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Pharmacol Res. 2003 Dec;48(6):607-13.

Changes in norepinephrine and epinephrine concentrations in adrenal gland of the rats submitted to acute immobilization stress.

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Department of Pharmacology, Institute of Bioscience, São Paulo State University (UNESP), 18 618-000, Botucatu, Sao Paulo, Brazil.


Catecholamines act as neurotransmitters and hormones. Studies conducted to understand the synthesis and metabolism of these monoamines during stress have been the main concern of many authors. This work proposes to investigate the time course of changes in epinephrine and norepinephrine concentration in adrenal gland obtained from rats submitted to acute immobilization stress. The results of the present study indicate that acute immobilization stress during 5 and 15 min did not provoke changes in epinephrine and norepinephrine concentrations in adrenal gland in relation to the control group. Such results are justified due to the short time of the stress, showing that the stress did not provoke physiological alteration. The epinephrine and norepinephrine concentrations in adrenal gland increased significantly after the immobilization session in stressed groups during 30 and 50 min as compared to control group. This increase probably is due to the emotional component of the immobilization stress. In this way, we suggested that the immobilization stress provoke increase in the biosynthesis of catecholamines in the adrenal gland from rats. However, the results shows that a maximum increase is reached at 30 min of immobilization stress and then a decrement of catecholamines levels starts at 50 min of the experimental design. This decline in catecholamines level may be consequence of adaptation to stress situations, an increase of the activity of the uptake systems and/or metabolization of catecholamines. In conclusion, these results suggest an effective participation of the adrenal glands to maintain the homeostasis of organism to the stressful conditions.

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