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J Endocrinol Invest. 2013 Feb;36(2):104-10. doi: 10.3275/8454. Epub 2012 Jun 18.

Effects of short- and long-duration hypothyroidism on function of the rat hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis.

Author information

1
Department of Anatomy, University of Athens, School of Medicine, 75 Mikras Asias Str., Goudi, Athens 11527 Greece. elizabethojohnson@gmail.com

Abstract

The effects of hypothyroidism on the functional integrity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis were investigated in adult male rats. HPA axis function was examined in vivo in sham-thyroidectomized male Sprague-Dawley rats or in thyroidectomized rats for 7 (short-term hypothyroidism) or 60 (long-term hypothyroidism) days. Peripheral ACTH and corticosterone responses to insulin-induced hypoglycemia and interleukin (IL)-1α stimulation were used to indirectly assess the hypothalamic CRH neuron. Hypothyroidism resulted in exaggerated ACTH responses to both hypoglycemic stress and IL-1α administration. The adrenal cortex of hypothyroid animals showed a significant reduction in adrenal reserves, as assessed by its response to low-dose ACTH, following suppression of the HPA axis with dexamethasone. Hypothyroid rats were also associated with significant decreases in cerebrospinal fluid corticosterone concentrations and decreased adrenal weights. The findings suggest that experimentally induced hypothyroidism is associated with a mild, yet significant, adrenal insufficiency, which involves abnormalities in all components of the HPA axis.

PMID:
22714027
DOI:
10.3275/8454
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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