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Decreased Type 2 Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone Receptor mRNA Expression in the Ventromedial Hypothalamus during Repeated Immobilization Stress

Makino S. · Asaba K. · Nishiyama M. · Hashimoto K.
Second Department of Internal Medicine, Kochi Medical School, Nankoku, Japan Neuroendocrinology 1999;70:160–167 (DOI:10.1159/000054472)


Chronic or repeated stress results in reduction of food intake and body weight in rats. Stress-induced anorexia has been attributed to increased corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) function in the central nervous system. To explore possible roles of other neuropeptides and peripheral hormones involved in food intake and energy utilization during continuing stress, we examined the impact of repeated immobilization stress on expression of mRNAs coding for CRH, neuropeptide Y (NPY), galanin and pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC) mRNAs in such hypothalamic nuclei as the paraventricular nucleus (PVN), arcuate nucleus (ARC) and dorsomedial hypothalamus (DMH), as well as plasma insulin and leptin concentrations. Changes in type 2 CRH receptor (CRHR-2) mRNA in the ventromedial hypothalamus (VMH), a possible target of anorectic CRH effect, were also examined. Rats were immobilized for 2 h daily for 6 days and sacrificed 24 h after the last immobilization. Immobilized rats had lower food intake and body weight and higher levels of PVN CRH mRNA than controls. Repeated immobiliza tion also lowered plasma insulin and leptin concentrations and VMH CRHR-2 mRNA levels. These results provide additional evidence linking VMH CRHR-2 mRNA levels to plasma leptin concentration. ARC NPY and DMH galanin mRNAs increased following repeated immobilization, while ARC POMC mRNA decreased. DMH NPY mRNA and ARC galanin mRNA were unaltered by immobilization. Since NPY and galanin are considered orexigenic, while the POMC-melanocortin-4 receptor system is apparently anorexigenic, the changes in neuropeptide mRNAs and VMH CRHR-2 mRNA may play counterregulatory roles against anorectic CRH effects.


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