Adaptation of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis to daily repeated stress does not follow the rules of habituation: A new perspective

Cristina Rabasa, Humberto Gagliano, Jordi Pastor-Ciurana, Silvia Fuentes, Xavier Belda, Roser Nadal, Antonio Armario

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

32 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

© 2015 Elsevier Ltd. Repeated exposure to a wide range of stressors differing in nature and intensity results in a reduced response of prototypical stress markers (i.e. plasma levels of ACTH and adrenaline) after an acute challenge with the same (homotypic) stressor. This reduction has been considered to be a habituation-like phenomenon. However, direct experimental evidence for this assumption is scarce. In the present work we demonstrate in adult male rats that adaptation of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis to repeated stress does not follow some of the critical rules of habituation. Briefly, adaptation was stronger and faster with more severe stressors, maximally observed even with a single exposure to severe stressors, extremely long-lasting, negatively related to the interval between the exposures and positively related to the length of daily exposure. We offer a new theoretical view to explain adaptation to daily repeated stress.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-49
JournalNeuroscience and Biobehavioral Reviews
Volume56
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jul 2015

Keywords

  • ACTH
  • C-fos
  • Corticosterone
  • Habituation
  • Immobilization
  • Repeated stress
  • Restraint
  • Water stress

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