Sex Differences in the Stress-Induced Release of Acetylcholine in the Hippocampus and Corticosterone from the Adrenal Cortex in RatsMitsushima D. · Masuda J. · Kimura F.
Department of Neuroendocrinology, Yokohama City University Graduate School of Medicine, Kanazawaku, Yokohama, Japan
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To assess sex differences in stress-induced acetylcholine (ACh) release in the hippocampus and corticosterone (CS) release from the adrenal cortex, an in vivo microdialysis study was performed in intact male (n = 6) and cycling female (diestrus 1, n = 5; proestrus, n = 6) rats. Dialysates and blood samples were taken from 11.00 to 16.00 h in freely moving rats, but restraint stress was applied from 12.00 to 13.00 h. Basal ACh release in the hippocampus was low without significant differences between groups. Although ACh release promptly increased with the onset of restraint stress in both sexes, the magnitude of the increase in males was significantly greater than in female rats during diestrus and proestrus (p < 0.01). Basal serum CS concentrations were significantly greater in proestrus than in diestrus (p < 0.01) or in male rats (p < 0.01). Serum CS concentrations significantly increased at the onset of restraint stress in both sexes (p < 0.01), but the magnitude of the increase was significantly greater in female than in male rats (p < 0.01). These results indicate that sex and/or gonadal steroid environment can affect the stress-induced ACh release in the hippocampus and CS release from the adrenal cortex.
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