Catecholamine effects upon rat hypothalamic corticotropin-releasing hormone secretion in vitro

The Journal of Clinical Investigation
A E CalogeroP W Gold


To further our understanding of the functional role of catecholaminergic systems in regulating hypothalamic corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) secretion, we assessed the direct effects of a multiplicity of catecholamine agonists and antagonists on hypothalamic CRH secretion. To accomplish this, we used an in vitro rat hypothalamic organ culture system in which CRH secretion from single explants was evaluated by a specific RIA (IR-rCRH). Norepinephrine (NE) stimulated IR-rCRH secretion dose dependently, with peak effects in the nanomolar range. The effect of NE was antagonized by the mixed alpha antagonist phentolamine, the alpha 1 antagonist prazosin, and the alpha 2 antagonist yohimbine, but not by the beta blocker, L-propanolol. Compatible with these data were the findings that the alpha 1 agonist phenylephrine and the alpha 2 agonist clonidine both stimulated IR-rCRH secretion in a dose-dependent fashion. On the other hand, whereas the beta agonist, isoproterenol, caused a weak, non-dose-dependent increase in IR-rCRH secretion, this effect could not be antagonized by L-propanolol. Despite pretreatment with serotonin and acetylcholine antagonists, the effect of NE upon IR-rCRH secretion was undiminished, suggesting that NE...Continue Reading


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