Defective ACTH response to stress in previously stressed rats: Dependence on glucocorticoid status

Octavi Martí, Rosa Andrés, Antonio Armario

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    The effect of previous exposure to stress on the pituitary-adrenal response to a further stress was characterized in rats with different glucocorticoid status: sham-operated rats (Sham), adrenalectomized (ADX) rats, and ADX rats supplemented with a low corticosterone (B) dose in the drinking saline (ADX + B). Previous exposure of Sham rats to 1 h of immobilization (Imo) reduced, 2 h later, the ACTH response to a second severe stressor (Imo) but not to a less severe stressor (tail shock). In ADX rats, previous Imo totally suppressed the ACTH response to Imo or to shock. In ADX + B rats the response to shock was blocked and that to Imo tended to be lower. These changes were not explained by depletion of adenohypophysial ACTH stores. After previous Imo, reduced response to corticotropin-releasing factor was observed in Sham and ADX + B, but not in ADX, rats. Taken together, the present results suggest that the reduced ACTH response of previously stressed rats to a second severe stress is observed in the presence and absence of glucocorticoids, but the main site at which such inhibition occurs might be critically dependent on the glucocorticoid status.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)R869-R877
    JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
    Issue number3 46-3
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 1999


    • Adrenalectomy
    • Corticosterone
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