Anxiety and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis responses to psychological stress are attenuated in male rats made lean by large litter rearing

Bulfin, Lauren J., Clarke, Melanie A., Buller, Kathryn M. and Spencer, Sarah J. (2011) Anxiety and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis responses to psychological stress are attenuated in male rats made lean by large litter rearing. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 36 7: 1080-1091. doi:10.1016/j.psyneuen.2011.01.006


Author Bulfin, Lauren J.
Clarke, Melanie A.
Buller, Kathryn M.
Spencer, Sarah J.
Title Anxiety and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis responses to psychological stress are attenuated in male rats made lean by large litter rearing
Journal name Psychoneuroendocrinology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0306-4530
1873-3360
Publication date 2011-08
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.psyneuen.2011.01.006
Volume 36
Issue 7
Start page 1080
End page 1091
Total pages 12
Place of publication East Park, Kidlington, Oxford, U.K.
Publisher Pergamon
Collection year 2012
Language eng
Formatted abstract
An excellent strategy to treat overactive responses to stress is to exploit the body's inherent stress-inhibitory mechanisms. Stress responses are known to differ between individuals depending upon their level and distribution of adiposity and their experiences in early life. For instance, we have recently shown that female rats made obese by overfeeding during the neonatal period have exacerbated responses to psychological stress. The converse may be true for those that are underfed during this period. In this investigation we hypothesized that rats made lean by neonatal underfeeding would have reduced anxiety and attenuated hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis responses to psychological stress. Our findings show that male (but not female) rats, made smaller by being suckled in a large litter, show reduced anxiety-related behaviour compared with those from normal litters when tested in the elevated plus maze. These smaller males also have attenuated activation of the paraventricular nucleus of the hypothalamus in response to the psychological stress, restraint, and corticosterone responses to restraint that return more quickly to baseline than controls. These findings are exciting from the perspective of understanding and potentially exploiting the body's inherent stress-inhibitory mechanisms to treat overactive responses to stress. They also provide an indication that being lean may be able to ameliorate overactive stress responses. Understanding the mechanisms by which these stress responses are attenuated in lean animals will be important for future strategies to treat diseases associated with overactive HPA axes in humans.
Keyword Nutrition
Development
Stress
HPA
Lean
Obesity
Medial prefrontal cortex
Corticotropin-releasing hormone
Immune challenge
Messenger-RNA
Weight-loss
Glucocorticoid-receptor
Paraventricular nucleus
Hyporesponsive period
Psychosocial stress
Emotional stressor
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: UQ Centre for Clinical Research Publications
Official 2012 Collection
 
Versions
Version Filter Type
Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 13 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
Scopus Citation Count Cited 14 times in Scopus Article | Citations
Google Scholar Search Google Scholar
Created: Sun, 04 Sep 2011, 01:01:48 EST by System User on behalf of Perinatal Research Centre