Activational effects of gonadal steroids on hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal regulation in the rat disclosed by response to dexamethasone suppression

Osborne F X Almeida*, Virginie Canoine, Sinan Ali, Florian Holsboer, Vladimir K. Patchev

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Previous studies demonstrated that gonadal steroids secreted during perinatal life permanently 'organize' the mechanisms governing hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) function, leading to sexually differentiated patterns of pituitary-adrenal activity under basal and stress conditions. In this paper, we show that gonadal steroids can also exert 'activational' effects upon the HPA system. Examination of the ability of different doses of dexamethasone to suppress the nocturnal increase in corticosterone secretion and to attenuate the gene expression of CRH in the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus of intact and gonadectomized male and female rats revealed that ovarian steroids make an important contribution to the higher sensitivity of the pituitary-adrenal axis in females to glucocorticoid suppression, whereas testicular steroids may be causal to the male's moderate responsiveness to glucocorticoid feedback. These findings may be implicated in a number of psychiatric and neurological disease states commonly associated with impaired HPA regulation, but which may be primarily rooted in altered gonadal steroid secretion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)129-134
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Neuroendocrinology
Volume9
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1997

Keywords

  • ACTH
  • Corticosterone
  • CRH
  • Glucocorticoid receptors
  • Sexual differentiation

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Activational effects of gonadal steroids on hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal regulation in the rat disclosed by response to dexamethasone suppression'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this