Blockade of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal response to stress by intraventricular injection of dexamethasone: A method for studying the stress-induced peripheral effects of glucocorticoids

M. Fleshner, L. R. Watkins, L. L. Lockwood, R. E. Grahn, G. Gerhardt, M. J. Meaney, M. L. Laudenslager, S. F. Maier

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations

Abstract

Interest in the mechanisms whereby stressors can influence behavior and physiological functioning has involved the use of a variety of methods to prevent the stress-induced release of glucocorticoids, an important and commonly studied stress hormone. We examined the effect of intracerebral ventricular dexamethasone (ICV DEX) on the stress-induced release of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), corticosterone, plasma epinephrine (E), and plasma norepinephrine (NE). Male Sprague-Dawley rats were stereotaxically implanted with third ventricle ICV cannulae, administered DEX or vehicle, and exposed to 100 1.6-mA tail shocks. Stress hormones were assessed from blood taken during and after the cessation the shock. We report an ICV DEX injection protocol (10 μg given four times) that results in blocking the stress-induced release of ACTH and corticosterone, and attenuating the stress-induced release of plasma E and NE. We hypothesize that ICV DEX reduces hypothalamic corticotropin releasing hormone (CRH) synthesis and/or release. This method would be especially useful for those studying the effect of pituitary-adrenal hormones on steroid sensitive peripheral targets, such as the immune system.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)251-263
Number of pages13
JournalPsychoneuroendocrinology
Volume18
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 1993

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry

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