RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
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Role of the adrenal cortex in chronic stress-induced inhibition of prolactin secretion in male rats.

The response of prolactin to chronic stress in intact, adrenalectomized and adrenomedullectomized male rats was studied. Immobilization stress in intact animals induced a significant increase in plasma concentrations of prolactin after 20 and 45 min and a significant decrease when the rats were submitted to chronic restraint (6 h daily for 4 days). Five weeks after adrenomedullectomy, plasma prolactin and corticosterone responses to chronic stress were not modified. In contrast, the inhibitory effect of chronic stress on prolactin secretion was totally suppressed by adrenalectomy. When treated with dexamethasone during the 4 days of restraint, adrenalectomized stressed rats showed similar plasma concentrations of prolactin to the intact stressed rats. These data indicate that the adrenal cortex is able to play an inhibitory role on prolactin secretion during stress only through a prolonged release of glucocorticoids.

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