The effects of i.c.v. administration of prolactin-releasing peptide on neurons in the paraventricular nucleus of rats and plasma corticosterone levels were examined by measuring changes in Fos-like immunoreactivity, c-fos mRNA using in situ hybridization histochemistry, and plasma corticosterone using a specific radioimmunoassay. Approximately 80% of corticotropin-releasing hormone immunoreactive cells exhibited Fos-like immunoreactivity in the parvocellular division of the paraventricular nucleus 90 min after i.c.v. administration of prolactin-releasing peptide. The greatest induction of the c-fos mRNA expression in the paraventricular nucleus was observed 30 min after administration of prolactin-releasing peptide, and occurred in a dose-related manner. Plasma corticosterone levels were also significantly increased 30 min after administration of prolactin-releasing peptide. Next, the effects of restraint stress, nociceptive stimulus and acute inflammatory stress on the expression of the prolactin-releasing peptide mRNA in the dorsomedial hypothalamic nucleus, nucleus of the solitary tract and ventrolateral medulla were examined using in situ hybridization histochemistry for prolactin-releasing peptide mRNA. Restraint stress and acute inflammatory stress upregulated the prolactin-releasing peptide mRNA expression in the nucleus of the solitary tract and ventrolateral medulla. Nociceptive stimulus upregulated the prolactin-releasing peptide mRNA expression in the ventrolateral medulla. Finally, we observed that pretreatment (i.c.v. administration) with an anti-prolactin-releasing peptide antibody significantly attenuated nociceptive stimulus-induced c-fos mRNA expression in the paraventricular nucleus. These results suggest that prolactin-releasing peptide is a potent and important mediator of the stress response in the brain through the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus.
|Number of pages||18|
|Publication status||Published - Jul 21 2006|
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