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Neurosci Lett. 1998 Jun 26;250(1):45-8.

Circulating neuropeptide Y (NPY) and catecholamines in rat under resting and stress conditions. Arguments for extra-adrenal origin of NPY, adrenal and extra-adrenal sources of catecholamines.

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Centre de Biologie Cellulaire, Neuroendocrinologie du Développement, Université de Lille 1, Villeneuve d'Ascq, France.


Neuropeptide Y (NPY) is found in cell bodies of neurons in the brain and co-localized with noradrenaline (NA) in sympathetic nerves as well as with NA and adrenaline (A) in the adrenal chromaffin cells. The purpose of the present work is to determine whether NPY and catecholamines found in the plasma of the rat under resting and stress conditions (ether inhalation, restraint) arise from the adrenals or from extra-adrenal sites. We used adrenalectomized (adx) rats and sham-adx ones. Adrenalectomy increased plasma adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH) levels but decreased drastically circulating corticosterone (B) and A (-97%). However, resting NA was slightly but not significantly decreased and NPY not affected. Ether inhalation (3 min) increased plasma levels of ACTH, B, NA and A in sham-adx rats, ACTH, NA and, weakly, A in adx ones. Restraint (30 min) increased B, NA and A in sham-adx rats, NA and, poorly, A, in adx ones. In contrast, plasma levels of NPY were not significantly affected by these stress conditions. The present data suggest that NA found in rat plasma at rest and during ether or restraint stress could arise from both adrenal medulla and noradrenergic nerve endings while A arises mainly from the adrenergic chromaffin cells of the adrenals. In contrast, NPY found in the circulation, at rest and under stress conditions, is not derived from the adrenals but emanates mainly from an extra-adrenal source.

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