cushing Syndrome

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    Background In subclinical Cushing syndrome (SC), it is assumed that glucocorticoid production is insufficient to cause a clinically recognizable syndrome. Differences in hormonal levels or recovery time of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis after adrenalectomy between patients with overt Cushing syndrome (OC) and SC remain unknown. Methods Thirty-six patients (10 with OC and 26 with SC) with adrenal Cushing syndrome who underwent adrenalectomy from 2004 to 2014 were reviewed retrospectively. Patients were treated with glucocorticoid after adrenalectomy and were reevaluated every 1 to 6 months using a rapid adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) stimulation test. Results Levels of basal 24-hour urine free cortisol (UFC), serum cortisol after an overnight dexamethasone suppression test (DST), and serum cortisol and 24-hour UFC after low-dose DST and high-dose DST were all significantly lower in patients with SC compared with OC. Basal ACTH levels showed significantly higher in patients with SC compared with OC. The probability of recovering adrenal function during follow-up differed significantly between patients with OC and SC (P=0.001), with significant correlations with the degree of preoperative cortisol excess. Patients with OC required a longer duration of glucocorticoid replacement to recover a normal ACTH stimulation test compared with patients with SC (median 17.0 months vs. 4.0 months, P<0.001). Conclusion The HPA axis recovery time after adrenalectomy in patients with SC is rapid and is dependent on the degree of cortisol excess. More precise definition of SC is necessary to achieve a better management of patients and to avoid the risk of under- or over-treatment of SC patients. PMID:28029028

  10. The Recovery of Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis Is Rapid in Subclinical Cushing Syndrome.

    PubMed

    Kim, Hee Kyung; Yoon, Jee Hee; Jeong, Yun Ah; Kang, Ho Cheol

    2016-12-01

    In subclinical Cushing syndrome (SC), it is assumed that glucocorticoid production is insufficient to cause a clinically recognizable syndrome. Differences in hormonal levels or recovery time of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis after adrenalectomy between patients with overt Cushing syndrome (OC) and SC remain unknown. Thirty-six patients (10 with OC and 26 with SC) with adrenal Cushing syndrome who underwent adrenalectomy from 2004 to 2014 were reviewed retrospectively. Patients were treated with glucocorticoid after adrenalectomy and were reevaluated every 1 to 6 months using a rapid adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) stimulation test. Levels of basal 24-hour urine free cortisol (UFC), serum cortisol after an overnight dexamethasone suppression test (DST), and serum cortisol and 24-hour UFC after low-dose DST and high-dose DST were all significantly lower in patients with SC compared with OC. Basal ACTH levels showed significantly higher in patients with SC compared with OC. The probability of recovering adrenal function during follow-up differed significantly between patients with OC and SC (P=0.001), with significant correlations with the degree of preoperative cortisol excess. Patients with OC required a longer duration of glucocorticoid replacement to recover a normal ACTH stimulation test compared with patients with SC (median 17.0 months vs. 4.0 months, P<0.001). The HPA axis recovery time after adrenalectomy in patients with SC is rapid and is dependent on the degree of cortisol excess. More precise definition of SC is necessary to achieve a better management of patients and to avoid the risk of under- or over-treatment of SC patients.

  11. Improvement of kidney yang syndrome by icariin through regulating hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis.

    PubMed

    An, Rui; Li, Bo; You, Li-sha; Wang, Xin-hong

    2015-10-01

    To investigate whether Epimedium brevicornu Maxim (EB) and icariin could exert their protective effects on hydrocortisone induced (HCI) rats by regulating the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and endocrine system and the possible mechanism. Male 10-week-old Sprague Dawley (SD) rats were allotted to 6 groups (A-F) with 12 each, group A was injected normal saline (NS) 3 mL/kg day intraperitoneally, group A and B were given NS 6 mL/kg day by gastrogavage, group B-F were injected hydrocortisone 15 mg/kg intraperitoneally, group C and D were given EB 8 or 5 g/(kg day) by gastrogavage, group E and F were given icariin 25 or 50 mg/(kg day) by gastrogavage. Gene expressions of hypothalamus corticotropin releasing hormone (CRH) and pituitary proopiomelanocortin (POMC) were detected by reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), and protein of pituitary POMC by Western-blot. The serum T4, testosterone, cortisol and POMC mRNA expression were increased after treatment with EB or icariin in HCI rats, the serum CRH and the hypothalamus CRH mRNA expression released from hypothalamus corticotropin decreased compared with group B (P<0.05).The treatment with only icariin increased serum adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) compared with group B (P<0.05). EB and icariin might be therapeutically beneficial in the treatment of HCI rats through attuning the HPA axis and endocrine system which was involved in the release of CRH in hypothalamic, and the production of POMC-derived peptide ACTH in anterior pituitary, the secretion of corticosteroids in adrenal cortex.

  12. 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…

  13. 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…

  14. Brain activation during fear conditioning in humans depends on genetic variations related to functioning of the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis: first evidence from two independent subsamples

    PubMed Central

    Ridder, S.; Treutlein, J.; Nees, F.; Lang, S.; Diener, S.; Wessa, M.; Kroll, A.; Pohlack, S.; Cacciaglia, R.; Gass, P.; Schütz, G.; Schumann, G.; Flor, H.

    2012-01-01

    Background Enhanced acquisition and delayed extinction of fear conditioning are viewed as major determinants of anxiety disorders, which are often characterized by a dysfunctional hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis. Method In this study we employed cued fear conditioning in two independent samples of healthy subjects (sample 1: n=60, sample 2: n=52). Two graphical shapes served as conditioned stimuli and painful electrical stimulation as the unconditioned stimulus. In addition, guided by findings from published animal studies on HPA axis-related genes in fear conditioning, we examined variants of the glucocorticoid receptor and corticotropin-releasing hormone receptor 1 genes. Results Variation in these genes showed enhanced amygdala activation during the acquisition and reduced prefrontal activation during the extinction of fear as well as altered amygdala–prefrontal connectivity. Conclusions This is the first demonstration of the involvement of genes related to the HPA axis in human fear conditioning. PMID:22410078

  15. Diurnal cortisol rhythms in Tsimane' Amazonian foragers: new insights into ecological HPA axis research.

    PubMed

    Nyberg, Colleen H

    2012-02-01

    Although a growing body of research has documented important pathways by which the HPA axis mediates the interface between the psychosocial world and individual health, there is a paucity of data from nonwestern populations, particularly from those populations with distinct nutritional and infectious disease ecologies. The specific objectives of this study are: (1) to document variation in diurnal cortisol rhythms among the Tsimane', a remote population in the Bolivian Amazon, (2) to explore this variation by age and by gender, and (3) to compare diurnal rhythms from this study to other population based studies of cortisol conducted in industrialized nations. Salivary cortisol samples were collected twice daily, immediately upon waking and before bed, for three consecutive days from 303 participants (age 1.6-82 years, 1564 samples) in conjunction with the Tsimane' Amazonian Panel Study (TAPS). Cortisol rhythms showed strong age effects across the developmental span, with basal levels and slopes increasing into adulthood, although individuals older than 60 years demonstrated a precipitous flattening of the diurnal slope. Cortisol profiles were elevated in adult females compared to their age-matched male counterparts, and diurnal slopes, as well as mean cortisol concentrations among the Tsimane' were the lowest reported in any population based study of HPA axis function. Although the within-population variation in cortisol profiles was consistent with the established correlates of time of day, age, and sex, the between-population comparisons revealed dramatically lower levels of HPA activity among the Tsimane'. This study provides a benchmark against which to reference cortisol levels from industrialized populations, and expands the range of documented variation in HPA axis function in a nonwestern context.

  16. Blunted hypothalamo-pituitary adrenal axis response to predator odor predicts high stress reactivity.

    PubMed

    Whitaker, Annie M; Gilpin, Nicholas W

    2015-08-01

    Individuals with trauma- and stress-related disorders exhibit increases in avoidance of trauma-related stimuli, heightened anxiety and altered neuroendocrine stress responses. Our laboratory uses a rodent model of stress that mimics the avoidance symptom cluster associated with stress-related disorders. Animals are classified as 'Avoiders' or 'Non-Avoiders' post-stress based on avoidance of predator-odor paired context. Utilizing this model, we are able to examine subpopulation differences in stress reactivity. Here, we used this predator odor model of stress to examine differences in anxiety-like behavior and hypothalamo-pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis function in animals that avoid a predator-paired context relative to those that do not. Rats were exposed to predator odor stress paired with a context and tested for avoidance (24h and 11days), anxiety-like behavior (48h and 5days) and HPA activation following stress. Control animals were exposed to room air. Predator odor stress produced avoidance in approximately 65% of the animals at 24h that persisted 11days post-stress. Both Avoiders and Non-Avoiders exhibited a heightened anxiety-like behavior at 48h and 5days post-stress when compared to unstressed Controls. Non-Avoiders exhibited significant increases in circulating adrenocorticotropin hormone (ACTH) and corticosterone (CORT) concentrations immediately following predator odor stress compared to Controls and this response was significantly attenuated in Avoiders. There was an inverse correlation between circulating ACTH/CORT concentrations and avoidance, indicating that lower levels of ACTH/CORT predicted higher levels of avoidance. These results suggest that stress effects on HPA stress axis activation predict long-term avoidance of stress-paired stimuli, and build on previous data showing the utility of this model for exploring the neurobiological mechanisms of trauma- and stress-related disorders.

  17. Blunted Hypothalamo-pituitary Adrenal Axis Response to Predator Odor Predicts High Stress Reactivity

    PubMed Central

    Whitaker, Annie M.; Gilpin, Nicholas W.

    2015-01-01

    Individuals with trauma- and stress-related disorders exhibit increases in avoidance of trauma-related stimuli, heightened anxiety and altered neuroendocrine stress responses. Our laboratory uses a rodent model of stress that mimics the avoidance symptom cluster associated with stress-related disorders. Animals are classified as ‘Avoiders’ or Non-Avoiders' post-stress based on avoidance of predator-odor paired context. Utilizing this model, we are able to examine subpopulation differences in stress reactivity. Here, we used this predator odor model of stress to examine differences in anxiety-like behavior and hypothalamo-pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis function in animals that avoid a predator-paired context relative to those that do not. Rats were exposed to predator odor stress paired with a context and tested for avoidance (24 hours and 11 days), anxiety-like behavior (48 hours and 5 days) and HPA activation following stress. Control animals were exposed to room air. Predator odor stress produced avoidance in approximately 65% of the animals at 24 hours that persisted 11 days post-stress. Both Avoiders and Non-Avoiders exhibited heightened anxiety-like behavior at 48 hours and 5 days post-stress when compared to unstressed Controls. Non-Avoiders exhibited significant increases in circulating adrenocorticotropin hormone (ACTH) and corticosterone (CORT) concentrations immediately following predator odor stress compared to Controls and this response was significantly attenuated in Avoiders. There was an inverse correlation between circulating ACTH/CORT concentrations and avoidance, indicating that lower levels of ACTH/CORT predicted higher levels of avoidance. These results suggest that stress effects on HPA stress axis activation predict long-term avoidance of stress-paired stimuli, and builds on previous data showing the utility of this model for exploring the neurobiological mechanisms of trauma- and stress-related disorders. PMID:25824191

  18. 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.

  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. Does stress affect the joints? Daily stressors, stress vulnerability, immune and HPA axis activity, and short-term disease and symptom fluctuations in rheumatoid arthritis.

    PubMed

    Evers, Andrea W M; Verhoeven, Elisabeth W M; van Middendorp, Henriët; Sweep, Fred C G J; Kraaimaat, Floris W; Donders, A Rogier T; Eijsbouts, Agnes E; van Laarhoven, Antoinette I M; de Brouwer, Sabine J M; Wirken, Lieke; Radstake, Timothy R D J; van Riel, Piet L C M

    2014-09-01

    Both stressors and stress vulnerability factors together with immune and hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activity components have been considered to contribute to disease fluctuations of chronic inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The aim of the present study was to investigate whether daily stressors and worrying as stress vulnerability factor as well as immune and HPA axis activity markers predict short-term disease activity and symptom fluctuations in patients with RA. In a prospective design, daily stressors, worrying, HPA axis (cortisol) and immune system (interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, IL-8, interferon (IFN)-γ, tumour necrosis factor α) markers, clinical and self-reported disease activity (disease activity score in 28 joints, RA disease activity index), and physical symptoms of pain and fatigue were monitored monthly during 6 months in 80 RA patients. Multilevel modelling indicated that daily stressors predicted increased fatigue in the next month and that worrying predicted increased self-reported disease activity, swollen joint count and pain in the next month. In addition, specific cytokines of IL-1β and IFN-γ predicted increased fatigue 1 month later. Overall, relationships remained relatively unchanged after controlling for medication use, disease duration and demographic variables. No evidence was found for immune and HPA axis activity markers as mediators of the stress-disease relationship. Daily stressors and the stress-vulnerability factor worrying predict indicators of the short-term course of RA disease activity and fatigue and pain, while specific cytokines predict short-term fluctuations of fatigue. These stress-related variables and immune markers seem to affect different aspects of disease activity or symptom fluctuations independently in RA. Published by the BMJ Publishing Group Limited. For permission to use (where not already granted under a licence) please go to http://group.bmj.com/group/rights-licensing/permissions.

  1. 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

  2. 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

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

    PubMed

    Luo, Wei; Fang, Meixia; Xu, Haiping; Xing, Huijie; Fu, Jiangnan; Nie, Qinghua

    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 finally

  4. 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

    2010-04-05

    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.

  5. Effects of short- and long-duration hypothyroidism on hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis function in rats: in vitro and in situ studies.

    PubMed

    Johnson, Elizabeth O; Calogero, Aldo E; Konstandi, Mary; Kamilaris, Themis C; La Vignera, Sandro; Chrousos, George P

    2012-12-01

    The purpose of this study is to assess the effects of hypothyroidism on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis; the functional integrity of each component of the HPA axis was examined in short-term and long-term hypothyroidism. Neuropeptide synthesis, release, and content were evaluated in vitro both in the hypothalamus and anterior pituitary, and corticosterone release was assessed in primary adrenal cell cultures at 7 (short-term) and 60 days (long-term hypothyroidism) after thyroidectomy in male rats. Hypothyroid rats showed adrenal insufficiency in several parameters, which were associated with the duration of hypothyroidism. Cerebrospinal (CSF) ACTH was decreased in all hypothyroid animals, while CSF corticosterone levels were significantly decreased only in long-term hypothyroidism. Long-term hypothyroid animals showed decreased corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) mRNA expression in the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus under both basal and stress conditions, decreased CRH release from hypothalamic organ cultures after KCL and arginine vasopressin stimulation, as well as an increased number of anterior pituitary CRH receptors. In contrast, short-term hypothyroid rats showed changes in anterior pituitary function with an increased responsiveness to CRH that was associated with an increase in CRH receptors. Although both short- and long-term hypothyroidism was associated with significant decreases in adrenal weights, only long-term hypothyroid rats showed changes in adrenal function with a significant decrease of ACTH-induced corticosterone release from cultured adrenal cells. The data suggest that long-term hypothyroidism is associated with adrenal insufficiency with abnormalities in all three components of the HPA axis. Short-term hypothyroidism, on the other hand, is associated with increased pituitary corticotroph responsiveness to CRH.

  6. Medial Prefrontal Cortex and HPA Axis Roles in Generation of PTSD-Like Symptoms in SPS Model

    DTIC Science & Technology

    2011-09-01

    restraint stress on HPA axis function and noradrenergic systems. 2010 George, S.A., Knox, D., Fitzpatrick, C., Maren, S., Abelson, JL. Liberzon, I...Stern, E.R., Liberzon, I. Society for Neuroscience, San Diego. The effects of early life and adult stress on HPA-axis function and anxiety-like...5): 525-535. Walter, K. H., P. A. Palmieri, et al. (2010). "More than symptom reduction: changes in executive function over the course of PTSD

  7. Baseline 'state anxiety' influences HPA-axis sensitivity to one sham-controlled HF-rTMS session applied to the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex.

    PubMed

    Baeken, C; Vanderhasselt, M A; De Raedt, R

    2011-01-01

    Although negative results have been reported, an important aspect of the physiology of repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) could be related to the endocrinological response of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, such as cortisol secretion. Because endocrinological responses are influenced by anxiety states, this could influence the effect of rTMS in healthy individuals. In this sham-controlled, "single blind" crossover study, we examined whether one session of HF-rTMS could affect the HPA-system, when taking into account individual state anxiety scores based on the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI). Twenty-four healthy rTMS naïve females received one sham-controlled high frequency (HF)-rTMS session delivered on the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC). The Profile of Mood States (POMS) questionnaire, together with salivary cortisol samples, was collected before, just after and 30 min post HF-rTMS. To examine whether state anxiety could influence endocrinological outcome measurements, we administered the STAI-state just before each HF-rTMS experiment started. Based on the POMS questionnaire, no mood changes were observed. Without taking individual state anxiety scores into account, one sham-controlled right-sided HF-rTMS session did not influence the HPA-system. When taking into account individual STAI-state scores, we found that healthy women scoring higher on the STAI-state displayed a significantly more sensitive HPA-system, resulting in salivary cortisol concentration increases after real HF-rTMS, compared to those scoring lower on this anxiety scale. Our results indicate that healthy women scoring high on state anxiety display a more sensitive HPA-system when receiving one right-sided HF-rTMS session. Our findings suggest that the incorporation of individual anxiety states in experimental rTMS research could add further information about its neurobiological influences on the HPA-system.

  8. [Evaluation of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis recovery after corticotherapy by using basal cortisol secretion].

    PubMed

    Silva, Ivani N; Cunha, Cristiane F; Finch, Francisca L; Colosimo, Enrico A

    2006-02-01

    The glucocorticoid-induced inhibition that occurs after discontinuation of treatment is the most frequent cause of adrenal insufficiency. There are yet some doubts about the best way of evaluating the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis in those patients. The main objective of this study was to evaluate the utility of basal cortisol in diagnosing adrenal insufficiency. Thirty-five children with acute lymphoid leukemia (ALL) receiving glucocorticoid therapy (median age of 6.9 years) were evaluated. A stimulus test with corticotropin releasing hormone (CRH-1 mcg/kg) was performed before the introduction of dexamethasone (6 mg/m2/day, for 28 days), in the 8th and the 28th days of glucocorticoid therapy, and 48 hours and one month after discontinuation of therapy. Suppression of the basal secretion as well as the maximum concentration of cortisol (post-CRH) occurred during glucocorticoid therapy, which persisted for 48 hours after the steroid was removed from treatment (p< 0.01 and p< 0.0001, respectively, for the three tests). One month after ceasing the administration of the glucocorticoid, the basal secretion, as well as the maximum concentration of cortisol, were similar to that before glucocorticoid therapy. There was a positive and statistically significant correlation between basal secretion and maximum concentration of cortisol in all tests. We observed 95% of specificity for the diagnosis of adrenal insufficiency when the inferior limit of basal cortisol was 8.5 mcg/dl. According to these results we concluded that basal secretion of cortisol is a good marker of supra-renal function in evaluating children after discontinuation of glucocorticoid therapy.

  9. 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

  10. Sex differences in early-life programming of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis in humans suggest increased vulnerability in females: a systematic review.

    PubMed

    Carpenter, T; Grecian, S M; Reynolds, R M

    2017-04-01

    Fetal glucocorticoid overexposure is a key mechanism linking early development with later-life disease. In humans, low birth weight associates with increased fasting cortisol, hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis reactivity, and with cardiovascular risk and cognitive decline. As there are sex differences in these adult diseases, we hypothesized that there may be sex differences in programming of the HPA axis in response to prenatal stressors. We conducted a systematic review following Meta-Analysis of Observational Studies in Epidemiology and Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis. We searched Embase, MEDLINE and Web of Science from inception to 31 October 2016. We included studies related to sex differences, prenatal exposures and HPA axis. We excluded studies investigating specific disease states. The 23 included studies investigated the consequences of low birth weight, preterm birth and maternal stressors of asthma, psychosocial stress and glucocorticoid medications on HPA axis outcomes of placental glucocorticoid biology and offspring HPA axis function in early life and later life. Female offspring exposed to stressors had increased HPA axis reactivity compared with males. Furthermore, the female placenta increased its permeability to maternal glucocorticoids following maternal stress with changes in the expression of 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase enzymes in response to maternal glucocorticoid exposure or asthma. Among males there was some evidence of altered diurnal cortisol secretion. We conclude that although there is some evidence of male vulnerability leading to altered diurnal cortisol secretion, the female HPA axis is more vulnerable to programming, particularly in terms of its reactivity; this suggests a mechanism underlying sex differences in later-life diseases.

  11. Psychological Stress and Changes of Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis in Patients with “De Novo” Parkinson’s Disease

    PubMed Central

    Ibrahimagic, Omer C.; Jakubovic, Amra Cickusic; Smajlovic, Dzevdet; Dostovic, Zikrija; Kunic, Suljo; Iljazovic, Amra

    2016-01-01

    Introduction: Psychological stress and changes in hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis in period after diagnosis of “de novo” Parkinson disease (PD) could be a big problem for patients. Materials and Methods: We measured psychological stress and changes in hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA) in thirty patients (15:15) with “de novo” Parkinson’s disease, average age 64.17 ± 13.19 (28-82) years (Department of Neurology, University Clinical Center Tuzla). We used Impact of events scale (with 15 questions) to evaluate psychological stress. Normal level of morning cortisol was 201-681 nmol/l, and morning adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) up to 50 pg/ml. Results: Almost 55% patients suffered from mild or serious psychological stress according to IES testing (Horowitz et al.). Non-iatrogenic changes in HPA axis were noticed at 30% patients. The differences between female and male patients regarding to the age (p=0.561), value of cortisol (p=0.745), value of ACTH (p=0.886) and IES testing (p=0.318) were not noticed. The value of cortisol was the predictor of value of ACTH (r=0.427). Conclusion: Psychological stress and changes in hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis are present in patients with “de novo” PD. There is significant relation between values of cortisol and ACTH. Psychological stress is frequent problem for “de novo” PD patients. PMID:28210018

  12. The effect of antidepressant drugs on the HPA axis activity, glucocorticoid receptor level and FKBP51 concentration in prenatally stressed rats.

    PubMed

    Szymańska, Magdalena; Budziszewska, Bogusława; Jaworska-Feil, Lucylla; Basta-Kaim, Agnieszka; Kubera, Marta; Leśkiewicz, Monika; Regulska, Magdalena; Lasoń, Władysław

    2009-07-01

    Dysregulation of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activity is thought to be an important factor in pathogenesis of depression. In animals, stress or glucocorticoids given in prenatal period lead to long-lasting behavioral and neuroendocrine changes similar to those observed in depressed patients. However, molecular basis for HPA disturbances in animals exposed to prenatal stress - a model of depression - have been only partially recognized. Therefore, in the present study we investigated the effect of prenatal stress on behavioral changes, blood corticosterone level, concentrations of glucocorticoid receptor (GR) and its cochaperone, FKBP51, in the hippocampus and frontal cortex in adult rats. It has been found that prenatally stressed rats display high level of immobility in the Porsolt test and anxiety-like behavior. The HPA axis hyperactivity in theses animals was evidenced by corticosterone hypersecretion at the end of the light phase and 1h following acute stress. Western blot study revealed that GR level was significantly elevated in the hippocampus but not in the frontal cortex of prenatally stressed rats, whereas concentration of FKBP51 was decreased only in the former brain structure. Chronic treatment with imipramine, fluoxetine, mirtazapine and tianeptine have diminished both behavioral and biochemical alterations observed in this animal model of depression. These data indicate that the increase in hippocampal GR level and low concentration of FKBP51 in the frontal cortex may be responsible for enhanced glucocorticoid action in depression.

  13. Examining the role of endogenous orexins in hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis endocrine function using transient dual orexin receptor antagonism in the rat.

    PubMed

    Steiner, Michel A; Sciarretta, Carla; Brisbare-Roch, Catherine; Strasser, Daniel S; Studer, Rolf; Jenck, Francois

    2013-04-01

    The orexin neuropeptide system regulates wakefulness and contributes to physiological and behavioral stress responses. Moreover, a role for orexins in modulating hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activity has been proposed. Brain penetrating dual orexin receptor (OXR) antagonists such as almorexant decrease vigilance and have emerged as a novel therapeutic class for the treatment of insomnia. Almorexant was used here as a pharmacological tool to examine the role of endogenous orexin signaling in HPA axis endocrine function under natural conditions. After confirming the expression of prepro-orexin and OXR-1 and OXR-2 mRNA in hypothalamus, pituitary and adrenal glands, the effects of systemic almorexant were investigated on peripheral HPA axis hormone release in the rat under baseline, stress and pharmacological challenge conditions. Almorexant did not alter basal or stress-induced corticosterone release despite affecting wake and sleep stages (detected by radiotelemetric electroencephalography/electromyography) during the stress exposure. Moreover, almorexant did not affect the release of adrenocorticotropin (ACTH) and corticosterone at different time points along the diurnal rhythm, nor corticotrophin-releasing hormone (CRH)- and ACTH-stimulated neuroendocrine responses, measured in vivo under stress-free conditions. These results illustrate that dual OXR antagonists, despite modulating stress-induced wakefulness, do not interfere with endocrine HPA axis function in the rat. They converge to suggest that endogenous orexin signaling plays a minor role in stress hormone release under basal conditions and under challenge.

  14. Programming of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis by neonatal intermittent hypoxia: effects on adult male ACTH and corticosterone responses are stress specific.

    PubMed

    Chintamaneni, Kathan; Bruder, Eric D; Raff, Hershel

    2014-05-01

    Intermittent hypoxia (IH) is an animal model of apnea-induced hypoxia, a common stressor in the premature neonate. Neonatal stressors may have long-term programming effects in the adult. We hypothesized that neonatal exposure to IH leads to significant changes in basal and stress-induced hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis function in the adult male rat. Rat pups were exposed to normoxia (control) or 6 approximately 30-second cycles of IH (5% or 10% inspired O₂) daily on postnatal days 2-6. At approximately 100 days of age, we assessed the diurnal rhythm of plasma corticosterone and stress-induced plasma ACTH and corticosterone responses, as well as mRNA expression of pertinent genes within the HPA axis. Basal diurnal rhythm of plasma corticosterone concentrations in the adult rat were not affected by prior exposure to neonatal IH. Adults exposed to 10% IH as neonates exhibited an augmented peak ACTH response and a prolonged corticosterone response to restraint stress; however, HPA axis responses to insulin-induced hypoglycemia were not augmented in adults exposed to neonatal IH. Pituitary Pomc, Crhr1, Nr3c1, Nr3c2, Avpr1b, and Hif1a mRNA expression was decreased in adults exposed to neonatal 10% IH. Expression of pertinent hypothalamic and adrenal mRNAs was not affected by neonatal IH. We conclude that exposure to neonatal 10% IH programs the adult HPA axis to hyperrespond to acute stimuli in a stressor-specific manner.

  15. The involvement of noradrenergic mechanisms in the suppressive effects of diazepam on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activity in female rats

    PubMed Central

    Švob Štrac, Dubravka; Muck-Šeler, Dorotea; Pivac, Nela

    2012-01-01

    Aim To elucidate the involvement of noradrenergic system in the mechanism by which diazepam suppresses basal hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activity. Methods Plasma corticosterone and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) levels were determined in female rats treated with diazepam alone, as well as with diazepam in combination with clonidine (α2-adrenoreceptor agonist), yohimbine (α2-adrenoreceptor antagonist), alpha-methyl-p-tyrosine (α-MPT, an inhibitor of catecholamine synthesis), or reserpine (a catecholamine depleting drug) and yohimbine. Results Diazepam administered in a dose of 2.0 mg/kg suppressed basal HPA axis activity, ie, decreased plasma corticosterone and ACTH levels. Pretreatment with clonidine or yohimbine failed to affect basal plasma corticosterone and ACTH concentrations, but abolished diazepam-induced inhibition of the HPA axis activity. Pretreatment with α-MPT, or with a combination of reserpine and yohimbine, increased plasma corticosterone and ACTH levels and prevented diazepam-induced inhibition of the HPA axis activity. Conclusion The results suggest that α2-adrenoreceptors activity, as well as intact presynaptic noradrenergic function, are required for the suppressive effect of diazepam on the HPA axis activity. PMID:22661134

  16. Resilience and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis reactivity under acute stress in young men.

    PubMed

    Mikolajczak, Moïra; Roy, Emmanuel; Luminet, Olivier; de Timary, Philippe

    2008-11-01

    The present study examined the relationship between resilience (measured using the Resilience Scale for Adults) and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis reactivity. We examined the subjective and cortisol responses of 28 healthy young men to an acute stressor (public speech task). Eight saliva samples were collected in order to obtain the response curve (anticipation, reactivity, recuperation) for each subject. ANOVA indicated that highly resilient individuals tended to display less mood deterioration than less resilient individuals (marginal p(time x group interaction) = 0.075). They also revealed that the former tended to secrete less cortisol overall than the latter during the experiment (marginal p(main group effect) = 0.087) but this effect was not uniform across time (p(time x group interaction) = 0.029). Additional analyses performed to identify the source of this interaction revealed that resilience moderates cortisol secretion in anticipation of the stressor (i.e. highly resilient individuals secreted less cortisol than less resilient ones, p = 0.05) but that it is not conductive to lower HPA reactivity amidst stress (i.e. there was no difference between groups in the increase in cortisol secretion from baseline to peak). The recovery slopes were likewise not statistically different. The implications of these findings regarding health are discussed.

  17. A novel prednisolone suppression test for the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis.

    PubMed

    Pariante, Carmine M; Papadopoulos, Andrew S; Poon, Lucia; Checkley, Stuart A; English, Judie; Kerwin, Robert W; Lightman, Stafford

    2002-06-01

    We have developed a suppressive test for the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis using prednisolone, which is similar to endogenous glucocorticoids. We used a single-blind, repeated-measure design in healthy volunteers. In the first phase of the study, we compared placebo or prednisolone 2.5 mg, 5 mg, or 10 mg; in the second phase of the study, we compared placebo or prednisolone 5 mg or dexamethasone.5 mg. On the following day, we collected plasma and salivary cortisol levels from 9 AM to 5 PM. Maximal average prednisolone plasma levels (at 9 AM after the 10-mg dose) were 30 to 35 ng/mL. At all doses, prednisolone caused a larger suppression of salivary cortisol (approximately 20% after 2.5 mg, 30% to 35% after 5 mg, and 70% to 75% after 10 mg) than of plasma cortisol (approximately 5% after 2.5 mg, 10% after 5 mg, and 35% after 10 mg). Dexamethasone.5 mg gave 80% suppression of plasma cortisol and 90% suppression of salivary cortisol. Plasma and salivary cortisol levels were more consistently correlated in each subject after prednisolone than after dexamethasone. We propose that prednisolone at the 5-mg dosage (which gave partial HPA suppression), together with the assessment of salivary cortisol, can be used to investigate both impaired and enhanced glucocorticoid-mediated negative feedback in large samples of patients with psychiatric disorders.

  18. [The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, and reproductive system activity changing of female rats with prenatal stress during aging].

    PubMed

    Shamolina, T S; Pivina, S G; Ordian, N E

    2009-09-01

    The effect of female rat daily 1-hour immobilization in the period from the 15th to the 18th gestation days on the sex steroid secretion subject to estrous cycle, hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA) activity and its sensitivity to regulatory signals based on the mechanism of negative feedback in ternale offspring during different ontogenesis stages, was studied. It has been shown that prenatal stress causes significant reproductive system activity disturbances, leading to a significant decrease in the HPA sensitivity to feedback signal in aging female rats. The obtained data indicate a modifying influence of mothers' stress on changing of female rat reproductive functions during aging together with influence on significant decrease in efficiency of HPAs' feedback path.

  19. The dual blocker of FAAH/TRPV1 N-arachidonoylserotonin reverses the behavioral despair induced by stress in rats and modulates the HPA-axis.

    PubMed

    Navarria, Andrea; Tamburella, Alessandra; Iannotti, Fabio A; Micale, Vincenzo; Camillieri, Giovanni; Gozzo, Lucia; Verde, Roberta; Imperatore, Roberta; Leggio, Gian Marco; Drago, Filippo; Di Marzo, Vincenzo

    2014-09-01

    In recent years, several studies have explored the involvement of the deregulation of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis in the pathophysiology of stress-related disorders. HPA hyper-activation as a consequence of acute/chronic stress has been found to play a major role in the neurobiological changes that are responsible for the onset of such states. Currently available medications for depression, one of the most relevant stress-related disorders, present several limitations, including a time lag for treatment response and low rates of efficacy. N-Arachidonoylserotonin (AA-5-HT), a dual blocker at fatty acid amide hydrolase (FAAH, the enzyme responsible for the inactivation of the endocannabinoid anandamide) and transient receptor potential vanilloid type-1 channel (TRPV1), produces anxiolytic-like effects in mice. The present study was designed to assess the capability of AA-5-HT to reverse the behavioral despair following exposure to stress in rats and the role of the HPA-axis. Behavioral tasks were performed, and corticosterone and endocannabinoid (anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol) levels were measured in selected brain areas critically involved in the pathophysiology of stress-related disorders (medial PFC and hippocampus) under basal and stress conditions, and in response to treatment with AA-5-HT. Our data show that AA-5-HT reverses the rat behavioral despair in the forced swim test under stress conditions, and this effect is associated with the normalization of the HPA-axis deregulation that follows stress application and only in part with elevation of anandamide levels. Blockade of FAAH and TRPV1 may thus represent a novel target to design novel therapeutic strategies for the treatment of stress-related disorders.

  20. Sleep apnoea and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis in men and women: effects of continuous positive airway pressure.

    PubMed

    Kritikou, Ilia; Basta, Maria; Vgontzas, Alexandros N; Pejovic, Slobodanka; Fernandez-Mendoza, Julio; Liao, Duanping; Bixler, Edward O; Gaines, Jordan; Chrousos, George P

    2016-02-01

    Previous findings on the association of obstructive sleep apnoea (OSA) and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis are inconsistent, partly due to the confounding effect of obesity and infrequent sampling. Our goal was to examine whether in a relatively nonobese population, OSA is associated with elevated cortisol levels and to assess the effects of a 2-month placebo-controlled continuous positive airway pressure (sham-CPAP) use.72 subjects (35 middle-aged males and post-menopausal females with OSA, and 37 male and female controls) were studied in the sleep laboratory for four nights. 24-h blood sampling was performed every hour on the fourth day and night in the sleep laboratory at baseline, after sham-CPAP and after CPAP treatment.In both apnoeic men and women, OSA was associated with significantly higher 24-h cortisol levels compared with controls, whereas CPAP lowered cortisol levels significantly, close to those of controls.These results suggest that OSA in nonobese men and slightly obese women is associated with HPA axis activation, similar albeit stronger compared with obese individuals with sleep apnoea. Short-term CPAP use decreased cortisol levels significantly compared with baseline, indicating that CPAP may have a protective effect against comorbidities frequently associated with chronic activation of the HPA axis, e.g. hypertension.

  1. Chronic systemic administration of serotonergic ligands flibanserin and 8-OH-DPAT enhance HPA axis responses to restraint in female marmosets.

    PubMed

    Aubert, Yves; Bohl, Michael A; Lange, Jason R; Diol, Nicole R; Allers, Kelly A; Sommer, Bernd; Datson, Nicole A; Abbott, David H

    2013-01-01

    Flibanserin, a novel serotonin (5-HT)(1A) agonist and 5-HT(2A) antagonist, has been shown to increase sexual desire and reduce distress in women with Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder (HSDD). In marmoset monkeys, flibanserin has demonstrated pro-social effects on male-female pairmates, while the classic 5-HT(1A) agonist 8-OH-DPAT suppresses female sexual behavior and increases aggressive interactions between pairmates. Activation of 5-HT(1A) and 5-HT(2A) receptors is known to stimulate the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. This study aims to characterize the effects of repeated flibanserin and 8-OH-DPAT administration on the marmoset HPA axis and to elucidate endocrine correlates of altered marmoset pair behavior. Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and cortisol were examined at baseline and during 5-HT(1A) agonist and restraint challenges in 8 female marmoset monkeys receiving daily flibanserin (15mg/kg) and an additional 8 female marmosets receiving 8-OH-DPAT (0.1mg/kg) for 15-16weeks. Corresponding vehicle treatments were administered in a counterbalanced, within-subject design. All females were housed in stable male-female pairs. Treatment-induced changes in ACTH and cortisol levels were correlated with previously assessed marmoset pair behavior. While morning basal cortisol levels and HPA responses to a 5-HT(1A) agonist challenge were not altered by chronic flibanserin or 8-OH-DPAT, both treatments increased the responsiveness of the marmoset HPA axis to restraint. Enhanced ACTH responses to restraint correlated with reduced sexual receptivity and increased aggression in 8-OH-DPAT-, but not in flibanserin-treated female marmosets. Unaltered HPA responses to a 5-HT(1A) agonist challenge after chronic flibanserin and 8-OH-DPAT treatments indicate little or no de-sensitization of the HPA axis to repeated 5-HT(1A) manipulation. Chronic 8-OH-DPAT, but not flibanserin, leads to aggravated ACTH responses to stress that may contribute to anti-sexual and anti

  2. The psychology of HPA axis activation: Examining subjective emotional distress and control in a phobic fear exposure model.

    PubMed

    Mayer, Stefanie E; Snodgrass, Michael; Liberzon, Israel; Briggs, Hedieh; Curtis, George C; Abelson, James L

    2017-02-09

    The HPA axis plays a key role in mediating the effects of "stress" on health, but clarifying mechanisms requires an understanding of psycho-biological linkages. There has long been an implicit assumption that subjective emotional distress (e.g., fear) should activate the HPA axis. Although this assumption was challenged 25 years ago (Curtis, 1976), laboratory studies in humans are limited. In this study we sought to replicate Curtis' findings and extend it by investigating if presence or absence of stressor control shapes HPA axis reactivity in a phobic fear exposure model. We recruited 19-45-year-old specific phobia participants (n=32 spider/snake phobia; n=14 claustrophobia) and gradually exposed them to their feared object or situation while measuring hormonal (ACTH and cortisol) and subjective (emotional distress, perceived control) responses. Utilizing a dyadic yoked design, we compared HPA reactivity when the pace of exposure was controlled by participants to identical exposure given to matched participants in the absence of control. Results showed that phobic fear exposure generated intense emotional distress without a corresponding increase in HPA axis activity. Although our actual manipulation of control failed to impact HPA responses, perceived control during exposure was associated with lower cortisol, an effect that was moderated by actual availability of stressor control. Our findings replicate Curtis' findings and challenge the still common but unsupported assumption that HPA axis activity reflects subjective distress. These results also highlight the importance of both perceived and actual aspects of stressor control in understanding what is truly "stressful" to the HPA axis system.

  3. PTSD and the HPA axis: differences in response to the cold pressor task among individuals with child vs. adult trauma.

    PubMed

    Santa Ana, Elizabeth J; Saladin, Michael E; Back, Sudie E; Waldrop, Angela E; Spratt, Eve G; McRae, Aimee L; LaRowe, Steven D; Timmerman, Mary Ann; Upadhyaya, Himanshu; Brady, Kathleen T

    2006-05-01

    Hypothalamic pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis and subjective stress response to a cold-water immersion task, the cold pressor task (CPT), in individuals (N=89) with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) were examined. All tests were conducted at 08:00h after an overnight hospital stay. Plasma adrenocorticotrophin hormone (ACTH), cortisol, and subjective stress were examined at baseline and five post-task time points in controls (n=31), subjects with PTSD as a result of an index trauma during childhood (i.e. before age 18; n=25), and subjects with PTSD as a result of an index trauma as an adult (n=33). Approximately, 50% of individuals in both trauma groups were alcohol dependent, and the impact of this comorbidity was also examined. Subjects with PTSD, regardless of age of index trauma, had a less robust ACTH response as compared to controls. Regardless of the presence or absence of comorbid alcohol dependence, subjects with childhood trauma had lower cortisol at baseline and at all post-task measurement points and did not demonstrate the decrease in cortisol over the course of the 2h monitoring period seen in subjects with adult index trauma and controls. The findings reveal differences in the neuroendocrine response to the CPT in individuals with PTSD compared to control subjects, and differences in PTSD subjects when examined by age of index trauma.

  4. The Effect of CRH, Dexamethasone and Naltrexone on the Mu, Delta and Kappa Opioid Receptor Agonist Binding in Lamb Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis.

    PubMed

    Pierzchała-Koziec, Krystyna; Dziedzicka-Wasylewska, Marta; Oeltgen, Peter; Zubel-Łojek, Joanna; Latacz, Anna; Ocłon, Ewa

    2015-01-01

    The aim of the study was to evaluate changes in the opioid receptor binding (mu, delta and kappa) in the hypothalamus, anterior pituitary and adrenal cortex (HPA) of lambs treated in vivo with corticotrophin releasing hormone (CRH), naltrexone, an opioid receptor antagonist (NAL), and dexamethasone, a potent cortisol analog (DEX). Experiment was carried out on 3 months old female lambs of polish mountain strain. Lambs received a single i.v. injection of NaCl (control), CRH (alone or in combination with naltrexone), naltrexone or dexamethasone. One hour later animals were decapitated under anaesthesia, tissues were dissected out and receptor binding assays were performed with radioligands for each type of opioid receptors--3H-DAGO, 3H-DPDPE and 3H-EKC for mu, delta and kappa receptor, respectively. Coexistence of specific binding sites for each type of opioid receptor was demonstrated in all levels of HPA axis of control lambs, however their distribution was uneven. Acute treatment with CRH, DEX and NAL caused downregulation or upregulation of mu, delta, kappa receptor binding in each level of HPA axis. CRH effects on mu, delta and kappa opioid receptor binding varied within the HPA axis and were modulated by naltrexone. Treatment with naltrexone increased in vitro mu, delta and kappa receptor binding in most tested structures except delta receptor binding in adrenal (decrease by 52%) and kappa receptor binding in pituitary (decrease by 41%). Dexamethasone significantly decreased the mu, delta and kappa opioid receptor binding in adrenal cortex but differentially affected opioid receptor binding in hypothalamus and pituitary. It seems probable that endogenous opioid peptides acting through mu, delta and kappa receptors interact with the hormones released from the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis in physiological and pathophysiological situations.

  5. Fear potentiation is associated with hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis function in PTSD.

    PubMed

    Jovanovic, Tanja; Norrholm, Seth D; Blanding, Nineequa Q; Phifer, Justine E; Weiss, Tamara; Davis, Michael; Duncan, Erica; Bradley, Bekh; Ressler, Kerry

    2010-07-01

    A central problem in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is the inability to suppress fear under safe conditions. We have previously shown that PTSD patients cannot inhibit conditioned fear. Another relevant finding in PTSD is the hypersensitivity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis feedback. Given their common neurobiological pathways, alterations in HPA function in PTSD may be associated with impaired fear inhibition. The present study examined the relationship between HPA axis function and fear-potentiated startle and inhibition of conditioned fear in trauma-exposed individuals. We used a conditional discrimination procedure (AX+/BX-), in which one set of shapes (AX+) was paired with aversive airblasts to the throat (danger signal), and the same X shape with a different shape (BX-) were presented without airblasts (safety signal). The paradigm also included a transfer of fear inhibition test (AB). In addition to fear-potentiated startle, blood was drawn for neuroendocrine analysis and the dexamethasone suppression test (DEX) was performed; cortisol and ACTH were assessed at baseline and post-DEX. Ninety highly traumatized individuals recruited from Grady Hospital in Atlanta, GA participated in the study. The sample was divided into those who met DSM-IV criteria for PTSD (n=29) and Non-PTSD controls (n=61) using the PTSD symptom scale (PSS). Both groups showed significant reduction in cortisol and ACTH levels after DEX. Subjects with PTSD had higher fear-potentiated startle to the safety signal, BX- (F(1,88)=4.44, p<0.05) and fear inhibition trials, AB (F(1,88)=5.20, p<0.05), both indicative of less fear inhibition in the presence of B, compared to control subjects. In addition, fear-potentiated startle to AX+, BX-, and AB was positively correlated with baseline and post-DEX ACTH in PTSD subjects. These results suggest that impaired fear inhibition and associated alterations in HPA feedback may reflect amygdala hyperactivity in subjects with PTSD

  6. Developmental methamphetamine exposure results in short- and long-term alterations in hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal-axis-associated proteins.

    PubMed

    Zuloaga, Damian G; Siegel, Jessica A; Acevedo, Summer F; Agam, Maayan; Raber, Jacob

    2013-01-01

    Developmental exposure to methamphetamine (MA) causes long-term behavioral and cognitive deficits. One pathway through which MA might induce these deficits is by elevating glucocorticoid levels. Glucocorticoid overexposure during brain development can lead to long-term disruptions in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. These disruptions affect the regulation of stress responses and may contribute to behavioral and cognitive deficits reported following developmental MA exposure. Furthermore, alterations in proteins associated with the HPA axis, including vasopressin, oxytocin, and glucocorticoid receptors (GR), are correlated with disruptions in mood and cognition. We therefore hypothesized that early MA exposure will result in short- and long-term alterations in the expression of HPA axis-associated proteins. Male mice were treated with MA (5 mg/kg daily) or saline from postnatal day (P) 11 to P20. At P20 and P90, mice were perfused and their brains processed for vasopressin, oxytocin, and GR immunoreactivity within HPA axis-associated regions. At P20, there was a significant decrease in the number of vasopressin-immunoreactive cells and the area occupied by vasopressin immunoreactivity in the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) of MA-treated mice, but no difference in oxytocin immunoreactivity in the PVN, or GR immunoreactivity in the hippocampus or PVN. In the central nucleus of the amygdala, the area occupied by GR immunoreactivity was decreased by MA. At P90, the number of vasopressin-immunoreactive cells was still decreased, but the area occupied by vasopressin immunoreactivity no longer differed from saline controls. No effects of MA were found on oxytocin or GR immunoreactivity at P90. Thus developmental MA exposure has short- and long-term effects on vasopressin immunoreactivity and short-term effects on GR immunoreactivity.

  7. Changes in the maternal hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis during the early puerperium may be related to the postpartum 'blues'.

    PubMed

    O'Keane, V; Lightman, S; Patrick, K; Marsh, M; Papadopoulos, A S; Pawlby, S; Seneviratne, G; Taylor, A; Moore, R

    2011-11-01

    Most women experience time-limited and specific mood changes in the days after birth known as the maternity blues (Blues). The maternal hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis undergoes gradual changes during pregnancy because of an increasing production of placental corticotrophin-releasing hormone (CRH). The abrupt withdrawal of placental CRH at birth results in a re-equilibration of the maternal HPA axis in the days post-delivery. These changes may be involved in the aetiology of the Blues given the central role of the HPA axis in the aetiology of mood disorders in general, and in perinatal depression in particular. We aimed to test the novel hypothesis that the experience of the Blues may be related to increased secretion of hypothalamic adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH) secretagogue peptides, after the reduction in negative-feedback inhibition on the maternal hypothalamus caused by withdrawal of placental CRH. We therefore examined hormonal changes in the HPA axis in the days after delivery in relation to daily mood changes: our specific prediction was that mood changes would parallel ACTH levels, reflecting increased hypothalamic peptide secretion. Blood concentrations of CRH, ACTH, cortisol, progesterone and oestriol were measured in 70 healthy women during the third trimester of pregnancy, and on days 1-6 post-delivery. Blues scores were evaluated during the postpartum days. Oestriol, progesterone and CRH levels fell rapidly from pregnancy up to day 6, whereas cortisol levels fell modestly. ACTH concentrations declined from pregnancy to day 3 post-delivery and thereafter increased up to day 6. Blues scores increased, peaking on day 5, and were positively correlated with ACTH; and negatively correlated with oestriol levels during the postpartum days, and with the reduction in CRH concentrations from pregnancy. These findings give indirect support to the hypothesis that the 'reactivation' of hypothalamic ACTH secretagogue peptides may be involved in the

  8. Time-course of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activity and inflammation in juvenile rat brain after cranial irradiation.

    PubMed

    Veličković, Nataša; Drakulić, Dunja; Petrović, Snježana; Grković, Ivana; Milošević, Maja; Stanojlović, Miloš; Horvat, Anica

    2012-10-01

    Recent studies reported that exposure of juvenile rats to cranial irradiation affects hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis stability, leading to its activation along with radiation-induced inflammation. In the present study, we hypothesized whether inflammatory reaction in the CNS could be a mediator of HPA axis response to cranial irradiation (CI). Therefore, we analyzed time-course changes of serum corticosterone level, as well IL-1β and TNF-α level in the serum and hypothalamus of juvenile rats after CI. Protein and gene expression of the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) and nuclear factor kappaB (NFκB) were examined in the hippocampus within 24 h postirradiation interval. Cranial irradiation led to rapid induction of both GR and NFκB mRNA and protein in the hippocampus at 1 h. The increment in NFκB protein persisted for 2 h, therefore NFκB/GR protein ratio was turned in favor of NFκB. Central inflammation was characterized by increased IL-1β in the hypothalamus, with maximum levels at 2 and 4 h after irradiation, while both IL-1β and TNF-α were undetectable in the serum. Enhanced hypothalamic IL-1β probably induced the relocation of hippocampal NFκB to the nucleus and decreased NFκB mRNA at 6 h, indicating promotion of inflammation in the key tissue for HPA axis regulation. Concomitant increase of corticosterone level and enhanced GR nuclear translocation in the hippocampus at 6 h might represent a compensatory mechanism for observed inflammation. Our results indicate that acute radiation response is characterized by increased central inflammation and concomitant HPA axis activation, most likely having a role in protection of the organism from overwhelming inflammatory reaction.

  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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    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

  11. Developmental methamphetamine exposure results in short- and long-term alterations in hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis-associated proteins

    PubMed Central

    Zuloaga, Damian G.; Siegel, Jessica A.; Acevedo, Summer F.; Agam, Maayan; Raber, Jacob

    2013-01-01

    Developmental exposure to methamphetamine (MA) causes long-term behavioral and cognitive deficits. One pathway through which MA might induce these deficits is by elevating glucocorticoid levels. Glucocorticoid overexposure during brain development can lead to long-term disruptions in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. These disruptions affect the regulation of stress responses and may contribute to behavioral and cognitive deficits reported following developmental MA exposure. Furthermore, alterations in proteins associated with the HPA axis, including vasopressin, oxytocin, and glucocorticoid receptors (GR), are correlated with disruptions in mood and cognition. We therefore hypothesized that early MA exposure will result in short- and long-term alterations in the expression of HPA axis-associated proteins. Male mice were treated with MA (5 mg/kg daily) or Saline from postnatal day (P) 11–20. At P20 and P90, mice were perfused and their brains processed for vasopressin, oxytocin, and GR-immunoreactivity within HPA axis-associated regions. At P20, there was a significant decrease in the number of vasopressin-immunoreactive cells and area occupied by vasopressin-immunoreactiviy in the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) of MA-treated mice, but no difference in oxytocin-immunoreactivity in the PVN, or GR-immunoreactivity in the hippocampus or PVN. In the central nucleus of the amygdala, area occupied by GR-immunoreactivity was decreased by MA. At P90, the number of vasopressin-immunoreactive cells was still decreased, but the area occupied by vasopressin-immunoreactivity no longer differed from Saline controls. No effects of MA were found on oxytocin or GR-immunoreactivity at P90. Thus developmental MA exposure has short- and long-term effects on vasopressin-immunoreactivity and short-term effects on GR-immunoreactivity. PMID:23860125

  12. Intracerebroventricular injection of leukotriene B4 attenuates antigen-induced asthmatic response via BLT1 receptor stimulating HPA-axis in sensitized rats.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Shui-Juan; Deng, Yang-Mei; Zhu, Yi-Liang; Dong, Xin-Wei; Jiang, Jun-Xia; Xie, Qiang-Min

    2010-04-20

    Basic and clinical studies suggest that hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis is the neuroendocrine-immune pathway that functionally regulates the chronic inflammatory disease including asthma. Our previous studies showed corresponding changes of cytokines and leukotriene B4 (LTB4) between brain and lung tissues in antigen-challenged asthmatic rats. Here, we investigated how the increased LTB4 level in brain interacts with HPA axis in regulating antigen-induced asthmatic response in sensitized rats. Ovalbumin-sensitized rats were challenged by inhalation of antigen. Rats received vehicle, LTB4 or U75302 (a selective LTB4 BLT1 receptor inhibitor) was given via intracerebroventricular injection (i.c.v) 30 min before challenge. Lung resistance (RL) and dynamic lung compliance (Cdyn) were measured before and after antigen challenge. Inflammatory response in lung tissue was assessed 24 h after challenge. Expression of CRH mRNA and protein in hypothalamus were evaluated by RT-PCR and Western Blot, and plasma levels of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and corticosterone (CORT) were measured using the ELISA kits. Antigen challenge decreased pulmonary function and induced airway inflammation, evoked HPA axis response in sensitized rats. Administration of LTB4 via i.c.v markedly attenuated airway contraction and inflammation. Meanwhile, LTB4 via i.c.v markedly increased CORT and ACTH level in plasma before antigen challenge, and followed by further increases in CORT and ACTH levels in plasma after antigen challenge in sensitized rats. Expression of CRH mRNA and protein in hypothalamus were also significantly increased by LTB4 via i.c.v in sensitized rats after antigen challenge. These effect were completely blocked by pre-treatment with BLT1 receptor antagonist U75302 (10 ng), but not by BLT2 antagonist LY255283. LTB4 administered via i.c.v down-regulates the airway contraction response and inflammation through activation of the HPA axis via its BLT1 receptor. This

  13. HPA axis dampening by limited sucrose intake: reward frequency vs. caloric consumption

    PubMed Central

    Ulrich-Lai, Yvonne M.; Ostrander, Michelle M.; Herman, James P.

    2011-01-01

    Individuals often cope with stress by consuming calorically-dense, highly-palatable “comfort” foods. The present work explores the stress-relieving properties of palatable foods in a rat model of limited sucrose intake. In this model, adult male rats with free access to chow and water are given additional access to a small amount of sucrose drink (or water as a control). A history of such limited sucrose intake reduces the collective (HPA axis, sympathetic, and behavioral-anxiety) stress response. Moreover, the stress-dampening by sucrose appears to be mediated primarily by its rewarding properties, since beneficial effects are reproduced by the noncaloric sweetener saccharin but not oral intragastric gavage of sucrose. The present work uses an alternate strategy to address the hypothesis that the rewarding properties of sucrose mediate its stress-dampening. This work varies the duration, frequency, and/or volume of sucrose and assesses the ability to attenuate HPA axis stress responses. The data indicate that HPA-dampening is optimal with a greater duration and/or frequency of sucrose, whereas increasing the volume of sucrose consumed is without effect. This finding suggests that the primary factor mediating stress-dampening is the number/rate of reward (i.e., sucrose) exposures, rather than the total sucrose calories consumed. Collectively, these data support the hypothesis that stress relief by limited palatable food intake is mediated primarily by its hedonic/rewarding properties. Moreover, the results support the contention that naturally rewarding behaviors are a physiological means to produce stress relief. PMID:21168428

  14. HPA axis dampening by limited sucrose intake: reward frequency vs. caloric consumption.

    PubMed

    Ulrich-Lai, Yvonne M; Ostrander, Michelle M; Herman, James P

    2011-04-18

    Individuals often cope with stress by consuming calorically-dense, highly-palatable 'comfort' foods. The present work explores the stress-relieving properties of palatable foods in a rat model of limited sucrose intake. In this model, adult male rats with free access to chow and water are given additional access to a small amount of sucrose drink (or water as a control). A history of such limited sucrose intake reduces the collective (HPA axis, sympathetic, and behavioral-anxiety) stress response. Moreover, the stress-dampening by sucrose appears to be mediated primarily by its rewarding properties, since beneficial effects are reproduced by the noncaloric sweetener saccharin but not oral intragastric gavage of sucrose. The present work uses an alternate strategy to address the hypothesis that the rewarding properties of sucrose mediate its stress-dampening. This work varies the duration, frequency, and/or volume of sucrose and assesses the ability to attenuate HPA axis stress responses. The data indicate that HPA-dampening is optimal with a greater duration and/or frequency of sucrose, whereas increasing the volume of sucrose consumed is without effect. This finding suggests that the primary factor mediating stress-dampening is the number/rate of reward (i.e., sucrose) exposures, rather than the total sucrose calories consumed. Collectively, these data support the hypothesis that stress relief by limited palatable food intake is mediated primarily by its hedonic/rewarding properties. Moreover, the results support the contention that naturally rewarding behaviors are a physiological means to produce stress relief.

  15. HPA-axis function, symptoms, and medication exposure in youths at clinical high risk for psychosis.

    PubMed

    Sugranyes, G; Thompson, J L; Corcoran, C M

    2012-11-01

    Increased basal cortisol secretion has been associated with heightened clinical risk for psychosis, and among at-risk individuals, has been variably related to positive and mood symptoms, as well as clinical outcome. Basal salivary cortisol secretion was assessed in 33 patients at clinical high risk (CHR) for psychosis (21 medication-free and 12 taking a serotonin reuptake inhibitor and/or atypical antipsychotic), and 13 healthy controls. Among the CHR patients, we also examined associations of basal salivary cortisol with symptoms (positive, negative, mood, stress sensitivity) and clinical outcome. Basal salivary cortisol secretion was significantly higher in CHR patients who were medication-free compared to CHR patients taking medications and to healthy controls. In this small cohort, basal salivary cortisol secretion was associated at trend level with stress sensitivity, and was not significantly related to other symptoms. Our finding of elevated basal cortisol secretion in CHR patients supports the premise that excess activation of the HPA axis and/or neuroendocrine abnormalities characterize the psychosis risk state for at least a subset of patients. Our findings further suggest that psychotropic medications may have a normalizing effect on HPA-axis dysfunction in CHR patients, which could potentially inform intervention strategies for the prodrome. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Disturbances of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and plasma electrolytes during experimental sepsis

    PubMed Central

    2011-01-01

    Background Sepsis continues to be a poorly understood syndrome with a high mortality rate. While we are beginning to decipher the intricate interplay of the inflammatory response during sepsis, the precise regulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and its impact on electrolyte homeostasis during sepsis remains incompletely understood. Methods Sepsis was induced in adult male Sprague-Dawley rats by cecal ligation and puncture (CLP). Plasma samples were obtained as a function of time (6-48 hrs) after CLP and compared with healthy animals (neg ctrl). Samples were analyzed for adrenocorticotropin (ACTH), corticosterone, and aldosterone levels, as well as concentrations of sodium (Na+), potassium (K+), chloride (Cl-), and magnesium (Mg2+). Results ACTH levels were found to be significantly reduced 6-24 hrs after CLP in comparison to baseline levels and displayed gradual recovery during the later course (24-48 hrs) of sepsis. Plasma corticosterone concentrations exhibited a bell-shaped response, peaking between 6 and 12 hrs followed by rapid decline and concentrations below negative control levels 48 hrs after injury. Aldosterone levels in septic animals were continuously elevated between 6 and 48 hrs. Whereas plasma Na+ levels were found to be persistently elevated following CLP, levels of K+, Cl- and Mg2+ were significantly reduced as a function of time and gradually recovered during the later course of sepsis. Conclusions CLP-induced sepsis resulted in dynamic changes of ACTH, corticosterone, and aldosterone levels. In addition, electrolyte levels showed significant disturbances after CLP. These electrolyte perturbations might be evoked by a downstream effect or a dysfunctional HPA-axis response during sepsis and contribute to severe complications during sepsis. PMID:22208725

  19. Activation of 5-HT1A receptors in the rat dorsomedial hypothalamus inhibits stress-induced activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis.

    PubMed

    Stamper, Christopher E; Hassell, James E; Kapitz, Adam J; Renner, Kenneth J; Orchinik, Miles; Lowry, Christopher A

    2017-03-27

    Acute activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, leading to the release of corticosteroid hormones into the circulation, is an adaptive response to perceived threats. Persistent activation of the HPA axis can lead to impaired physiological or behavioral function with maladaptive consequences. Thus, efficient control and termination of stress responses is essential for well-being. However, inhibitory control mechanisms governing the HPA axis are poorly understood. Previous studies suggest that serotonergic systems, acting within the medial hypothalamus, play an important role in inhibitory control of stress-induced HPA axis activity. To test this hypothesis, we surgically implanted chronic jugular cannulae in adult male rats and conducted bilateral microinjection of vehicle or the 5-HT1A receptor agonist, 8-hydroxy-2-(di-n-propylamino) tetralin hydrobromide (8-OH-DPAT; 8 nmol, 0.2 μL, 0.1 μL/min, per side) into the dorsomedial hypothalamus (DMH) immediately prior to a 40 min period of restraint stress. Repeated blood sampling was conducted using an automated blood sampling system and plasma corticosterone concentrations were determined using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Bilateral intra-DMH microinjections of 8-OH-DPAT suppressed stress-induced increases in plasma corticosterone within 10 min of the onset of handling prior to restraint and, as measured by area-under-the-curve analysis of plasma corticosterone concentrations, during the 40 min period of restraint. These data support an inhibitory role for serotonergic systems, acting within the DMH, on stress-induced activation of the HPA axis. Lay summary: Inhibitory control of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) stress hormone response is important for well-being. One neurochemical implicated in inhibitory control of the HPA axis is serotonin. In this study we show that activation of serotonin receptors, specifically inhibitory 5-HT1A receptors in the dorsomedial

  20. Effect of naproxen on the hypothalamic–pituitary– adrenal axis in healthy volunteers

    PubMed Central

    Eijsbouts, Agnes M M; Kempers, Marlies J E; Kramer, Renske S A; Hopman, Maria T E; van den Hoogen, Frank H J; Laan, Ronald F J M; Hermus, Ad R M M; Sweep, Fred C G J; van de Putte, Leo B A

    2009-01-01

    AIM To study the effect of the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug naproxen on the activity of the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis in healthy volunteers. METHODS A double-blind, randomized study in two groups of 20 healthy volunteers was performed. The activity of the HPA axis was measured before and after the use of naproxen or placebo during a period of 2 weeks. Basal plasma adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and cortisol, 24-h urinary cortisol, and circadian cortisol rhythm in saliva were determined. Plasma ACTH and cortisol were also measured during submaximal physical exercise. RESULTS There were no significant differences between the placebo and naproxen groups in basal plasma ACTH [09.00 h 3.1 pmol l−1, 95% confidence interval (CI) 2.0, 4.2, and 2.8 pmol l−1, 95% CI 1.9, 3.7, respectively], cortisol levels (09.00 h 0.45 µmol l−1, 95% CI 0.39, 0.51, and 0.40 µmol l−1, 95% CI 0.35, 0.44, respectively), 24 h urinary cortisol excretion (67.5 nmol 24 h−1, 95% CI 54.3, 80.7, and 86.8 nmol 24 h−1, 95% CI 54.4, 119.2, respectively), circadian cortisol rhythm measured in salivary samples, or ACTH and cortisol concentrations after physical exercise. After the use of placebo or naproxen for 2 weeks, no significant change in any of the parameters occurred (ACTH 09.00 h 3.0 pmol l−1, 95% CI 2.0, 3.9, and 3.0 pmol l−1, 95% CI 2.2, 3.8, respectively; cortisol 09.00 h 0.45 µmol l−1, 95% CI 0.37, 0.52, and 0.39 µmol l−1, 95% CI 0.34, 0.44, respectively; cortisol urine 79.5 nmol 24 h−1, 95% CI 59.5, 99.4, and 81.7 nmol 24 h−1, 95% CI 64.0, 99.4, respectively), and no significant differences were found in these parameters between the placebo and naproxen groups. CONCLUSIONS The use of naproxen does not influence the activity of the HPA axis in healthy volunteers under basal circumstances or in response to physical stress. PMID:19133058

  1. Effects of nutritional stress during different developmental periods on song and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis in zebra finches.

    PubMed

    Kriengwatana, B; Wada, H; Schmidt, K L; Taves, M D; Soma, K K; MacDougall-Shackleton, S A

    2014-03-01

    In songbirds, developmental stress affects song learning and production. Altered hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis function resulting in elevated corticosterone (CORT) may contribute to this effect. We examined whether developmental conditions affected the association between adult song and HPA axis function, and whether nutritional stress before and after nutritional independence has distinct effects on song learning and/or vocal performance. Zebra finches (Taeniopygia guttata) were raised in consistently high (HH) or low (LL) food conditions until post-hatch day (PHD) 62, or were switched from high to low conditions (HL) or vice versa (LH) at PHD 34. Song was recorded in adulthood. We assessed the response of CORT to handling during development and to dexamethasone (DEX) and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) challenges during adulthood. Song learning and vocal performance were not affected by nutritional stress at either developmental stage. Nutritional stress elevated baseline CORT during development. Nutritional stress also increased rate of CORT secretion in birds that experienced stress only in the juvenile phase (HL group). Birds in the LL group had lower CORT levels after injection of ACTH compared to the other groups, however there was no effect of nutritional stress on the response to DEX. Thus, our findings indicate that developmental stress can affect HPA function without concurrently affecting song.

  2. Impact of maternal undernutrition on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis responsiveness in sheep at different ages postnatal.

    PubMed

    Chadio, S E; Kotsampasi, B; Papadomichelakis, G; Deligeorgis, S; Kalogiannis, D; Menegatos, I; Zervas, G

    2007-03-01

    Epidemiological and experimental data support the hypothesis of 'fetal programming', which proposes that alterations in fetal nutrition and endocrine status lead to permanent adaptations in fetal homeostatic mechanisms, producing long-term changes in physiology and determine susceptibility to later disease. Altered hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis function has been proposed to play an important role in programming of disease risk. The aim of the present study was to examine the effects of maternal nutrient restriction imposed during different periods of gestation on the HPA axis function in sheep, at different ages postnatal. Pregnant ewes were fed a 50% nutrient-restricted diet from days 0-30 (group R1, n = 7), or from days 31-100 of gestation (group R2, n = 7) or a control 100% diet throughout pregnancy, (Control, n = 8). Blood samples were collected at 10-day intervals from day 40 of gestation to term. Lambs were born naturally and fed to appetite throughout the study period. At 2, 5.5, and 10 months of age lambs were given an i.v. injection of corticotrophin-releasing hormone (CRH) and blood samples were collected at -15, 0, 15, 30, 60, 120, and 180 min postinjection. Maternal cortisol levels were significantly higher (P < 0.05) in group R1 compared with the other two groups, whereas maternal insulin levels were lower (P < 0.05) in group R2 compared with control. Birth weight of lambs was not affected by the maternal nutritional manipulation. The area under the curve for ACTH and cortisol response to CRH challenge was greater (P < 0.05) in lambs of group R1 at two months of age, whereas no difference was detected at the ages of 5.5 and 10 months. However, significantly higher (P < 0.01) basal cortisol levels were observed in lambs of R1 group at 5.5 months of age. There was no interaction between treatment and sex for both pituitary and adrenal responses to the challenge. A significant sex effect was evident with females responding with higher ACTH and

  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.

  4. 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

  5. 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. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  6. Central organization of androgen-sensitive pathways to the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis: implications for individual differences in responses to homeostatic threat and predisposition to disease.

    PubMed

    Williamson, Martin; Bingham, Brenda; Viau, Victor

    2005-12-01

    Despite clear evidence of the potency by which sex steroids operate on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and genuine sex differences in disorders related to HPA dysfunction, the biological significance of this remains largely ignored. Stress-induced increases in circulating glucocorticoid levels serve to meet the metabolic demands of homeostatic threat head-on. Thus, the nature of the stress-adrenal axis is to protect the organism. As one develops, matures, and ages, still newer and competing physiological and environmental demands are encountered. These changing constraints are also met by shifts in sex steroid release, placing this class of steroids beyond the traditional realm of reproductive function. Here we focus on the dose-related and glucocorticoid-interactive nature by which testosterone operates on stress-induced HPA activation. This provides an overview on how to exploit these characteristics towards developing an anatomical framework of testosterone's actions in the brain, and expands upon the idea that centrally projecting arginine vasopressin circuits in the brain act to register and couple testosterone's effects on neuroendocrine and behavioural responses to stress. More generally, the work presented here underscores how a dual adrenal and gonadal systems approach assist in unmasking the bases by which individuals resist or succumb to stress.

  7. 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

  8. Diazepam increases the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis activity by a cyclic AMP-dependent mechanism

    PubMed Central

    Vargas, M Luisa; Abella, Cristina; Hernandez, Jesus

    2001-01-01

    Previous studies in this laboratory have shown that diazepam behaves as a phosphodiesterase 4 (PDE 4) inhibitor. It has been reported that PDE-4 inhibitors activate the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis in the rat. In the present study we have examined whether activation of the cyclic AMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA) is involved in the effect of diazepam on basal HPA axis activity. Acute systemic administration of diazepam (10 mg kg−1 i.p.) was found to increase the basal HPA axis activity, increasing the plasma concentrations of corticotrophin (ACTH) and corticosterone 30 min post injection. Diazepam also elevated cyclic AMP content of the hypothalamus. Pretreatment of the animals with dexamethasone (1 mg kg−1 s.c.) for 3 days completely abolished the effect of diazepam on HPA axis activity. The antagonists of central and peripheral benzodiazepine receptors, flumazenil (10 mg kg−1 i.p.) and PK 11195 (5 mg kg−1 i.p.) did not affect the diazepam induced increase of HPA axis activity nor did they have an effect per se. The increase in ACTH and corticosterone levels was significantly reduced by the cyclic AMP-dependent protein kinase (PKA) inhibitor, H-89, given either subcutaneously (5 mg kg−1 s.c.) or intracerebroventricularly (i.c.v.; 28 μg in 10 μl). The results indicate that diazepam can stimulate basal HPA axis activity in the rat by a cyclic AMP-dependent PKA mediated pathway. PMID:11498522

  9. 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

  10. 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

    2016-08-11

    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.

  11. Basal activity of the HPA axis and cognitive function in anorexia nervosa.

    PubMed

    Seed, Julie A; McCue, Patricia M; Wesnes, Keith A; Dahabra, Sylvia; Young, Allan H

    2002-03-01

    Elevated cortisol and cognitive impairments have been described in anorexia nervosa, but the relationship between these two variables has not been adequately explored. We profiled the pattern and extent of the cognitive impairment in anorexia nervosa and determined how this related to cortisol secretion. Twenty patients with anorexia nervosa and a matched control group completed a computerized cognitive assessment battery. Diurnal cortisol secretion was measured by serial saliva sampling. Patients were significantly impaired on tasks of attention, long-term memory and working memory. Both groups showed the expected diurnal variation in cortisol production, but no evidence was found for patient cortisol hypersecretion. No correlation was found between cortisol secretion and any of the cognitive task measures. These data suggest that at least some of the cognitive impairments seen in anorexia nervosa are attributable to something other than a basal increase in cortisol secretion. The limitations of cortisol as an indicator of HPA axis activity are discussed.

  12. Maternal hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis response to foraging uncertainty: A model of individual vs. social allostasis and the "Superorganism Hypothesis".

    PubMed

    Coplan, Jeremy D; Gupta, Nishant K; Karim, Asif; Rozenboym, Anna; Smith, Eric L P; Kral, John G; Rosenblum, Leonard A

    2017-01-01

    Food insecurity is a major global contributor to developmental origins of adult disease. The allostatic load of maternal food uncertainty from variable foraging demand (VFD) activates corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) without eliciting hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) activation measured on a group level. Individual homeostatic adaptations of the HPA axis may subserve second-order homeostasis, a process we provisionally term "social allostasis." We postulate that maternal food insecurity induces a "superorganism" state through coordination of individual HPA axis response. Twenty-four socially-housed bonnet macaque maternal-infant dyads were exposed to 16 weeks of alternating two-week epochs of low or high foraging demand shown to compromise normative maternal-infant rearing. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) CRF concentrations and plasma cortisol were measured pre- and post-VFD. Dyadic distance was measured, and blinded observers performed pre-VFD social ranking assessments. Despite marked individual cortisol responses (mean change = 20%) there was an absence of maternal HPA axis group mean response to VFD (0%). Whereas individual CSF CRF concentrations change = 56%, group mean did increase 25% (p = 0.002). Our "dyadic vulnerability" index (low infant weight, low maternal weight, subordinate maternal social status and reduced dyadic distance) predicted maternal cortisol decreases (p < 0.0001) whereas relatively "advantaged" dyads exhibited maternal cortisol increases in response to VFD exposure. In response to a chronic stressor, relative dyadic vulnerability plays a significant role in determining the directionality and magnitude of individual maternal HPA axis responses in the service of maintaining a "superorganism" version of HPA axis homeostasis, provisionally termed "social allostasis."

  13. Maternal hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis response to foraging uncertainty: A model of individual vs. social allostasis and the "Superorganism Hypothesis"

    PubMed Central

    Coplan, Jeremy D.; Karim, Asif; Rozenboym, Anna; Smith, Eric L. P.; Kral, John G.; Rosenblum, Leonard A.

    2017-01-01

    Introduction Food insecurity is a major global contributor to developmental origins of adult disease. The allostatic load of maternal food uncertainty from variable foraging demand (VFD) activates corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) without eliciting hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) activation measured on a group level. Individual homeostatic adaptations of the HPA axis may subserve second-order homeostasis, a process we provisionally term “social allostasis.” We postulate that maternal food insecurity induces a “superorganism” state through coordination of individual HPA axis response. Methods Twenty-four socially-housed bonnet macaque maternal-infant dyads were exposed to 16 weeks of alternating two-week epochs of low or high foraging demand shown to compromise normative maternal-infant rearing. Cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) CRF concentrations and plasma cortisol were measured pre- and post-VFD. Dyadic distance was measured, and blinded observers performed pre-VFD social ranking assessments. Results Despite marked individual cortisol responses (mean change = 20%) there was an absence of maternal HPA axis group mean response to VFD (0%). Whereas individual CSF CRF concentrations change = 56%, group mean did increase 25% (p = 0.002). Our "dyadic vulnerability" index (low infant weight, low maternal weight, subordinate maternal social status and reduced dyadic distance) predicted maternal cortisol decreases (p < 0.0001) whereas relatively “advantaged” dyads exhibited maternal cortisol increases in response to VFD exposure. Comment In response to a chronic stressor, relative dyadic vulnerability plays a significant role in determining the directionality and magnitude of individual maternal HPA axis responses in the service of maintaining a “superorganism” version of HPA axis homeostasis, provisionally termed “social allostasis.” PMID:28880949

  14. Single-nucleotide polymorphisms in genes related to the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis as risk factors for posttraumatic stress disorder.

    PubMed

    Carvalho, Carolina M; Coimbra, Bruno M; Ota, Vanessa K; Mello, Marcelo F; Belangero, Sintia I

    2017-10-01

    Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a common psychiatric disorder. The etiology of PTSD is multifactorial, depending on many environmental and genetic risk factors, and the exposure to life or physical integrity-threatening events. Several studies have shown significant correlations of many neurobiological findings with PTSD. Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis dysfunction is strongly correlated with this disorder. One hypothesis is that HPA axis dysfunction may precede the traumatic event, suggesting that genes expressed in the HPA axis may be involved in the development of PTSD. This article reviews molecular genetic studies related to PTSD collected through a literature search performed in PubMed, MEDLINE, ScienceDirect, and Scientific Electronic Library Online (SciELO). The results of these studies suggest that several polymorphisms in the HPA axis genes, including FKBP5, NR3C1, CRHR1, and CRHR2, may be risk factors for PTSD development or may be associated with the severity of PTSD symptoms. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.

  15. Consumption of green tea epigallocatechin-3-gallate enhances systemic immune response, antioxidative capacity and HPA axis functions in aged male swiss albino mice.

    PubMed

    Sharma, Rohit; Sharma, Anamika; Kumari, Amita; Kulurkar, Pankaj Markand; Raj, Rajneesh; Gulati, Ashu; Padwad, Yogendra S

    2017-03-24

    The present investigation assessed the potential of green tea phytochemical epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG) in alleviating age-associated aberrations in immunity, hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and redox homeostasis using 16 months old male Swiss albino mice. Four groups of animals (n = 6 per group) were supplemented with either aqueous EGCG at 25, 50 and 100 mg/kg/animal or vehicle control for 6 weeks. A concurrent analysis of CD4(+) and CD8(+) lymphocytes in splenocytes, differential leucocyte population, T cell differentiation markers in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), neutrophil functions, immunoglobulins profile in intestine, circulatory HPA axis hormonal levels as well as inflammatory and oxidative stress in the liver was performed. We observed a remarkable increase in plasma dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) levels of 100 mg EGCG fed animals while eosinophils and monocytes counts in blood increased. EGCG consumption increased the fraction of CD3(+)CD8(+) cells in splenocytes and CD28 expression on PBMCs. The immunoglobulins profile revealed decreased production of secretory IgA, IgE and IgG1/IgG2a ratio. Liver extracts showed increase in superoxide dismutase activity and total antioxidant capacity while lipid peroxidation along with inflammatory markers (IL-6 and TNF-α) decreased. Our results collectively show that EGCG consumption during aging strengthens systemic immunity by enhancing cellular immune response and simultaneously attenuating antibody response aided by an increase in adrenal DHEA production. Thus, consumption of green tea may be beneficial in alleviating some of the deleterious aspects of aging and immunosenescence in elderly.

  16. 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

  17. Neonatal hydrocortisone therapy does not have a serious suppressive effect on the later function of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis.

    PubMed

    Takayanagi, Toshimitsu; Matsuo, Koji; Egashira, Tomoko; Mizukami, Tomoko

    2015-05-01

    This study investigated whether providing extremely low birthweight (ELBW) infants with a large amount of hydrocortisone had a serious suppressive effect on the later function of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. We evaluated the function of the HPA axis in 58 ELBW infants receiving 9.0 ± 7.2 mg/kg of intravenous and 68.1 ± 34.1 mg/kg of oral hydrocortisone using a human corticotropin-releasing hormone stimulation test. The mean age at investigation was 12.0 ± 5.2 months. The response was judged to be normal when the maximum to minimum ratio of the plasma adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) concentration was >2, the peak value of the serum cortisol concentration was >552 nmol/L, or the increment was >193 nmol/L than baseline concentration. Of the 58 infants studied, 51 (88%) displayed a normal response to both the ACTH and cortisol secretion and seven infants (12%) who were judged to be poor responders exhibited a peak cortisol value of >386 nmol/L without any episode of adrenal insufficiency. Providing ELBW infants with a daily low dose of long-term hydrocortisone therapy should not lead to a serious suppressive effect on the later function of the HPA axis, regardless of the administration method. ©2015 Foundation Acta Paediatrica. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  18. Mu-opioid receptor A118G polymorphism in healthy volunteers affects hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis adrenocorticotropic hormone stress response to metyrapone

    PubMed Central

    Ducat, Elizabeth; Ray, Brenda; Bart, Gavin; Umemura, Yoshie; Varon, Jack; Ho, Ann; Kreek, Mary Jeanne

    2013-01-01

    The mu-opioid receptor encoded by the gene OPRM1 plays a primary role in opiate, alcohol, cocaine and nicotine addiction. Studies using opioid antagonists demonstrate that the mu-opioid receptor (MOP-r) also mediates the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis stress response. A common polymorphism in exon one of the MOP-r gene, A118G, has been shown to significantly alter receptor function and MOP-r gene expression; therefore, this variant likely affects HPA-axis responsivity. In the current study, we have investigated whether the presence of the 118AG variant genotype affects HPA axis responsivity to the stressor metyrapone, which transiently blocks glucocorticoid production in the adrenal cortex. Forty-eight normal and healthy volunteers (32 men, 16 women) were studied, among whom nine men and seven women had the 118AG genotype. The 118G allele blunted the adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) response to metyrapone. Although there was no difference in basal levels of ACTH, subjects with the 118AG genotype had a more modest rise and resultant significantly lower ACTH levels than those with the prototype 118AA at the 8-hour time point (P < 0.02). We found no significant difference between genders. These findings suggest a relatively greater tonic inhibition at hypothalamic–pituitary sites through the mu-opioid receptor and relatively less cyclical glucocorticoid inhibition in subjects with the 118G allele. PMID:21507151

  19. Mu-opioid receptor A118G polymorphism in healthy volunteers affects hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis adrenocorticotropic hormone stress response to metyrapone.

    PubMed

    Ducat, Elizabeth; Ray, Brenda; Bart, Gavin; Umemura, Yoshie; Varon, Jack; Ho, Ann; Kreek, Mary Jeanne

    2013-03-01

    The mu-opioid receptor encoded by the gene OPRM1 plays a primary role in opiate, alcohol, cocaine and nicotine addiction. Studies using opioid antagonists demonstrate that the mu-opioid receptor (MOP-r) also mediates the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis stress response. A common polymorphism in exon one of the MOP-r gene, A118G, has been shown to significantly alter receptor function and MOP-r gene expression; therefore, this variant likely affects HPA-axis responsivity. In the current study, we have investigated whether the presence of the 118AG variant genotype affects HPA axis responsivity to the stressor metyrapone, which transiently blocks glucocorticoid production in the adrenal cortex. Forty-eight normal and healthy volunteers (32 men, 16 women) were studied, among whom nine men and seven women had the 118AG genotype. The 118G allele blunted the adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) response to metyrapone. Although there was no difference in basal levels of ACTH, subjects with the 118AG genotype had a more modest rise and resultant significantly lower ACTH levels than those with the prototype 118AA at the 8-hour time point (P < 0.02). We found no significant difference between genders. These findings suggest a relatively greater tonic inhibition at hypothalamic-pituitary sites through the mu-opioid receptor and relatively less cyclical glucocorticoid inhibition in subjects with the 118G allele.

  20. Repeated amphetamine administration in rats revealed consistency across days and a complete dissociation between locomotor and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis effects of the drug.

    PubMed

    Gagliano, Humberto; Andero, Raül; Armario, Antonio; Nadal, Roser

    2009-12-01

    Most drugs of abuse stimulate both locomotor activity and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, but the relationship between the two responses within the same subjects and their reliabilities has been scarcely studied. Our objectives were to study: (1) the consistency and stability across time of locomotor and HPA activation induced by repeated d-amphetamine (AMPH); (2) the relationship between locomotor and hormonal responses to AMPH; and (3) the relationship between novelty-induced activity and both types of responses to the drug. Male adult rats were exposed to a novel environment to study the locomotor response. Later, they were injected with AMPH (2 mg/kg, sc) for 5 days. In Experiment 1, Plasma adrenocorticotropin (ACTH) and corticosterone levels in response to AMPH were studied on days 1, 3, and 5, and locomotor response on days 2 and 4. In Experiment 2, ACTH and corticosterone responses were studied on days 2 and 4, and locomotor response on days 1, 3, and 5. Across days, both locomotor and HPA responses to the drug were consistent, but independent measures, unrelated to the reactivity to novelty. As measured by the area under the curve, the HPA response to AMPH desensitized with the repeated injection, whereas the initial locomotor response to the drug increased. Dissociation exists between HPA and locomotor activation induced by AMPH, which seemed to be both reliable individual traits. Locomotor reactivity to novelty was related neither to HPA nor to locomotor responses to AMPH.

  1. The CRF₁ receptor antagonist SSR125543 attenuates long-term cognitive deficit induced by acute inescapable stress in mice, independently from the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal axis.

    PubMed

    Philbert, J; Pichat, P; Palme, R; Belzung, C; Griebel, G

    2012-09-01

    The selective antagonist at the CRF₁ receptor, SSR125543, has been shown to produce anxiolytic-like effects in a number of animal models. The aim of the present study was to verify whether these effects are mediated by an action on the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis. SSR125543 effects were evaluated in a mouse model of post-traumatic stress disorder. Animals received two unavoidable electric foot-shocks (1.5 mA/2 s). Two weeks later they were placed in the shock context and fecal and plasma corticosterone levels were measured by enzyme-immunoassay. Their cognitive performances were evaluated using the object recognition task following administration of SSR125543 at 3, 10 and 30 mg/kg or paroxetine at 20 mg/kg (i.p.), used as positive control. To assess the involvement of the HPA axis in the drug effects, a separate group of animals was subjected to the same procedure and drug regimen, but was treated with dexamethasone to blunt the HPA axis. Stressed mice had higher levels of corticosterone following re-exposure to the context and displayed impaired cognitive performance as compared to control animals. Corticosterone levels were normalized in stressed mice by SSR125543 and the cognitive deficit was significantly attenuated by SSR125543 and paroxetine, whether the HPA axis was blunted or not. These findings confirm that SSR125543 is able to attenuate the deleterious effects of stressful exposure. Importantly, the observation that these effects were still present in dexamethasone-treated mice indicates that this action does not necessarily involve pituitary-adrenal axis blockade, thereby suggesting that extra-pituitary CRF₁ receptors may play a role in these effects.

  2. Amygdala volume and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis reactivity to social stress.

    PubMed

    Barry, Tom J; Murray, Lynne; Fearon, Pasco; Moutsiana, Christina; Johnstone, Tom; Halligan, Sarah L

    2017-11-01

    The amygdala plays a central role in emotional processing and has an activating influence on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. Structural changes in the amygdala have been associated with early adversity and, in principle, may contribute to the later emergence of emotional pathologies by influencing the way that the brain responds to stress provocation. The present study examined the relationship between amygdala volumes and cortisol secretion in response to a social stressor among young adults who were or were not exposed to maternal postnatal depression (PND) early in development (referred to as PND offspring and controls, respectively). Hierarchical Linear Modelling (HLM) revealed that, on a sample-wide level, there was no evidence of a relationship between total amygdala volume, or the volume of the right or left hemisphere amygdala taken separately, and cortisol reactivity. Unexpectedly, for PND offspring, larger right hemisphere amygdala volume was associated with lower cortisol reactivity in response to stress, an effect that was not apparent in control offspring. We conclude that the relationship between amygdala volumes and stress reactivity may not be as clear as previous models suggested. Copyright © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  3. Stress Sensitivity in Metastatic Breast Cancer: Analysis of Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis Function

    PubMed Central

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

    2006-01-01

    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 minutes 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 1 mg of dexamethasone 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 dexamethasone administration day, all p<.01) . Daytime cortisol slopes were also moderately but significant associated with the rise in cortisol from waking to 30 minutes 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 1.5 mg of dexamethasone 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

  4. GABAA receptor deficits cause HPA axis hyperactivity and antidepressant drug sensitivity reminiscent of melancholic forms of depression

    PubMed Central

    Shen, Qiuying; Lal, Rachnanjali; Luellen, Beth A.; Earnheart, John C.; Andrews, Anne Milasincic; Luscher, Bernhard

    2010-01-01

    BACKGROUND: GABAA receptor deficits that are induced by global or forebrain-specific heterozygous inactivation of the γ2 subunit gene in mouse embryos result in behavior indicative of trait anxiety and depressive states. By contrast, a comparable deficit that is delayed to adolescence is without these behavioral consequences. Here we characterized γ2-deficient mice with respect to HPA axis abnormalities and antidepressant drug responses. METHODS: We analyzed the behavioral responses of γ2+/− mice to desipramine and fluoxetine in Novelty Suppressed Feeding (NSFT), Forced Swim (FST), Tail Suspension (TST) and Sucrose Consumption (SCT) tests, as well as GABAA receptor deficit- and antidepressant drug treatment-induced alterations in serum corticosterone. RESULTS: Baseline corticosterone concentrations of adult γ2-deficient mice were elevated independent of whether the genetic lesion was induced during embryogenesis or delayed to adolescence. However, the manifestation of anxious-depressive behavior in different γ2-deficient mouse lines was correlated with early onset HPA axis hyperactivity during postnatal development. Chronic but not subchronic treatment of γ2+/− mice with fluoxetine or desipramine normalized the anxiety-like behavior in the NSFT. Moreover, desipramine had antidepressant-like effects in that it normalized HPA axis function and depression-related behavior of γ2+/− mice in the FST, TST and SCT. By contrast, fluoxetine was ineffective as an antidepressant and failed to normalize HPA axis function. CONCLUSIONS: Developmental deficits in GABAergic inhibition in the forebrain cause behavioral and endocrine abnormalities and selective antidepressant drug responsiveness indicative of anxious-depressive disorders such as melancholic depression, which are frequently characterized by HPA axis hyperactivity and greater efficacy of desipramine vs. fluoxetine. PMID:20579975

  5. Sex differences in activated CRF neurons within stress-related neurocircuitry and HPA axis hormones following restraint in rats

    PubMed Central

    Babb, Jessica A; Masini, Cher V; Day, Heidi E W; Campeau, Serge

    2013-01-01

    Women may be more vulnerable to certain stress-related psychiatric illnesses than men due to differences in hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis function. To investigate potential sex differences in forebrain regions associated with HPA axis activation in rats, these experiments utilized acute exposure to a psychological stressor. Male and female rats in various stages of the estrous cycle were exposed to 30 min of restraint, producing a robust HPA axis hormonal response in all animals, the magnitude of which was significantly higher in female rats. Although both male and female animals displayed equivalent c-fos expression in many brain regions known to be involved in the detection of threatening stimuli, three regions had significantly higher expression in females: the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus (PVN), the anteroventral division of the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BSTav), and the medial preoptic area (MPOA). Dual fluorescence in-situ hybridization analysis of neurons containing c-fos and corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) mRNA in these regions revealed significantly more c-fos and CRF single-labeled neurons, as well as significantly more double-labeled neurons in females. Surprisingly, there was no effect of the estrous cycle on any measure analyzed, and an additional experiment revealed no demonstrable effect of estradiol replacement following ovariectomy on HPA axis hormone induction following stress. Taken together, these data suggest sex differences in HPA axis activation in response to perceived threat may be influenced by specific populations of CRF neurons in key stress-related brain regions, the BSTav, MPOA, and PVN, which may be independent of circulating sex steroids. PMID:23305762

  6. Therapeutic effects of Chinese herbal medicine against neuroendocrinological diseases especially related to hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal and hypothalamus-pituitary-gonadal axis.

    PubMed

    Wang, Di; Lu, Cheng-Yu; Teng, Le-Sheng; Guo, Zhi-Hua; Meng, Qing-Fan; Liu, Yan; Zhong, Linda Ld; Wang, Wei; Xie, Jing; Zhang, Zhang-Jin

    2014-05-01

    This is a systemic review of plants used traditionally for neuroendocrinological diseases related to hypothalamus-pitutary-adrenal (HPA) and hypothalamus-pitutary-gland (HPG) axis. By searching from PubMed literature search system (1950-2013), Medline (1950-2013) and CNKI (China Journals of Full-text database; 1989-2013), 105 papers met the inclusion criteria were displayed in this review. 96 herbal drugs were classified into two parts which include hormones mainly related to HPA and HPG axis. The full scientific name of each herbal medicine, dose ranges and routes, models or diseases, affect on hormones and pertinent references are presented via synoptic tables. Herbal remedies that have demonstrable the activities of hormones have provided a potential to various diseases related to neunoendocrine and deserve increased attention in future studies. This review provides a basis for herbs use in neuroendocrinological diseases. The data collected here will benefit to further research associated to herbal medicines and hormones.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

    Abstract 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

  8. Patient specific modeling of the HPA axis related to clinical diagnosis of depression.

    PubMed

    Bangsgaard, Elisabeth O; Ottesen, Johnny T

    2016-11-02

    A novel model of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis is presented. The axis is an endocrine system responsible for coping with stress and it is likely to be involved in depression. The dynamics of the system is studied and existence, uniqueness and positivity of the solution and the existence of an attracting trapping region are proved. The model is calibrated and compared to data for healthy and depressed subjects. A sensitivity analysis resulting in a set of identifiable physiological parameters is provided. A subset is selected for parameter estimation and a reduced version of the model is stated and an approximated version is discussed. The model is physiologically based, thus parameters are representative for gland functions or elimination processes. Hence the model may be used for pointing out pathologies by parameter estimation and hypothesis testing whereby it may be used as an objective and refined method for diagnosing depression and suggesting individual treatment protocols. Finally, the method may inspire pharmaceutical companies to develop target specific psychopharmaca for more effective and individual treatment.

  9. Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activity, dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate and their relationships with aggression in early and late alcohol withdrawal.

    PubMed

    Ozsoy, Saliha; Esel, Ertugrul

    2008-02-15

    The study aims at investigating the relationship between hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis alterations and aggression level in alcoholic patients during early and late alcohol withdrawal. Serum levels of basal cortisol and dehydroepiandrosterone sulphate (DHEAS) were measured three times, and cortisol and DHEAS response to dexamethasone twice during the early and late withdrawal periods in alcohol dependent males (n=30) and once in healthy control males (n=20). Abnormal cortisol non-suppression response to dexamethasone in dexamethasone suppression test (DST) was observed in some proportion of the patients in early withdrawal, which normalized in late withdrawal. The study revealed reduced basal DHEAS levels and reduced DHEAS response to dexamethasone in late withdrawal. When the patients were assessed in two separate groups as high- and low-aggressives, in the high-aggression group abnormality in DST was observed during both early and late withdrawal periods, in the low-aggression group it was observed only in early withdrawal. While basal DHEAS levels were low in the high-aggression group only in early withdrawal, it was reduced in the low-aggression group during late withdrawal period. Some alterations of the HPA axis during alcohol withdrawal might be associated not only with alcohol use per se but also with aggressivity tendency of alcoholic patients.

  10. Dysregulation of the sympathetic nervous system, hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and executive function in individuals at risk for suicide.

    PubMed

    McGirr, Alexander; Diaconu, Gabriel; Berlim, Marcelo T; Pruessner, Jens C; Sablé, Rebecca; Cabot, Sophie; Turecki, Gustavo

    2010-11-01

    Suicidal behaviour aggregates in families, and the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis and noradrenergic dysregulation may play a role in suicide risk. It is unclear whether stress dysregulation is a heritable trait of suicide or how it might increase risk. We investigated stress reactivity of the autonomic nervous system and the HPA axis in suicide predisposition and characterized the effect of this dysregulation on neuropsychologic function. In this family-based study of first-degree relatives (n = 14) of suicide completers and matched controls with no family or personal history of suicidal behaviour (n = 14), participants underwent the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST). We used salivary α-amylase and cortisol levels to characterize stress reactivity and diurnal variation. We administered a series of neuropsychologic and executive function tests before and after the TSST. Despite normal diurnal variation, relatives of suicide completers exhibited blunted cortisol and α-amylase TSST reactivity. Although there were no baseline differences in conceptual reasoning, sustained attention or executive function, the relatives of suicide completers did not improve on measures of inhibition upon repeated testing after TSST. Secondary analyses suggested that these effects were related to suicide vulnerability independent of major depression. The sample size was small, and the design prevents us from disentangling our findings from the possible traumatic consequences of losing a relative by suicide. Blunted stress response may be a trait of suicide risk, and impairment of stress-induced executive function may contribute to suicide vulnerability.

  11. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    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

  13. 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

    2016-05-03

    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.

  14. Palatable solutions during paradoxical sleep deprivation: reduction of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activity and lack of effect on energy imbalance.

    PubMed

    Suchecki, D; Antunes, J; Tufik, S

    2003-09-01

    Paradoxical sleep deprivation (PSD) induces increased energy expenditure in rats, insofar as rats eat more but loose weight throughout the deprivation period. In the present study, rats were offered water, saccharin or sucrose to drink during the deprivation period, since it has been proposed that carbohydrates reduce the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis response to stress. Rats were submitted to the flower pot technique for 96 h. During the PSD period, they were weighed daily and food and fluid intake was assessed twice a day. At the end of the PSD period, rats were killed and plasma concentrations of glucose, adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and corticosterone were assayed. Compared to their control counterparts, all paradoxical sleep-deprived rats consumed more food, but lost weight. Paradoxical sleep-deprived rats given sucrose drank more than their control counterparts (especially in the light phase of the light/dark cycle). Paradoxical sleep-deprived rats showed increased food intake during all periods throughout the experiment, with peak intake during the dark phase and nadir during the light phase of the light/dark cycle. All paradoxical sleep-deprived rats showed lower glucose plasma levels than control rats and increased relative adrenal weight. However, when given saccharin or sucrose, paradoxical sleep-deprived rats showed lower concentrations of ACTH and corticosterone than their water-provided counterparts, indicating that palatable fluids were capable of lowering HPA axis activation produced by PSD. The fact that PSD induced energy imbalance regardless of the relative attenuation of the HPA axis activity produced by saccharin or sucrose suggests that the HPA axis may play only a secondary role in this phenomenon, and that other mechanisms may account for this effect. The data also suggest that supply of palatable fluids can be an additional modification to reduce the stress of the flower pot method.

  15. Suppression of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis responsiveness to stress in a rat model of acute cholestasis.

    PubMed Central

    Swain, M G; Patchev, V; Vergalla, J; Chrousos, G; Jones, E A

    1993-01-01

    Cholestatic patients undergoing surgery have increased mortality and demonstrate clinical features suggestive of adrenal insufficiency. To examine whether cholestasis influences the status of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, we evaluated rats with acute cholestasis caused by bile duct resection (BDR) and sham-operated and unoperated controls. Basal unstressed plasma concentrations of ACTH and corticosterone were similar in BDR and sham-operated and unoperated control rats. However, exposure of BDR rats to saturated ether vapor resulted in significantly less ACTH and corticosterone release in plasma than in the control animals. To understand the mechanism(s) of decreased HPA axis responsiveness to ether stress in cholestasis, we administered corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) and measured hypothalamic content, mRNA levels and in vitro secretion of CRF and arginine vasopressin (AVP), the two principal secretagogues of ACTH. In BDR animals, ACTH responses to CRF were decreased and hypothalamic content of CRF and CRF mRNA expression in the paraventricular nucleus were decreased by 25 and 37%, respectively. Furthermore, CRF release from hypothalamic explants of BDR rats was 23% less than that of controls. In contrast to CRF, hypothalamic content of AVP was 35% higher, AVP mRNA in the paraventricular nucleus was increased by 6.6-fold, and hypothalamic explant release of AVP was 24% higher in BDR rats than in control animals. Pituitary ACTH contents were similar in BDR and sham resected rats, but higher than unoperated controls. These findings demonstrate that acute cholestasis in the rat is associated with suppression of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis responsiveness to stress and demonstrate a dissociation between mechanisms of ACTH regulation mediated by CRF and AVP. Images PMID:8387536

  16. 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.

  17. [Effect of prenatal stress on the pituitary-adrenal axis in blue foxes].

    PubMed

    Osadchuk, L V; Braastad, B; Bakken, M

    2004-01-01

    Handling is a source of stress for farm bred blue foxes. The influence of handling during the late gestation period on the pituitary--adrenal axis was studied in 10-day old male and female blue foxes. Cortisol and progesterone were measured by radioimmunoassay in the plasma, adrenal homogenates, and in vitro incubates from animals of both sexes. Adrenals were incubated in vitro in the absence or presence of ACTH. In addition, the adrenal weight and plasma concentration of ACTH were assessed. In cubs of both sexes, the adrenal weight was decreased after prenatal stress. The plasma concentration of progesterone and the adrenal cortisol in vitro production were elevated in the prenatally stressed female cubs, as compared to the control, along with the adrenal progesterone in vitro production in prenatally stressed male cubs. The adrenal cortisol and progesterone content and plasma ACTH and cortisol concentrations were not affected by prenatal stress. In conclusion, the results of this study suggest that the prenatal stress induced by handling pregnant vixens can affect the pituitary--adrenal axis in neonatal offspring, this effect being more pronounced in female cubs.

  18. 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

  19. Immediate and prolonged effects of alcohol exposure on the activity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis in adult and adolescent rats

    PubMed Central

    ALLEN, Camryn D.; LEE, Soon; KOOB, George F.; RIVIER, Catherine

    2011-01-01

    Alcohol stimulates the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. Part of this influence is likely exerted directly at the level of the corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) gene, but intermediates may also play a role. Here we review the effect of alcohol on this axis, provide new data on the effects of binge drinking during adolescence, and argue for a role of catecholaminergic circuits. Indeed, acute injection of this drug activates brain stem adrenergic and noradrenergic circuits, and their lesion, or blockade of α1 adrenergic receptors significantly blunts alcohol-induced ACTH release. As alcohol can influence the HPA axis even once discontinued, and alcohol consumption in young people is associated with increased adult drug abuse (a phenomenon possibly mediated by the HPA axis), we determined whether alcohol consumption during adolescence modified this axis. The number of CRF-immunoreactive (ir) cells/section was significantly decreased in the central nucleus of the amygdala of adolescent self-administering binge-drinking animals, compared to controls. When another group of adolescent binge-drinking rats was administered alcohol in adulthood, the number of colocalized c-fos-ir and PNMT-ir cells/brain stem section in the C3 area was significantly decreased, compared to controls. As the HPA axis response to alcohol is blunted in adult rats exposed to alcohol vapors during adolescence, a phenomenon which was not observed in our model of self-administration, it is possible that the blood alcohol levels achieved in various models play a role in the long-term consequences of exposure to alcohol early in life. Collectively, these results suggest an important role of brain catecholamines in modulating the short- and long-term consequences of alcohol administration. PMID:21300146

  20. Immediate and prolonged effects of alcohol exposure on the activity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis in adult and adolescent rats.

    PubMed

    Allen, Camryn D; Lee, Soon; Koob, George F; Rivier, Catherine

    2011-06-01

    Alcohol stimulates the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. Part of this influence is likely exerted directly at the level of the corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) gene, but intermediates may also play a role. Here we review the effect of alcohol on this axis, provide new data on the effects of binge drinking during adolescence, and argue for a role of catecholaminergic circuits. Indeed, acute injection of this drug activates brain stem adrenergic and noradrenergic circuits, and their lesion, or blockade of α1 adrenergic receptors significantly blunts alcohol-induced ACTH release. As alcohol can influence the HPA axis even once discontinued, and alcohol consumption in young people is associated with increased adult drug abuse (a phenomenon possibly mediated by the HPA axis), we determined whether alcohol consumption during adolescence modified this axis. The number of CRF-immunoreactive (ir) cells/section was significantly decreased in the central nucleus of the amygdala of adolescent self-administering binge-drinking animals, compared to controls. When another group of adolescent binge-drinking rats was administered alcohol in adulthood, the number of colocalized c-fos-ir and PNMT-ir cells/brain stem section in the C3 area was significantly decreased, compared to controls. As the HPA axis response to alcohol is blunted in adult rats exposed to alcohol vapors during adolescence, a phenomenon which was not observed in our model of self-administration, it is possible that the blood alcohol levels achieved in various models play a role in the long-term consequences of exposure to alcohol early in life. Collectively, these results suggest an important role of brain catecholamines in modulating the short- and long-term consequences of alcohol administration.

  1. 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

  2. Eugenol as an anti-stress agent: modulation of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and brain monoaminergic systems in a rat model of stress.

    PubMed

    Garabadu, Debapriya; Shah, Ankit; Ahmad, Ausaf; Joshi, Vijaya B; Saxena, Bhagawati; Palit, Gautam; Krishnamurthy, Sairam

    2011-03-01

    Stress is the leading psychopathological cause for several mental disorders. Physiological and psychological responses to stress are mediated by the hypothalamic?pituitary?adrenal (HPA), sympathoadrenal system (SAS), and brain monoaminergic systems (BMS). Eugenol is reported to substantially modulate brain functions by regulating voltage-gated cation channels and release of neurotransmitters. This study was designed to evaluate the anti-stress effect of eugenol in the 4-h restraint model using rats. Ulcer index was measured as a parameter of the stress response. HPA axis and the SAS were monitored by estimating plasma corticosterone and norepinephrine (NE), respectively. Analysis of NE, serotonin (5-HT), dopamine, and their metabolites in discrete brain regions was performed to understand the role of BMS in the anti-stress effect of eugenol. Stress exposure increased the ulcer index as well as plasma corticosterone and NE levels. Eugenol pretreatment for 7 days decreased the stress-induced increase in ulcer index and plasma corticosterone but not NE levels, indicating a preferential effect on the HPA axis. Furthermore, eugenol showed a ?U?-shaped dose?response curve in decreasing ulcer index and plasma corticosterone levels. Eugenol also reversed the stress-induced changes in 5-HT levels in all brain regions, whereas NE levels were reversed in all brain regions except hippocampus. These results suggest that eugenol possesses significant anti-stress activity in the 4-h restraint model and the effect is due to modulation of HPA and BMS.

  3. Piper sarmentosum Roxb. produces antidepressant-like effects in rodents, associated with activation of the CREB-BDNF-ERK signaling pathway and reversal of HPA axis hyperactivity.

    PubMed

    Li, Qing; Qu, Fa-Lin; Gao, Yue; Jiang, Yi-Ping; Rahman, Khalid; Lee, Kuo-Hsiung; Han, Ting; Qin, Lu-Ping

    2017-03-06

    There are many plants of genus Piper which have been reported to induce antidepressant-like effects, Piper sarmentosum (PS) is one of them. PS is a Chinese herbal medicine and a traditional edible vegetable. In the present study, the antidepressant-like effects of PS extracts and the ethyl acetate fraction of PS extracts (PSY) were assessed using the open field test (OFT), forced swimming test (FST), and tail suspension test (TST) in mice. Furthermore, we applied a 4 consecutive weeks of chronic unpredictable mild stress (CUMS) as a model of depression in rats, followed by a sucrose preference test. Then we examined the possible mechanisms of this action. The activity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis was evaluated by detecting the serum corticosterone (CORT) concentrations, and the protein expression levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), the phosphorylated form CREB and ERK1/2 were detected by qRT-PCR or Western blot. The results showed that PS extracts (100, 200mg/kg) and PSY (12.5, 25, 50mg/kg) treatment produced antidepressant-like effects in mice similar to fluoxetine (20mg/kg), indicated by the reduced immobility time in the FST and TST, while both had no influence on the locomotor activity in the OFT. PSY treatment significantly increased sucrose preference and reduced serum CORT levels in CUMS rats. Moreover, PSY up-regulated BDNF protein levels, and increased CREB and ERK phosphorylation levels in the hippocampus on CUMS rats. These findings suggest that the antidepressant-like effects of PS extracts and PSY are mediated, at least in part, by modulating HPA axis, BDNF, CREB and ERK phosphorylation and expression in the hippocampus. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.

  4. Suppression of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis by acute heroin challenge in rats during acute and chronic withdrawal from chronic heroin administration

    PubMed Central

    Zhou, Yan; Leri, Francesco; Ho, Ann; Kreek, Mary Jeanne

    2013-01-01

    It is known that heroin dependence and withdrawal are associated with changes in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. The objective of these studies in rats was to systematically investigate the level of HPA activity and response to a heroin challenge at two time points during heroin withdrawal, and to characterize the expression of associated stress-related genes 30 minutes after each heroin challenge. Rats received chronic (10-day) intermittent escalating-dose heroin administration (3×2.5 mg/kg/day on day 1; 3×20 mg/kg/day by day 10). Hormonal and neurochemical assessments were performed in acute (12 hours after last heroin injection) and chronic (10 days after the last injection) withdrawal. Both plasma ACTH and corticosterone levels were elevated during acute withdrawal, and heroin challenge at 20 mg/kg (the last dose of chronic escalation) at this time point attenuated this HPA hyperactivity. During chronic withdrawal, HPA hormonal levels returned to baseline, but heroin challenge at 5 mg/kg decreased ACTH levels. In contrast, this dose of heroin challenge stimulated the HPA axis in heroin naïve rats. In the anterior pituitary, pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) mRNA levels were increased during acute withdrawal and retuned to control levels after chronic withdrawal. In the medial hypothalamus, however, the POMC mRNA levels were decreased during acute withdrawal, and increased after chronic withdrawal. Our results suggest a long-lasting change in HPA abnormal responsivity during chronic heroin withdrawal. PMID:23771528

  5. Suppression of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis by acute heroin challenge in rats during acute and chronic withdrawal from chronic heroin administration.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Yan; Leri, Francesco; Ho, Ann; Kreek, Mary Jeanne

    2013-09-01

    It is known that heroin dependence and withdrawal are associated with changes in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. The objective of these studies in rats was to systematically investigate the level of HPA activity and response to a heroin challenge at two time points during heroin withdrawal, and to characterize the expression of associated stress-related genes 30 min after each heroin challenge. Rats received chronic (10-day) intermittent escalating-dose heroin administration (3 × 2.5 mg/kg/day on day 1; 3 × 20 mg/kg/day by day 10). Hormonal and neurochemical assessments were performed in acute (12 h after last heroin injection) and chronic (10 days after the last injection) withdrawal. Both plasma ACTH and corticosterone levels were elevated during acute withdrawal, and heroin challenge at 20 mg/kg (the last dose of chronic escalation) at this time point attenuated this HPA hyperactivity. During chronic withdrawal, HPA hormonal levels returned to baseline, but heroin challenge at 5 mg/kg decreased ACTH levels. In contrast, this dose of heroin challenge stimulated the HPA axis in heroin naïve rats. In the anterior pituitary, pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) mRNA levels were increased during acute withdrawal and retuned to control levels after chronic withdrawal. In the medial hypothalamus, however, the POMC mRNA levels were decreased during acute withdrawal, and increased after chronic withdrawal. Our results suggest a long-lasting change in HPA abnormal responsivity during chronic heroin withdrawal.

  6. The Acute and Post-Discontinuation Effects of a Glucocorticoid Receptor (GR) Antagonist Probe on Sleep and the HPA Axis in Chronic Insomnia: A Pilot Study

    PubMed Central

    Buckley, Theresa; Duggal, Vandana; Schatzberg, Alan F.

    2008-01-01

    Study Objective: Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA) hyperactivity has been reported in patients with chronic insomnia without depression. A glucocorticoid receptor (GR) antagonist may re-regulate HPA axis activity even after discontinuation and may have clinical benefit. Methods: Ten subjects with chronic insomnia participated in a placebo controlled double-blinded prospective 30-day pilot study of the acute and post-discontinuation effects of a 5-day course of 600 mg of the glucocorticoid antagonist, mifepristone. Sleep outcome measures were polysomnogram and Insomnia Severity Index. Hormonal outcome measures were mean overnight cortisol and ACTH (23:00–07:00). We predicted sleep would improve and that overnight cortisol and ACTH would decrease at 2 weeks post-treatment discontinuation. Results: At 2 weeks post-discontinuation, Insomnia Severity Index (ISI) decreased by 4.0 points (effect size = 0.97). Polysomnogram findings were limited. Mean cortisol (0.84 μg/dL, effect size = 0.91) and ACTH (5.50 pg/mL, effect size = 0.96) were still mildly increased (23:00 to 07:00). Post hoc analysis revealed that, the ratio of cortisol/ACTH decreased (−0.21, effect size = 1.15) as did mean cortisol from 18:00 to 23:00 (−0.47 μg/dL, effect size = 0.56). Conclusions: This is the first study of a GR antagonist in chronic insomnia. Sleep improvement manifests in terms of decreased ISI post-treatment discontinuation. The decrease in cortisol in the early evening (18:00 to 23:00) in combination with the decrease in cortisol/ACTH ratio may be an indicator of the longer term biological mode of action of the drug. Citation: Buckley T; Duggal V; Schatzberg AF. The acute and post-discontinuation effects of a glucocorticoid receptor (GR) antagonist probe on sleep and the HPA axis in chronic insomnia: a pilot study. J Clin Sleep Med 2008;4(3):235–241. PMID:18595436

  7. Differential effects of sympathetic nervous system and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis on systemic immune cells after severe experimental stroke.

    PubMed

    Mracsko, Eva; Liesz, Arthur; Karcher, Simone; Zorn, Markus; Bari, Ferenc; Veltkamp, Roland

    2014-10-01

    Infectious complications are the leading cause of death in the post-acute phase of stroke. Post-stroke immunodeficiency is believed to result from neurohormonal dysregulation of the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. However, the differential effects of these neuroendocrine systems on the peripheral immune cells are only partially understood. Here, we determined the impact of the hormones of the SNS and HPA on distinct immune cell populations and characterized their interactions after stroke. At various time points after cortical or extensive hemispheric cerebral ischemia, plasma cortisone, corticosterone, metanephrine and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) levels were measured in mice. Leukocyte subpopulations were flow cytometrically analyzed in spleen and blood. To investigate their differential sensitivity to stress hormones, splenocytes were incubated in vitro with prednisolone, epinephrine and their respective receptor blockers. Glucocorticoid receptor (GCR) and beta2-adrenergic receptor (β2-AR) on leukocyte subpopulations were quantified by flow cytometry. In vivo effects of GCR and selective β2-AR blockade, respectively, were defined on serum hormone concentrations, lymphopenia and interferon-γ production after severe ischemia. We found elevated cortisone, corticosterone and metanephrine levels and associated lymphocytopenia only after extensive brain infarction. Prednisolone resulted in a 5 times higher cell death rate of splenocytes than epinephrine in vitro. Prednisolone and epinephrine-induced leukocyte cell death was prevented by GCR and β2-AR blockade, respectively. In vivo, only GCR blockade prevented post ischemic lymphopenia whereas β2-AR preserved interferon-γ secretion by lymphocytes. GCR blockade increased metanephrine levels in vivo and prednisolone, in turn, decreased β2-AR expression on lymphocytes. In conclusion, mediators of the SNS and the HPA axis differentially affect the systemic

  8. A review of Atypical depression in relation to the course of depression and changes in HPA axis organization.

    PubMed

    O'Keane, Veronica; Frodl, Thomas; Dinan, Timothy G

    2012-10-01

    Depression is a clinically heterogenous condition defined by sub-types that can have diametrically opposed features, such as sleep and appetite. Within the same individual these features may change over time, and different symptom clusters may respond selectively to different treatments. It has been hypothesized that different pathophysiological processes may be operating in the different sub-types of depression and specifically that Melancholic depression may be associated with relative overactivity, and Atypical depression with relative hypoactivity, of the hypothalamic drive of the HPA axis. A consistent finding that emerges from the literature is that the experience of depression alters over the course of the illness with the features of Atypical depression dominating a more chronic clinical picture. This suggests that different stress states characterize the different profiles of depression as the illness becomes more chronic. There is evidence that the corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) control of HPA axis output is reduced in Atypical, compared to Melancholic, sub-types, but there is no convincing evidence that overall HPA activity, i.e., cortisol output, reduces. We suggest that there is a "switch" in the regulation of the HPA system from CRH to arginine vasopressin (AVP) control as stress becomes more sustained or repeated; resulting in an altered homeostasis within the HPA system. Cortisol, and the neuropeptides CRH and AVP, have different neurobiological, behavioural and experiental effects. The "switch" process should result in different neuropeptide/cortisol combinations and ratios and may explain the changing profile of depression over time. The heuristic merit in making a distinction between the different clinical states of depression will be discussed. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  9. 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

  10. Hypothalamic--pituitary-- adrenal axis dysregulation in women with irritable bowel syndrome in response to acute physical stress.

    PubMed

    FitzGerald, Leah Z; Kehoe, Priscilla; Sinha, Karabi

    2009-11-01

    Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) supports the concept of a dysregulated hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis. This study investigates the neuroendocrine and psychological responses to the acute physical stress of a lumbar puncture (LP) in women with diarrhea-predominant IBS by assessing central and peripheral HPA activity and affective measures. Blood samples have been collected at baseline and immediately post- and 1 hr following LP from 13 women with IBS and 13 controls. Plasma adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), cortisol, epinephrine, and norepinephrine levels are analyzed. A single measure of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) concentrations of corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF(CSF)) and norepinephrine(CSF) is noted. Affective assessments are used to rate anxiety and depression with the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) and acute mood state is rated using the Stress Symptom Rating questionnaire (stress, anxiety, anger, arousal). The women with IBS display blunted ACTH and cortisol responses to the LP along with a profile of affective responsiveness suggestive of chronic psychosocial stress, although no CRF(CSF) differences between groups are observed.

  11. Reduced hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activity in chronic multi-site musculoskeletal pain: partly masked by depressive and anxiety disorders

    PubMed Central

    2014-01-01

    Background Studies on hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA-axis) function amongst patients with chronic pain show equivocal results and well-controlled cohort studies are rare in this field. The goal of our study was to examine whether HPA-axis dysfunction is associated with the presence and the severity of chronic multi-site musculoskeletal pain. Methods Data are from the Netherlands Study of Depression and Anxiety including 1125 subjects with and without lifetime depressive and anxiety disorders. The Chronic Pain Grade questionnaire was used to determine the presence and severity of chronic multi-site musculoskeletal pain. Subjects were categorized into a chronic multi-site musculoskeletal pain group (n = 471) and a control group (n = 654). Salivary cortisol samples were collected to assess HPA-axis function (awakening level, 1-h awakening response, evening level, diurnal slope and post-dexamethasone level). Results In comparison with the control group, subjects with chronic multi-site musculoskeletal pain showed significantly lower cortisol level at awakening, lower evening level and a blunted diurnal slope. Lower cortisol level at awakening and a blunted diurnal slope appeared to be restricted to those without depressive and/or anxiety disorders, who also showed a lower 1-h awakening response. Conclusions Our results suggest hypocortisolemia in chronic multi-site musculoskeletal pain. However, if chronic pain is accompanied by a depressive or anxiety disorder, typically related to hypercortisolemia, the association between cortisol levels and chronic multi-site musculoskeletal pain appears to be partly masked. Future studies should take psychopathology into account when examining HPA-axis function in chronic pain. PMID:25007969

  12. Dynamic changes in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis during growth hormone therapy in children with growth hormone deficiency: a multicenter retrospective study.

    PubMed

    Wang, Limin; Wang, Qian; Li, Guimei; Liu, Wendong

    2015-09-01

    The objective of this study was to investigate changes in the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis after recombinant human growth hormone (rhGH) therapy. Subjects included children with growth hormone deficiency (GHD). We conducted a multicenter, retrospective study that assessed 72 GHD patients treated with rhGH during 6 months. Patients were classified into two groups: isolated GHD (IGHD; n=20) and multiple pituitary hormone deficiencies (MPHD; n=52). The HPA axis and other hormones were evaluated at baseline and every 3 months. In the MPHD group, 32 patients had adrenocorticotrophic hormone deficiency and received hydrocortisone before rhGH therapy. In the other 20/52 MPHD patients, the cortisol (COR) level was significantly reduced after rhGH therapy. Moreover, 10 patients showed low COR levels. In the IGHD group, COR levels also decreased, but remained within the normal range. During rhGH therapy, COR levels were reduced, particularly in patients with MPHD. HPA axis should be monitored during rhGH therapy.

  13. Attenuation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis responsivity to the Trier Social Stress Test by the benzodiazepine alprazolam.

    PubMed

    Fries, Eva; Hellhammer, Dirk H; Hellhammer, Juliane

    2006-11-01

    Little is known about effects of commonly used anxiolytic drugs on psychologically evoked responses of two major stress systems, the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) and the sympathetic-adrenal-medullary (SAM) axis. The purpose of the present study was to assess effects of the anxiolytic alprazolam on responses of the HPA and the SAM axes to a standardized psychosocial stress protocol, the Trier Social Stress Test (TSST). Forty-six healthy, non-smoking, non-medicated males, aged between 18 and 45 years, were invited once to the laboratory and received a single oral dose of 1mg alprazolam or placebo, respectively, 1h prior to the TSST. The secretion of ACTH, cortisol, epinephrine, norepinephrine as well as changes in heart rate, blood pressure, and psychological states (anxiety, wakefulness, good mood, calmness) in response to the TSST were measured. Subjects pre-treated with alprazolam showed a strongly blunted response of ACTH as well as total and free cortisol to the TSST. Whereas alprazolam-treated subjects displayed significantly lower systolic blood pressure immediately before the TSST, neither the secretion of epinephrine, norepinephrine nor changes of heart rate in response to the stress test differed from placebo-treated subjects. Regarding psychological parameters, alprazolam clearly decreased subjective ratings on the questionnaire scale "wakefulness" and increased ratings on the scale "good mood", whereas ratings on scales assessing "state anxiety" or "agitation" were not affected. In healthy subjects, we observed a dissociation of the effects of alprazolam on the endocrine and the autonomic response to psychosocial stress. The psychological responses seemed to be masked by sedative properties of alprazolam.

  14. Association between resting energy expenditure, psychopathology and HPA-axis in eating disorders

    PubMed Central

    Castellini, Giovanni; Castellani, Walter; Lelli, Lorenzo; Sauro, Carolina Lo; Dini, Carla; Lazzeretti, Lisa; Bencini, Lorenza; Mannucci, Edoardo; Ricca, Valdo

    2014-01-01

    AIM: To investigate the complex relationships between resting energy expenditure (REE), eating psychopathology, and Hypothalamus Pituitary Adrenal axis functioning in patients with eating disorders. METHODS: The study was designed as a cross-sectional survey, and it was planned by the Clinic for Eating Disorders of the University of Florence (Italy). The protocol was approved by the Ethics Committee of the Institution. Twenty two anorexia nervosa and twenty one Bulimia Nervosa patients were assessed by means of a clinical interview and the structured clinical interview for diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders, fourth edition. Eating attitudes and behaviour were specifically investigated by means of the eating disorder examination questionnaire (EDE-Q). Patients were also evaluated by means of the symptom checklist (SCL 90-R), REE was measured by means of indirect calorimetry, and blood cortisol morning levels were evaluated. RESULTS: Both anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa patients showed a reduced REE as compared with predicted REE. Body mass index (BMI) was positively associated with resting energy expenditure in Bulimics, whereas a strong, negative association between BMI and REE was observed in Anorectics. The pattern of associations between variables supported a mediation model, where shape concern accounted for variations in REE and cortisol levels (mediator), and variations in the mediator significantly accounted for variations in REE. When these associations where taken into account together, the relationship between shape concern and REE was no longer significant, whereas the association between cortisol levels and REE retained its significance, showing strong evidence for a single, dominant mediator. Anorectics and Bulimics showed an opposite pattern of association between BMI and REE. In Anorectics only, a higher REE was associated with a more severe eating disorder specific psychopathology, and cortisol levels represent a possible

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Shilajit attenuates behavioral symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome by modulating the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and mitochondrial bioenergetics in rats.

    PubMed

    Surapaneni, Dinesh Kumar; Adapa, Sree Rama Shiva Shanker; Preeti, Kumari; Teja, Gangineni Ravi; Veeraragavan, Muruganandam; Krishnamurthy, Sairam

    2012-08-30

    Shilajit has been used as a rejuvenator for ages in Indian ancient traditional medicine and has been validated for a number of pharmacological activities. The effect of processed shilajit which was standardized to dibenzo-α-pyrones (DBPs;0.43% w/w), DBP-chromoproteins (DCPs; 20.45% w/w) and fulvic acids (56.75% w/w) was evaluated in a rat model of chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). The mitochondrial bioenergetics and the activity of hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis were evaluated for the plausible mechanism of action of shilajit. CFS was induced by forcing the rats to swim for 15mins for 21 consecutive days. The rats were treated with shilajit (25, 50 and 100mg/kg) for 21 days before exposure to stress procedure. The behavioral consequence of CFS was measured in terms of immobility and the climbing period. The post-CFS anxiety level was assessed by elevated plus maze (EPM) test. Plasma corticosterone and adrenal gland weight were estimated as indices of HPA axis activity. Analysis of mitochondrial complex chain enzymes (Complex I, II, IV and V) and mitochondrial membrane potential (MMP) in prefrontal cortex (PFC) were performed to evaluate the mitochondrial bioenergetics and integrity respectively. Shilajit reversed the CFS-induced increase in immobility period and decrease in climbing behavior as well as attenuated anxiety in the EPM test. Shilajit reversed CFS-induced decrease in plasma corticosterone level and loss of adrenal gland weight indicating modulation of HPA axis. Shilajit prevented CFS-induced mitochondrial dysfunction by stabilizing the complex enzyme activities and the loss of MMP. Shilajit reversed CFS-induced mitochondrial oxidative stress in terms of NO concentration and, LPO, SOD and catalase activities. The results indicate that shilajit mitigates the effects of CFS in this model possibly through the modulation of HPA axis and preservation of mitochondrial function and integrity. The reversal of CFS-induced behavioral symptoms and

  19. Serum total cortisol and free cortisol index give different information regarding the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis reserve in patients with liver impairment.

    PubMed

    Vincent, Royce P; Etogo-Asse, Frédérique E; Dew, Tracy; Bernal, William; Alaghband-Zadeh, Jamshid; le Roux, Carel W

    2009-11-01

    The short synacthen test (SST) is used to investigate patients with suspected hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis pathology. A rise of serum total cortisol (total cortisol) above 550 nmol/L is accepted as sufficient adrenal reserve. In total, 80% of cortisol is bound to cortisol-binding globulin (CBG) and 10% to albumin. In the acute phase responses CBG concentrations decrease and can influence the interpretation of SST. The free cortisol index (FCI) is a surrogate marker for free cortisol and is defined as total cortisol (nmol/L)/CBG (mg/L) with an FCI > 12 representing sufficient adrenal reserve. The aim of this study was to compare total cortisol and FCI in the interpretation of SST in patients with liver impairment. SST was done on 26 patients with liver impairment. Total cortisol was measured on Advia Centaur; serum CBG by radioimmunoassay and FCI calculated. Eleven (42%) patients had a total cortisol >550 nmol/L (range 555-2070) and FCI > 12 (12.0-68.9) suggesting sufficient cortisol reserve. Three patients (13%) had total cortisol <550 nmol/L (268-413) and FCI < 12 (3.5-11.6) consistent with cortisol deficiency. Twelve patients (46%) had a total cortisol <550 nmol/L (144-529), but an FCI > 12 (12.0-52.9). None of the patients had a total cortisol >550 nmol/L and FCI < 12. When total cortisol alone is used to interpret SST in patients with liver impairment, 46% may have been classified as having adrenal insufficiency because of low CBG. FCI may be better for the evaluation of HPA axis insufficiency in patients with liver impairment.

  20. Orexin 2 receptor regulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) response to acute and repeated stress.

    PubMed

    Grafe, Laura A; Eacret, Darrell; Luz, Sandra; Gotter, Anthony L; Renger, John J; Winrow, Chris J; Bhatnagar, Seema

    2017-04-21

    Orexins are hypothalamic neuropeptides that have a documented role in mediating the acute stress response. However, their role in habituation to repeated stress, and the role of orexin receptors (OX1R and OX2R) in the stress response, has yet to be defined. Orexin neuronal activation and levels in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) were found to be stimulated with acute restraint, but were significantly reduced by day five of repeated restraint. As certain disease states such as panic disorder are associated with increased central orexin levels and failure to habituate to repeated stress, the effect of activating orexin signaling via Designer Receptors Exclusively Activated by Designer Drugs (DREADDs) on the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) response was evaluated after repeated restraint. While vehicle-treated rats displayed habituation of Adrenocorticotropic Hormone (ACTH) from day 1 to day 5 of restraint, stimulating orexins did not further increase ACTH beyond vehicle levels for either acute or repeated restraint. We delineated the roles of orexin receptors in acute and repeated stress using a selective OX2R antagonist (MK-1064). Pretreatment with MK-1064 reduced day 1 ACTH levels, but did not allow further habituation on day 5 compared with vehicle-treated rats, indicating that endogenous OX2R activity plays a role in acute stress, but not in habituation to repeated stress. However, in restrained rats with further stimulated orexins by DREADDs, MK-1064 decreased ACTH levels on day 5. Collectively, these results indicate that the OX2R plays a role in acute stress, and can prevent habituation to repeated stress under conditions of high orexin release.

  1. 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

  2. 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

    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.

  3. Impact of maternal undernutrition during the periconceptional period, fetal number, and fetal sex on the development of the hypothalamo-pituitary adrenal axis in sheep during late gestation.

    PubMed

    Edwards, L J; McMillen, I Caroline

    2002-05-01

    Evidence from epidemiologic, clinical, and experimental studies has shown that a suboptimal intrauterine environment during early pregnancy can alter fetal growth and gestation length and is associated with an increased prevalence of adult hypertension and cardiovascular disease. It has been postulated that maternal nutrient restriction may act to reprogram the development of the pituitary-adrenal axis, resulting in excess glucocorticoid exposure and adverse health outcomes in later life. It is unknown, however, whether maternal nutrient restriction during the periconceptional period alters the development of the fetal pituitary-adrenal axis or whether the effects of periconceptional undernutrition can be reversed by the provision of an adequate level of maternal nutrition throughout the remainder of pregnancy. We have investigated the effect of restricted periconceptional nutrition (70% of control feed allowance) from 60 days before until 7 days after mating and the effect of restricted gestational nutrition from Day 8 to 147 of gestation on the development of the fetal hypothalamo-pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis in the sheep. In these studies, we have also investigated the effects of fetal number and sex on the pituitary-adrenal responses to periconceptional and gestational undernutrition. In ewes maintained on a control diet throughout the periconceptional and gestational periods, fetal plasma ACTH concentrations were higher and the prepartum surge in cortisol occurred earlier in singletons compared with twins. Plasma ACTH concentrations were also significantly higher in male compared with female singletons, and in twin fetuses, the prepartum surge in cortisol concentrations occurred earlier in males than in females. Periconceptional undernutrition resulted in higher fetal plasma concentrations of ACTH between 110 and 145 days of gestation and a significantly greater cortisol response to a bolus dose of corticotropin-releasing hormone in twin, but not singleton

  4. Estrogen alters baseline and inflammatory-induced cytokine levels independent from hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal axis activity

    PubMed Central

    Shivers, Kai-Yvonne; Amador, Nicole; Abrams, Lisa; Hunter, Deirtra; Jenab, Shirzad; Quiñones-Jenab, Vanya

    2015-01-01

    Although estrogen reduces inflammatory-mediated pain responses, the mechanisms behind its effects are unclear. This study investigated if estrogen modulates inflammatory signaling by reducing baseline or inflammation-induced cytokine levels in the injury-site, serum, dorsal root ganglia (DRG) and/or spinal cord. We further tested whether estrogen effects on cytokine levels are in part mediated through hypothalamic– pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis activation. Lumbar DRG, spinal cord, serum, and hind paw tissue were analyzed for cytokine levels in 17β-estradiol-(20%) or vehicle-(100% cholesterol) treated female rats following ovariectomy/sham adrenalectomy (OVX), adrenalectomy/sham ovariectomy (ADX) or ADX + OVX operation at baseline and post formalin injection. Formalin significantly increased proinflammatory interleukin (IL)-6 levels in the paw, as well as pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokine levels in the DRG, spinal cord and serum in comparison to naïve conditions. Estrogen replacement significantly increased anti-inflammatory IL-10 levels in the DRG. Centrally, estradiol significantly decreased proinflammatory tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and IL-1β levels, as well as IL-10 levels, in the spinal cord in comparison to cholesterol treatment. At both sites, most estradiol modulatory effects occurred irrespective of pain or surgical condition. Estradiol alone had no influence on cytokine release in the paw or serum, indicating that estrogen effects were site-specific. Although cytokine levels were altered between surgical conditions at baseline and following formalin administration, ADX operation did not significantly reverse estradiol’s modulation of cytokine levels. These results suggest that estrogen directly regulates cytokines independent of HPA axis activity in vivo, in part by reducing cytokine levels in the spinal cord. PMID:25647266

  5. The role of vasopressin in diabetes mellitus-induced hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis activation: studies in Brattleboro rats.

    PubMed

    Zelena, Dóra; Mergl, Zsuzsa; Makara, Gábor B

    2006-03-15

    Chronic diabetes mellitus (DM) induces hyperactivity of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis (HPA). Our present study addresses the role of vasopressin (AVP) in maintaining adrenocortical responsiveness during DM. AVP-deficient mutant Brattleboro rats were used with heterozygous controls and the V2 agonist, desmopressin was infused to replace peripheral AVP. To induce DM the rats were injected by streptozotocin (STZ, 60 mg/ml/kg i.v.) and studied 2 weeks later. The acute stress stimulus was 60 min restraint. The signs of DM (the increase in water consumption and in blood glucose levels) were discovered in all rats. The diuretic effect of the lack of AVP was additional to the DM-induced osmotic diuresis. DM induced significant, chronic stress-like somatic changes on which AVP-deficiency had no effect and although desmopressin infusion normalized the water consumption and the body weight gain in AVP-deficient rats, it had no effect on DM-induced changes. The acute stress-induced plasma ACTH elevation was smaller in AVP-deficient or DM rats but these effects were not additive. Desmopressin did not normalize the decreased ACTH-elevation of AVP-deficient animals. The resting morning plasma corticosterone level was elevated both in DM and AVP-deficient rats without interaction. The restraint-induced corticosterone rise was influenced neither by the lack of AVP nor by DM and the basal and stress-induced prolactin levels were smaller in DM rats without any effect of AVP-deficiency. In conclusion, our data suggest that AVP does not play a crucial role in HPA axis regulation during DM-induced chronic stress. In contrast, the role of AVP seems to be more important during acute stress, however, it is restricted to the ACTH regulation. According to the water consumption data diabetes insipidus seems to be an additional risk factor for DM.

  6. 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.

  7. Estrogen alters baseline and inflammatory-induced cytokine levels independent from hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis activity.

    PubMed

    Shivers, Kai-Yvonne; Amador, Nicole; Abrams, Lisa; Hunter, Deirtra; Jenab, Shirzad; Quiñones-Jenab, Vanya

    2015-04-01

    Although estrogen reduces inflammatory-mediated pain responses, the mechanisms behind its effects are unclear. This study investigated if estrogen modulates inflammatory signaling by reducing baseline or inflammation-induced cytokine levels in the injury-site, serum, dorsal root ganglia (DRG) and/or spinal cord. We further tested whether estrogen effects on cytokine levels are in part mediated through hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis activation. Lumbar DRG, spinal cord, serum, and hind paw tissue were analyzed for cytokine levels in 17β-estradiol-(20%) or vehicle-(100% cholesterol) treated female rats following ovariectomy/sham adrenalectomy (OVX), adrenalectomy/sham ovariectomy (ADX) or ADX+OVX operation at baseline and post formalin injection. Formalin significantly increased pro-inflammatory interleukin (IL)-6 levels in the paw, as well as pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokine levels in the DRG, spinal cord and serum in comparison to naïve conditions. Estrogen replacement significantly increased anti-inflammatory IL-10 levels in the DRG. Centrally, estradiol significantly decreased pro-inflammatory tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α and IL-1β levels, as well as IL-10 levels, in the spinal cord in comparison to cholesterol treatment. At both sites, most estradiol modulatory effects occurred irrespective of pain or surgical condition. Estradiol alone had no influence on cytokine release in the paw or serum, indicating that estrogen effects were site-specific. Although cytokine levels were altered between surgical conditions at baseline and following formalin administration, ADX operation did not significantly reverse estradiol's modulation of cytokine levels. These results suggest that estrogen directly regulates cytokines independent of HPA axis activity in vivo, in part by reducing cytokine levels in the spinal cord.

  8. Disturbances in Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis and Immunological Activity Differentiating between Unipolar and Bipolar Depressive Episodes

    PubMed Central

    Hoencamp, Erik; Penninx, Brenda W. J. H.

    2015-01-01

    Introduction Differentiating bipolar depression (BD) from unipolar depression (UD) is difficult in clinical practice and, consequently, accurate recognition of BD can take as long as nine years. Research has therefore focused on the discriminatory capacities of biomarkers, such as markers of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis or immunological activity. However, no previous study included assessments of both systems, which is problematic as they may influence each other. Therefore, this study aimed to explore whether cortisol indicators and inflammatory markers were a) independently associated with and/or b) showed effect modification in relation to a lifetime (hypo)manic episode in a large sample of depressed patients. Methods Data were derived from the Netherlands Study of Depression and Anxiety and comprised 764 patients with a DSM-IV depressive disorder at baseline, of which 124 (16.2%) had a lifetime (hypo)manic episode at the 2-year assessment, or a more recent episode at the 4-year or 6-year assessment. Baseline cortisol awakening response, evening cortisol and diurnal cortisol slope were considered as cortisol indicators, while baseline C-reactive Protein (CRP), Interleukin-6 (IL-6), and Tumor Necrosis Factor Alpha (TNF-α) were included as inflammatory markers. Results In depressed men and women, none of the cortisol indicators and inflammatory markers were (independently) associated with a (hypo)manic episode. However, effect modification was found of diurnal cortisol slope and CRP in relation to a (hypo)manic episode. Further analyses showed that depressed men with high levels of diurnal cortisol slope and CRP had an increased odds (OR=10.99, p=.001) of having a (hypo)manic episode. No significant differences were found in women. Conclusion Our findings suggest that the combination of high diurnal cortisol slope and high CRP may differentiate between UD and BD. This stresses the importance of considering HPA-axis and immunological activity

  9. Reduced hippocampal volume and hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis function in first episode psychosis: evidence for sex differences.

    PubMed

    Pruessner, Marita; Lepage, Martin; Collins, D Louis; Pruessner, Jens C; Joober, Ridha; Malla, Ashok K

    2015-01-01

    Hippocampal volume (HV) decline is an important marker of psychosis and has been associated with hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis dysregulation in various disorders. Given recent findings of sex differences in HPA axis function in psychosis, the current study investigated differences in HV in male and female first episode psychosis (FEP) patients and controls and the interaction of HV with the cortisol awakening response (CAR) and symptoms. Fifty-eight patients with a diagnosis of FEP (39 men, 19 women) and 27 healthy community controls (15 men, 12 women) underwent structural magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) on a 1.5 T scanner. Hippocampal volume was determined using previously established segmentation protocols. Saliva samples for cortisol assessment were collected at 0, 30 and 60 min after awakening. Psychotic symptoms were assessed with the Scale for Assessment of Positive Symptoms (SAPS), the Scale for Assessment of Negative Symptoms (SANS) and the Global Assessment of Functioning (GAF) scale. Male patients had significantly smaller left and right HVs compared to male controls, which appeared to be secondary to global brain volume differences. However, even when controlling for overall brain size, male patients showed smaller HV compared to female patients. The CAR was significantly lower in male patients compared to male controls and female patients. Only in male patients, smaller left HV was significantly associated with a blunted CAR, and smaller HV bilaterally was related to positive psychotic symptoms and lower levels of functioning. We propose that reduced hippocampal volume and an attenuated cortisol awakening response are related markers of increased stress vulnerability in male psychosis patients and that both contribute to the unfavorable clinical picture in men.

  10. Apparent Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis Suppression via Reduction of Interleukin-6 by Glucocorticoid Therapy in Systemic Autoimmune Diseases

    PubMed Central

    Fujio, Natsuki; Masuoka, Shotaro; Shikano, Kotaro; Kusunoki, Natsuko; Nanki, Toshihiro; Kawai, Shinichi

    2016-01-01

    Context Suppression of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis is a serious complication of systemic glucocorticoid therapy. Objective To clarify the influence of proinflammatory cytokines on the HPA axis after onset of glucocorticoid therapy in patients with systemic autoimmune diseases. Patients and Methods Forty-eight glucocorticoid-naïve patients with systemic autoimmune diseases (28 women) who were starting prednisolone therapy according to our standard regimens were prospectively observed. Patients were classified into high-dose and low-dose groups depending on the dose of prednisolone administered as indicated for their diseases. Plasma adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and serum cortisol levels were measured by electrochemiluminescence immunoassay. The corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) test was performed at baseline and second and forth weeks after starting glucocorticoid therapy. The increased levels of ACTH (ΔACTH) and cortisol (Δcortisol) were investigated. Serum levels of 10 proinflammatory cytokines were measured simultaneously by a multi-spot assay system. Results In the high-dose group, both basal and stimulated levels of ACTH and cortisol were significantly decreased by glucocorticoid therapy. In the low-dose group, basal ACTH and cortisol levels were also significantly decreased by glucocorticoid therapy, but ΔACTH and Δcortisol were unchanged. Among 10 cytokines, only interleukin (IL)-6 was significantly decreased by glucocorticoid therapy in both groups and was more closely correlated with cortisol than ACTH. Basal cortisol level was positively correlated with serum IL-6 level in all patients before glucocorticoid therapy. Conclusion In patients with systemic autoimmune diseases, apparent suppression of cortisol during glucocorticoid therapy may be partly mediated by reduced production of IL-6. PMID:27930715

  11. 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

  12. Suppression of the Hypothalamic-Pituitary-Adrenal Axis after Oral Hydrocortisone Succinate Ingestion in Rats

    PubMed Central

    Mims, Robert B.

    1978-01-01

    Groups of Holtzman female rats were fed 10 mg/day of hydrocortisone succinate orally to study the responsiveness of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis to acute stress. Pituitary ACTH content, plasma ACTH, adrenal venous corticosterone, and adrenal weights were studied simultaneously in experimental and control rats before, during, and up to two weeks after oral hydrocortisone administration. There was a significant decrease in pituitary ACTH content (p=<0.001), suppression of plasma ACTH and corticosterone in response to acute stress (p=<0.001), and adrenal atrophy during and following oral hydrocortisone administration. After discontinuing the hydrocortisone it required three to five days for the rats to respond adequately to acute stress. However, it was seven to ten days post-hydrocortisone before plasma ACTH and corticosterone responses to acute stress had returned to basal values, but decreased pituitary ACTH content and partial adrenal atrophy continued throughout the ten-day post-hydrocortisone study interval. Recovering from the suppressive effects of oral hydrocortisone was more rapid than following parenteral hydrocortisone. However, oral hydrocortisone causes identical but less sustained suppression of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis as observed in animals treated with parenteral glucocorticoid preparations. PMID:212574

  13. 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

    2015-01-02

    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.

  14. 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…

  15. 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…

  16. In healthy young and elderly adults, hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical axis reactivity (HPA AR) varies with increasing pharmacological challenge and with age, but not with gender.

    PubMed

    Hatzinger, Martin; Brand, Serge; Herzig, Natalie; Holsboer-Trachsler, Edith

    2011-10-01

    Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical axis reactivity (HPA AR) is the key indicator of the psychophysiological response to stress. The HPA AR may vary with age and gender. To investigate these factors concurrently, the aims of the present study were to observe HPA AR (plasma ACTH and plasma cortisol) in response to a pharmacological challenge (dexamethasone/corticotropin releasing hormone test: DEX/CRH-test) and as a function of age and gender. 19 young (10 females and 9 males; mean age = 24.05 years) and 23 elderly (11 females and 12 males; mean age = 71.61 years) healthy volunteers took part in the study. To assess HPA AR, participants underwent the combined DEX/CRH test applied with the following DEX doses: 0.75, 1.5, and 3.0 mg, respectively. A dose-dependent response was observed in young adult participants, but not in elderly participants. With increasing DEX doses, ACTH and cortisol values decreased in young adult participants, while the decrease was blunted among elderly compared to young adult participants. No differences were observed for gender. Results point to diminished HPA axis sensitivity as an effect of normal aging, irrespective of gender. Therefore, altered HPA regulation in old age should be taken into account for developing new therapeutic approaches acting on the HPA axis and its receptor mechanisms. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. 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.

  18. Suppression of the Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal Axis by Maximum Androgen Blockade in a Patient with Prostate Cancer

    PubMed Central

    Kondo, Takeshi; Endo, Itsuro; Ooguro, Yukari; Morimoto, Kana; Kurahashi, Kiyoe; Yoshida, Sumiko; Kuroda, Akio; Aihara, Ken-ichi; Matsuhisa, Munehide; Abe, Masahiro; Fukumoto, Seiji

    2016-01-01

    A 78-year-old Japanese man showed suppression of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis during maximum androgen blockade (MAB) therapy including chlormadinone acetate (CMA) for prostate cancer. After stopping the MAB therapy, both the basal ACTH level and the response to CRH recovered. While no reports have indicated that CMA suppresses the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis in patients with prostate cancer, CMA has been shown to inhibit this axis in animals. These observations suggest that we must monitor the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis in patients treated with CMA, especially under stressful conditions. PMID:27980263

  19. 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.

  20. Interaction of Childhood Maltreatment with the Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone Receptor Gene: Effects on HPA Axis Reactivity

    PubMed Central

    Tyrka, Audrey R.; Price, Lawrence H.; Gelernter, Joel; Schepker, Caroline; Anderson, George M.; Carpenter, Linda L.

    2010-01-01

    Background Variation in the corticotropin-releasing hormone receptor (CRHR1) gene has been shown to interact with early-life stress to predict adult depression. This study was conducted to determine whether CRHR1 polymorphisms interact with childhood maltreatment to predict HPA axis reactivity, which has been linked to both depression and early-life stress. Methods One-hundred twenty-nine White non-Hispanic adults completed the Childhood Trauma Questionaire, the dexamethasone/corticotropin-releasing hormone test, and provided blood samples for genotyping of two CRHR1 polymorphisms. Results Both rs110402 and rs242924 (which were in tight linkage disequilibrium, D’=0.98) showed a significant interaction with maltreatment in the prediction of cortisol response to the Dex/CRH test (p<.05). For subjects with maltreatment, the GG genotype of each SNP was associated with elevated cortisol responses to the test. Conclusions Variation in the CRHR1 moderates the effect of childhood maltreatment on cortisol responses to the Dex/CRH test. Excessive HPA axis activation could represent a mechanism of interactions of risk genes with stress in the development of mood and anxiety disorders. PMID:19596121