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Acta Med Okayama. 1989 Jun;43(3):161-7.

Effect of acute ether or restraint stress on plasma corticotropin-releasing hormone, vasopressin and oxytocin levels in the rat.

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Third Department of Internal Medicine, Okayama University Medical School, Japan.


Ether and restraint stress-induced peripheral plasma corticotropin releasing hormone (CRH), arginine vasopressin (AVP), oxytocin (OXY) and adrenocorticotropin (ACTH) levels were measured by radioimmunoassays. Plasma CRH, AVP, OXY and ACTH rose to approximately twice the level of control rats 2 min after the onset of a 1-min exposure to ether. Plasma CRH rose further 5 min after the onset of ether stress, while plasma AVP and OXY returned to the baseline levels at 5 min. Plasma CRH, OXY and ACTH showed significant elevation 2 min after the onset of restraint stress, while plasma AVP did not show a significant change. Plasma OXY and ACTH rose further 5 min after the onset of restraint stress, whereas plasma CRH returned to baseline levels. CRH and OXY concentrations in the hypothalamic median eminence decreased 5 min after the onset of ether exposure and restraint, while the AVP concentration did not differ from control levels. The results, including the discrepancy between plasma CRH and ACTH 5 min after stress, suggest that CRH in the peripheral plasma is derived from both hypothalamic and extrahypothalamic tissues. The levels of stress-induced CRH in the peripheral plasma were sufficient to stimulate ACTH release. These results suggest that ether and restraint stress elevate plasma CRH shortly after the onset of the stress, and that this elevation in the plasma CRH level is at least partly responsible for stress-induced ACTH secretion.

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