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Neuropeptide Y and glucocorticoid secretion from guinea pig adrenal gland: An in vivo and in vitro study

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The effects of neuropeptide Y (NPY) on adrenal glucocorticoid secretion are controversial, and we have investigated this issue in guinea pigs, where, like in humans and cows, the main glucocorticoid hormone is cortisol. In vivo experiments showed that prolonged NPY administration markedly lowered cortisol plasma concentration not only in normal guinea pigs, but also in animals whose hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and renin-angiotensin system had been pharmacologically interrupted by the simultaneous administration of dexamethasone and captopril. In vitro experiments ruled out the possibility that in vivo glucocorticoid anti-secretagogue action of NPY can ensue from a direct effect on the adrenal gland. In fact, NPY did not affect cortisol secretion from dispersed guinea pig inner adrenocortical cells. In contrast, NPY raised cortisol production from adrenal slices containing medullary tissue, and this effect was blocked by the β-adrenoceptor antagonist l-alprenolol. This finding, coupled with the demonstration that NPY enhanced catecholamine release from guinea pigadrenomedullary tissue, strongly suggests that NPY may stimulate glucocorticoid secretion in this species through an indirect mechanism involving catecholamines, that in a paracrine manner promote the secretion of inner adrenocortical cells. In light of these observations, the conclusion is drawn that the in vivo effects of NPY are mediated by mechanism(s) independent of either the suppression of the main adrenal agonists ACTH and angiotensin-II or the direct inhibition of adrenal secretion. The possibility merits an investigation into whether NPY enhances the production of peptides, which, like leptin, inhibit adrenal glucocorticoid secretion acting as circulating hormones.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Zoology, St. Xavier's College, Ranchi 834008, India

Publication date: September 1, 2007

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  • The International Journal of Molecular Medicine is a monthly, peer-reviewed journal devoted to the publication of high quality studies related to the molecular mechanisms of human disease. The journal welcomes research on all aspects of molecular and clinical research, ranging from biochemistry to immunology, pathology, genetics, human genomics, microbiology, molecular pathogenesis, molecular cardiology, molecular surgery and molecular psychology.

    The International Journal of Molecular Medicine aims to provide an insight for researchers within the community in regard to developing molecular tools and identifying molecular targets for the diagnosis and treatment of a diverse number of human diseases.
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