Acute activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis releases glucocorticoids to maintain homeostasis, whereas prolonged exposure to elevated glucocorticoids has deleterious effects. Due to the potential benefits of limiting stress-induced glucocorticoid secretion, the present study uses drinking in dehydrated rats as a model to delineate mechanisms mobilized to rapidly inhibit HPA activity during stress. Using Fos expression as an indicator of neuronal activation, the effect of a single or repeated episode of dehydration-induced drinking on the activity of magnocellular and parvocellular neurons in the paraventricular nucleus (PVN) of the hypothalamus was examined. Adult male rats underwent a single episode or repeated (six) episodes of water restriction and were sacrificed before or after drinking water in the AM. Plasma osmolality, vasopressin (AVP), adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) and corticosterone were elevated by water restriction and reduced after drinking in both models. Fos expression was elevated in AVP-positive magnocellular PVN neurons and AVP- and corticotropin releasing hormone (CRH)-positive parvocellular PVN neurons after water restriction. Fos expression was reduced in magnocellular AVP neurons after both models of restriction-induced drinking. In contrast, Fos expression did not change in AVP and CRH parvocellular neurons after a single episode of restriction-induced drinking, but was reduced after repeated episodes of restriction-induced drinking. These data indicate that drinking-induced decreases in glucocorticoids in dehydrated rats involve multiple factors including reduction in magnocellular release of vasopressin and reduction in parvocellular neuronal activity. The differential inhibition of PVN parvocellular neurons after repeated rehydration may reflect a conditioned response to repeated stress reduction.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||11|
|State||Published - Jul 2007|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
We would like to thank Rebecca Frino, Victoria Anderson-Barnes and Alexis Gerber for their technical assistance. This work was supported in part by NSF grant IOB0548584, by a grant-in-aid from the Graduate School of the University of Minnesota, by NIDA grant T32DA07097 (MMA) and by an American Association of University Women Dissertation Fellowship (CW).
- Corticotropin-releasing hormone
- Magnocellular neurons
- Parvocellular neurons
- Stress relief