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Brain Res. 2002 Sep 13;949(1-2):122-30.

Differential release of corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) in the amygdala during different types of stressors.

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Department of Exercise Science, University of South Carolina, 1300 Wheat St, Columbia, SC 29208, USA.


The purpose of this study was to determine if differences exist between the effects of acute treadmill running and restraint stress on corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) release within the amygdala of rats. Extracellular CRH immunoreactivity (CRH-IR) was measured in microdialysate collected from the central nucleus of the amygdala (CeA) during exposure to an inactivated treadmill (TC), during 1 h treadmill running to exhaustion (RUN), and 1 h restraint (RES). Extracellular CRH-IR increased from control levels during the first 20-min period for TC, RUN, and RES, with the largest increase during RES. During the second 20-min period, only RES maintained levels higher than control values. CRH release was higher than control during the third 20-min period of RES and RUN. A second experiment consisted of four groups of either cage controls (CC), TC, RUN, or RES. Immediately following the 60-min treatment, brains were removed and trunk blood collected for analysis of tissue CRH-IR and plasma corticosterone. While amygdala tissue CRH-IR was not different in the CC, TC and RUN rats, these groups had significantly lower levels than the RES animals. Hypothalamic tissue CRH-IR was not different between the CC and TC rats, but the levels were significantly higher in the RES and RUN rats than in the two control groups. Plasma corticosterone levels were elevated only in RES and RUN rats. Results from tissue analysis indicate that increased tissue CRH-IR in the amygdala and hypothalamus can be elicited by RES, while only the hypothalamus shows an increase following RUN. Further, extracellular CRH release in the CeA is increased throughout the period of RES, when rats are placed on the treadmill, and when the animals are approaching physical exhaustion. No increase is observed during the running period between placement on the treadmill and intense exertion. Overall, the data suggest that amygdala CRH release is regulated differently during treadmill running and restraint.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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