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Brain Res. 1984 Oct 8;311(2):333-41.

Role of midbrain raphe in stress-induced renin and prolactin secretion.


Stress-induced changes in renin and prolactin secretion were studied using a conditioned emotional response paradigm. Three minutes after being placed in a chamber, the stressed animals received a brief electric shock (1.0 mA for 10 s through the grid floor), then were returned to their home cage. This procedure was repeated for 3 consecutive days. On the fourth day, the rats were placed in the chamber for 3 min, but instead of receiving shock, they were removed and sacrificed. Control animals were treated in the same manner, except that they never received foot shock. The sham-operated stressed rats evidenced significant elevations in plasma renin activity (270%) and prolactin level (550%). Electrolytic lesions in the dorsal raphe nucleus blocked the stress-induced increase in plasma renin activity but did not affect the stress-induced increase in prolactin secretion. Electrolytic lesions in the median raphe nucleus did not affect prolactin levels in either control or stressed animals. However, median raphe lesions led to a significant increase in plasma renin activity in non-stressed rats and potentiated the stress-induced elevation in plasma renin activity. These results suggest that neurons within the dorsal and median raphe nuclei are involved in the regulation of renin but not prolactin secretion during stress. The results also suggest that median raphe neurons play a role in basal renin secretion.

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