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1.  The Parvocellular Vasopressinergic System and Responsiveness of the Hypothalamic Pituitary Adrenal Axis during Chronic Stress 
Progress in brain research  2008;170:29-39.
Vasopressin (VP) secreted from parvocellular neurons of the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus (PVN) stimulates pituitary ACTH secretion, through interaction with receptors of the V1b subtype (V1bR) in the pituitary corticotroph, mainly by potentiating the stimulatory effects of corticotrophin releasing hormone (CRH). Chronic stress paradigms associated with corticotroph hyperresponsiveness lead to preferential expression of hypothalamic VP over CRH and upregulation of pituitary V1bR, suggesting that VP has a primary role during adaptation of the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis to long-term stimulation. However, studies using pharmacological of genetic ablation of V1b receptors have shown that VP is required for full ACTH responses to some stressors, but not for the sensitization of ACTH responses to a novel stress observed during chronic stress. Studies using minipump infusion of a peptide V1 antagonist in long-term adrenalectomized rats have revealed that VP mediates proliferative responses in the pituitary. Nevertheless, only a minor proportion of cells undergoing mitogenesis co-express markers for differentiated corticotrophs or precursors, suggesting that new corticotrophs are recruited from yet undifferentiated cells. The overall evidence supports a limited role of VP regulating acute ACTH responses to some acute stressors and points to cell proliferation and pituitary remodeling as alternative roles for the marked increases in parvocellular vasopressinergic activity during prolonged activation of the HPA axis.
doi:10.1016/S0079-6123(08)00403-2
PMCID: PMC2536760  PMID: 18655869
vasopressin; corticotrophin releasing hormone; ACTH secretion; hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus; stress; adrenalectomy; pituitary mitogenesis

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