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Appropriate regulatory control of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenocortical stress axis is essential to health and survival. The following review documents the principle extrinsic and intrinsic mechanisms responsible for regulating stress-responsive CRH neurons of the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus, which summate excitatory and inhibitory inputs into a(More)
Limbic dysfunction and hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis dysregulation are key features of affective disorders. The following review summarizes our current understanding of the relationship between limbic structures and control of ACTH and glucocorticoid release, focusing on the hippocampus, medial prefrontal cortex and amygdala. In general,(More)
Limbic and cortical neurocircuits profoundly influence hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis responses to stress yet have little or no direct projections to the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus (PVN). Numerous lines of evidence suggest that the bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BST) is well positioned to relay limbic information to the PVN. The(More)
Chronic stress precipitates pronounced enhancement of central stress excitability, marked by sensitization of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis responses and increased adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) secretagogue biosynthesis in the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus (PVN). Chronic stress-induced enhancement of HPA axis(More)
Individuals often eat calorically dense, highly palatable "comfort" foods during stress for stress relief. This article demonstrates that palatable food intake (limited intake of sucrose drink) reduces neuroendocrine, cardiovascular, and behavioral responses to stress in rats. Artificially sweetened (saccharin) drink reproduces the stress dampening, whereas(More)
Stress can promote palatable food intake, and consumption of palatable foods may dampen psychological and physiological responses to stress. Here we develop a rat model of daily limited sweetened drink intake to further examine the linkage between consumption of preferred foods and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical axis responses to acute and chronic(More)
The bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BST) plays a prominent role in brain integration of acute responses to stressful stimuli. This study tests the hypothesis that the BST plays a complementary role in regulation of physiological changes associated with chronic stress exposure. Male Sprague-Dawley rats received bilateral ibotenate lesions or sham(More)
Individuals often cope with stress by consuming calorically-dense, highly-palatable 'comfort' foods. The present work explores the stress-relieving properties of palatable foods in a rat model of limited sucrose intake. In this model, adult male rats with free access to chow and water are given additional access to a small amount of sucrose drink (or water(More)
The adrenal gland is an essential stress-responsive organ that is part of both the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and the sympatho-adrenomedullary system. Chronic stress exposure commonly increases adrenal weight, but it is not known to what extent this growth is due to cellular hyperplasia or hypertrophy and whether it is subregion specific. Moreover,(More)
A frequently debated question for studies involving the measurement of stress hormones in rodents is the optimal method for collecting blood with minimal stress to the animal. Some investigators prefer the implantation of indwelling catheters to allow for frequent sampling. Others argue that the implantation of a catheter creates a chronic stress to the(More)