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Reprod Domest Anim. 2008 Apr;43(2):137-43. doi: 10.1111/j.1439-0531.2007.00863.x.

Noradrenergic control of arginine vasopressin release from the ewe hypothalamus in vitro: sensitivity to oestradiol.

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Department of Veterinary Clinical Science, University of Liverpool, Wirral, UK.


The present study aims at ascertaining the influence of alpha(1)-adrenoreceptors on arginine vasopressin (AVP) release in vitro and determine whether E(2) modulates the alpha(1)-adrenoreceptor and AVP interaction. Ten minutes after ewe killing, sagittal midline hypothalamic slices (from the anterior preoptic area to the mediobasal hypothalamus with the median eminence, 2 mm thick, 2 per sheep) were dissected, placed in oxygenated minimum essential media-alpha (MEM-alpha) at 4 degrees C and within 2 h were singly perifused at 37 degrees C with oxygenated MEM-alpha (pH 7.4; flow rate 0.15 ml/min), either with or without E(2) (24 pg/ml). After 4 h equilibration, 10 min fractions were collected for 4 h interposed with 10 min exposure at 60 min to a specific alpha(1)-adrenoreceptor agonist or antagonist at various doses (0.1-10 mm). At the end of all perifusions, slices responded to KCl (100 mm) with AVP efflux (p < 0.05). Release of AVP was enhanced (p < 0.05) by the alpha(1)-adrenoreceptor agonist (methoxamine 10 mm; no E(2), n = 7 perifusion chambers: from 14.3 +/- 2.7 to 20.9 +/- 3.9, with E(2), n = 10: from 10.7 +/- 1.2 to 18.4 +/- 3.4 pg/ml) or the antagonist (thymoxamine 10 mm; no E(2), n = 5: from 9.5 +/- 3.1 to 30.4 +/- 6.0, with E(2), n = 10: from 10.8 +/- 0.9 to 39.1 +/- 6.3 pg/ml). With the agonist, the response occurred only at 80 min (p < 0.05) both in the presence and absence of E(2). Whereas, after the antagonist, values were higher (p < 0.05) throughout the post-treatment period (80-170 min) without E(2), but declined by 150 min in the presence of E(2). Furthermore, the response to the alpha(1)-adrenoreceptor antagonist was greater (p < 0.05; 90-140 min) than the agonist only in the presence of E(2). In conclusion, these results reveal direct alpha(1)-adrenoreceptor-mediated control of the hypothalamic AVP neuronal system which is modulated by E(2).

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