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Ann N Y Acad Sci. 2000;917:825-34.

Perturbations of arginine vasopressin secretion during inflammatory stress. Pathophysiologic implications.

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Bone & Joint Research Unit, St. Bartholomews & Royal London School of Medicine and Dentistry, New Science Building, Charterhouse Square, London EC1 6BQ, UK.


Pro-inflammatory cytokines, such as interleukin-1 beta (IL-1 beta), interleukin-6 (IL-6), and tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF alpha), released from inflammatory foci, can activate the hypothalamus to produce corticotrophin-releasing hormone (CRH) and arginine vasopressin (AVP). These hypothalamic peptides in synergy increase ACTH production by the pituitary gland and hence corticosteroid (CS) secretion by the adrenal cortices. CS dampens inflammation. The pituitary also produces prolactin (PRL), which is pro-inflammatory, and macrophage inhibitory factor (MIF), which by counteracting the anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive effects of CS, is pro-inflammatory. Lewis rats develop a variety of induced-autoimmune inflammatory conditions, such as streptococcal cell wall arthritis, whereas the histocompatible F344 Fisher rats are resistant to this condition. Lewis rats have a defective hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal (HPA) response to a variety of hypothalamic stimuli, but have augmented systemic secretion of AVP. Patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) have deficient CS with exaggerated PRL responses to inflammatory stimuli. Within inflammatory foci, CRH is pro-inflammatory. AVP, which augments autologous mixed lymphocyte reactions, can replace the IL-2 requirement for gamma IFN production by T cells via V1a receptors, and potentiates primary antibody responses, is also pro-inflammatory. Lewis rats have significantly high plasma levels, hypothalamic content, and in vitro release of AVP in comparison to the inflammatory disease-resistant Fischer rats. Immunoneutralization of AVP attenuates inflammatory responses. In Sprague-Dawley rats, AVP potentiates PRL secretion. Preliminary studies in patients with RA have shown that the circulating levels of AVP are significantly increased, which might be a compensatory response to low CS levels or a result of elevated levels of IL-6 in these patients but could nevertheless contribute to rheumatoid inflammation. A similar observation has been made in patients with ankylosing spondylitis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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