Supersensitive endocrine response to physostigmine in dopamine-depleted rats

A model of depression?

Nancy S. Downs, Karen T. Britton, Daniel M. Gibbs, George F. Koob, Neal R. Swerdlow

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Depressed patients exhibit an abnormal "supersensitive" increase in the plasma concentration of several pituitary hormones following intravenous injection of the acetyl cholinesterase inhibitor physostigmine (PHY). In the present study, we examined the effects of PHY treatments on the plasma concentrations of prolactin (PRL) and adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH) in the rat. Physostigmine (0-0.6 mg/kg, s.c.) produced a dose-dependent increase in PRL and ACTH immunoreactivity in unoperated animals. Neurotoxin-induced depletion of brain dopamine (DA) or norepinephrine (NE) did not significantly alter baseline plasma PRL or ACTH values. Following depletion of brain DA, but not NE, animals exhibited a "supersensitive" increase in plasma ACTH values, which was evidenced by a sixfold left shift in the dose-response properties of PHY. These results suggest that there are intriguing parallels between the abnormal endocrine response to PHY demonstrated by depressed patients and that demonstrated by rats following depletion of central nervous system (CNS) DA levels.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)775-786
Number of pages12
JournalBiological Psychiatry
Volume21
Issue number8-9
DOIs
StatePublished - 1986
Externally publishedYes

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Physostigmine
Dopamine
Adrenocorticotropic Hormone
Prolactin
Norepinephrine
Pituitary Hormones
Cholinesterase Inhibitors
Neurotoxins
Brain
Intravenous Injections
Central Nervous System

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biological Psychiatry

Cite this

Supersensitive endocrine response to physostigmine in dopamine-depleted rats : A model of depression? / Downs, Nancy S.; Britton, Karen T.; Gibbs, Daniel M.; Koob, George F.; Swerdlow, Neal R.

In: Biological Psychiatry, Vol. 21, No. 8-9, 1986, p. 775-786.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Downs, Nancy S. ; Britton, Karen T. ; Gibbs, Daniel M. ; Koob, George F. ; Swerdlow, Neal R. / Supersensitive endocrine response to physostigmine in dopamine-depleted rats : A model of depression?. In: Biological Psychiatry. 1986 ; Vol. 21, No. 8-9. pp. 775-786.
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