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Chronic stress produces structural changes and neuronal damage especially in the hippocampus. Because neurotrophic factors affect neuron survival, we questioned whether they might be relevant to the heightened vulnerability of hippocampal neurons following stress. To begin investigating this possibility, we examined the effects of immobilization stress (2(More)
Hypothalamic neuropeptides play a role in appetite and weight regulation. Food restriction for 2 weeks and food deprivation for 4 days were used as models to characterize the effects of weight loss on hypothalamic peptide gene expression in male and female rats. We used in situ hybridization to examine the mRNA levels of hypothalamic peptides which(More)
Changes in neurotrophic factor expression in the brain are part of the stress response. Decreased BDNF may contribute to hippocampal damage that occurs during chronic stress or aging. Stress-induced increases in NT-3 may be important for neural plasticity and adaptation or sensitization to repeated stress. Stress-induced changes in neurotrophic factors may(More)
Hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) responses remain intact or increase after chronic or repeated stress despite robust levels of circulating glucocorticoids that would be expected to restrain the responsiveness of the axis. The purpose of this study was to determine whether chronic stress altered corticosteroid receptor messenger RNA (mRNA) levels at any(More)
The mechanisms by which stress and anti-depressants exert opposite effects on the course of clinical depression are not known. However, potential candidates might include neurotrophic factors that regulate the development, plasticity, and survival of neurons. To explore this hypothesis, we examined the effects of stress and antidepressants on neurotrophin(More)
Brain-derived neurotropic factor (BDNF) is a member of the nerve growth factor family that is important for neuronal survival and plasticity. We recently demonstrated that stress decreases BDNF messenger RNA (mRNA) levels in the hippocampus, which raises the possibility that BDNF may play a role in regulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. The(More)
Intense depolarizing stimuli induce the expression of the proto-oncogene c-fos which may be useful as a marker of neuronal activity. To determine if mild physical and behavioral stressors may also induce c-fos expression, we subjected rats to an unconditioned stressor (footshock) or a conditioned stressor (a tone previously paired with footshock) and(More)
Glucocorticoids and stress are known to influence the synthesis of corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) at a variety of sites in brain, including the hypothalamus and amygdala. The recent cloning of the CRH receptor (CRH-R) enabled us to determine whether glucocorticoids or stress influenced CRH action via regulation of CRH-R. We, therefore, used in situ(More)
Chronic stress can accelerate age-related damage to the hippocampus. Adrenal glucocorticoids are thought to be responsible for this damage because of their ability to compromise energy metabolism and make neurons more vulnerable to glutamate excitotoxicity. Additional mechanisms by which stress or glucocorticoids could damage the hippocampus are considered(More)
During development, the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis is normally hyporesponsive between postnatal days (pnd) 4 and 14. This interval has been designated as the stress-hyporesponsive period (SHRP). Recent evidence indicates that the neonate can respond to selective stimuli, i.e., exposure to immune signals. The purpose of this study was to(More)