Hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenocortical and Sympatho-adrenomedullar Systems in Stress Response
- Gordana Cviji, Jelena orevi
Previously, we reported that cold stress induces a rapid increase in adrenomedullary PNMT mRNA levels, followed by concomitant increases in PNMT immunoreactivity (10). In the present study, the extracellular signals mediating this adaptive response to stress were investigated using northern analysis and RNA slot-blot hybridization. Although adrenal denervation significantly diminished cold-induced increments in adrenomedullary PNMT mRNA levels, it did not completely abolish the cold stress response. In contrast to these results, splanchnectomy completely inhibited cold-induced increments in TH mRNAs in the same tissue samples. These findings indicate that the effects of cold exposure on PNMT mRNA levels are mediated by both neural and non-neural mechanisms, and that adrenal PNMT and TH are differentially regulated in response to cold stress. Surprisingly, the neural component of the PNMT stress response could not be attenuated by peripheral administration of chlorisondamine, a powerful nicotinic ganglionic blocking agent. In contrast, chlorisondamine was effective in inhibiting sympathetic neural activity, as judged by the drug's ability to completely block increases in blood pressure, heart rate, and plasma catecholamines resulting from spinal cord stimulation in pithed rats. The administration of atropine, a muscarinic receptor antagonist, also failed to inhibit cold-induced alterations in adrenal PNMT mRNA. These results suggest that the trans-synaptic induction of adrenal PNMT mRNA involves a non-cholinergic component, and that cold-induced increases in PNMT mRNA are not coupled to acetylcholine-mediated adrenal catecholamine release.