Article: article from journal or magazin.
Modulatory role of the epinergic system in the neuroendocrine-immune system function
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
It is well recognized that the reciprocal interaction established between the immune and neuroendocrine systems is crucial for the homeostatic adaptation of individuals during septicemia. In the present study, using an in vivo rat model, we investigated the degree of participation of central and peripheral epinergic systems in the modulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal and immune axes' functions during endotoxemia. For this purpose, acute endotoxemia was induced in adult male rats pretreated intraperitoneally with either different inhibitors of phenylethanolamine-N-methyltransferase (PNMT) [which are active either peripherally (SKF 29661) or both peripherally and centrally (SKF 64139), thus lowering epinephrine (EPI) synthesis] or vehicle only (CTRL). Twelve hours after pretreatment, animals were intraperitoneally injected with vehicle alone (basal) or vehicle containing bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and sacrificed 2 h later. A significant (p < 0.05 vs. the respective basal value) hypoglycemia was found in all groups studied. No pretreatment modified basal plasma adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), glucocorticoid and cytokine concentrations. Endotoxin-stimulated ACTH secretion was severalfold (p < 0.05) higher than the respective basal value in CTRL and in SKFs-pretreated rats; however, the plasma ACTH levels after LPS were significantly (p < 0.05 vs. CTRL and SKF-29661 values) reduced in SKF-64139-pretreated rats. All groups studied showed an appropriate adrenal response to endotoxin challenge. Although no differences were found in basal anterior pituitary (AP) ACTH content among groups, LPS treatment significantly (p < 0.05 versus the respective basal value) decreased AP ACTH in CTRL and SKF 29661 groups. No pretreatment modified the basal medial basal hypothalamus (MBH) corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) content. Conversely, SKF 64139 pretreatment significantly (p < 0.05 vs. CTRL and SKF 29661 values) reduced basal median eminence (ME) CRH content, and LPS administration significantly (p < 0.05) decreased ME CRH in CTRL and SKF-29661-pretreated rats. SKF 64139 pretreatment significantly (p < 0.05) enhanced basal MBH and ME arginine vasopressin (AVP) contents. LPS administration significantly (p < 0.05) decreased MBH AVP in CTRL and SKF-29661-pretreated rats and diminished (p < 0.05 vs. basal values) ME AVP in all groups. The plasma tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNFalpha) concentrations were enhanced severalfold (p < 0.05 vs. basal values) after LPS treatment in CTRL rats, but not in SKFs-treated animals. In order to explore the reduced cytokine release after LPS in PNMT-inhibited rats, additional ex vivo experiments were performed by using peripheral mononuclear cells (PMNC) from both CTRL and SKF-29661-pretreated rats. The results of these experiments confirmed an immune dysfunction after inhibition of peripheral EPI synthesis; in fact, basal and concanavalin-A-stimulated TNFalpha secretions were significantly (p < 0.05) lower in SKF-29661-treated than in CTRL PMNC, while, interestingly, addition of EPI (10(-7) M) to the medium fully restored these effects. These data demonstrate that: (1) the mechanism whereby LPS-induced hypoglycemia was independent of epinergic activity; (2) selective central inhibition of epinergic function reduced endotoxin-stimulated ACTH secretion, an effect that could mainly be due to a decrease in CRH-ergic activity; (3) the central epinergic system positively and negatively modulates CRH- and AVPergic functions, respectively, and (4) inhibition of peripheral PNMT activity reduced immune system function in vivo and ex vivo. It is further suggested that low peripheral levels of EPI could be beneficial for the body's defense mechanisms during endotoxic shock.
Acute-Phase Reaction/immunology Adrenocorticotropic Hormone/metabolism Animals Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone/metabolism Enzyme Inhibitors/pharmacology Epinephrine/*physiology Hypoglycemia/chemically induced/immunology Hypothalamo-Hypophyseal System/*immunology/metabolism Isoquinolines/pharmacology Lipopolysaccharides/pharmacology Male Neuroimmunomodulation/drug effects/*physiology Norepinephrine/*physiology Phenylethanolamine N-Methyltransferase/antagonists & inhibitors Pituitary-Adrenal System/*immunology/metabolism Rats Rats, Inbred F344 *Tetrahydroisoquinolines Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha/metabolism Vasopressins/metabolism
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