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Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone: A peptide of about 41 amino acids that stimulates the release of ADRENOCORTICOTROPIC HORMONE. CRH is synthesized by neurons in the PARAVENTRICULAR NUCLEUS of the HYPOTHALAMUS. After being released into the pituitary portal circulation, CRH stimulates the release of ACTH from the PITUITARY GLAND. CRH can also be synthesized in other tissues, such as PLACENTA; ADRENAL MEDULLA; and TESTIS.Receptors, Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone: Cell surface proteins that bind corticotropin-releasing hormone with high affinity and trigger intracellular changes which influence the behavior of cells. The corticotropin releasing-hormone receptors on anterior pituitary cells mediate the stimulation of corticotropin release by hypothalamic corticotropin releasing factor. The physiological consequence of activating corticotropin-releasing hormone receptors on central neurons is not well understood.Adrenocorticotropic Hormone: An anterior pituitary hormone that stimulates the ADRENAL CORTEX and its production of CORTICOSTEROIDS. ACTH is a 39-amino acid polypeptide of which the N-terminal 24-amino acid segment is identical in all species and contains the adrenocorticotrophic activity. Upon further tissue-specific processing, ACTH can yield ALPHA-MSH and corticotrophin-like intermediate lobe peptide (CLIP).Urocortins: Neuropeptides of about 40 amino acids which are structurally similar to CORTICOTROPIN-RELEASING FACTOR. Unlike CRF acting primarily through type 1 CRF RECEPTORS, urocortins signal preferentially through type 2 CRF receptors. Urocortins have wide tissue distribution from fish to mammals, and diverse functions. In mammals, urocortins can suppress food intake, delays gastric emptying, and decreases heat-induced edema.Pituitary-Adrenal System: The interactions between the anterior pituitary and adrenal glands, in which corticotropin (ACTH) stimulates the adrenal cortex and adrenal cortical hormones suppress the production of corticotropin by the anterior pituitary.Hypothalamo-Hypophyseal System: A collection of NEURONS, tracts of NERVE FIBERS, endocrine tissue, and blood vessels in the HYPOTHALAMUS and the PITUITARY GLAND. This hypothalamo-hypophyseal portal circulation provides the mechanism for hypothalamic neuroendocrine (HYPOTHALAMIC HORMONES) regulation of pituitary function and the release of various PITUITARY HORMONES into the systemic circulation to maintain HOMEOSTASIS.Corticosterone: An adrenocortical steroid that has modest but significant activities as a mineralocorticoid and a glucocorticoid. (From Goodman and Gilman's The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics, 8th ed, p1437)Paraventricular Hypothalamic Nucleus: Nucleus in the anterior part of the HYPOTHALAMUS.Pro-Opiomelanocortin: A 30-kDa protein synthesized primarily in the ANTERIOR PITUITARY GLAND and the HYPOTHALAMUS. It is also found in the skin and other peripheral tissues. Depending on species and tissues, POMC is cleaved by PROHORMONE CONVERTASES yielding various active peptides including ACTH; BETA-LIPOTROPIN; ENDORPHINS; MELANOCYTE-STIMULATING HORMONES; and others (GAMMA-LPH; CORTICOTROPIN-LIKE INTERMEDIATE LOBE PEPTIDE; N-terminal peptide of POMC or NPP).Hydrocortisone: The main glucocorticoid secreted by the ADRENAL CORTEX. Its synthetic counterpart is used, either as an injection or topically, in the treatment of inflammation, allergy, collagen diseases, asthma, adrenocortical deficiency, shock, and some neoplastic conditions.Hypothalamus: Ventral part of the DIENCEPHALON extending from the region of the OPTIC CHIASM to the caudal border of the MAMMILLARY BODIES and forming the inferior and lateral walls of the THIRD VENTRICLE.Adrenal Cortex Function Tests: Examinations that evaluate and monitor hormone production in the adrenal cortex.Stress, Physiological: The unfavorable effect of environmental factors (stressors) on the physiological functions of an organism. Prolonged unresolved physiological stress can affect HOMEOSTASIS of the organism, and may lead to damaging or pathological conditions.Pituitary-Adrenal Function Tests: Tests that evaluate the adrenal glands controlled by pituitary hormones.Restraint, Physical: Use of a device for the purpose of controlling movement of all or part of the body. Splinting and casting are FRACTURE FIXATION.Arginine Vasopressin: The predominant form of mammalian antidiuretic hormone. It is a nonapeptide containing an ARGININE at residue 8 and two disulfide-linked cysteines at residues of 1 and 6. Arg-vasopressin is used to treat DIABETES INSIPIDUS or to improve vasomotor tone and BLOOD PRESSURE.Injections, Intraventricular: Injections into the cerebral ventricles.Cushing Syndrome: A condition caused by prolonged exposure to excess levels of cortisol (HYDROCORTISONE) or other GLUCOCORTICOIDS from endogenous or exogenous sources. It is characterized by upper body OBESITY; OSTEOPOROSIS; HYPERTENSION; DIABETES MELLITUS; HIRSUTISM; AMENORRHEA; and excess body fluid. Endogenous Cushing syndrome or spontaneous hypercortisolism is divided into two groups, those due to an excess of ADRENOCORTICOTROPIN and those that are ACTH-independent.Rats, Sprague-Dawley: A strain of albino rat used widely for experimental purposes because of its calmness and ease of handling. It was developed by the Sprague-Dawley Animal Company.Adrenalectomy: Excision of one or both adrenal glands. (From Dorland, 28th ed)Stress, Psychological: Stress wherein emotional factors predominate.Pituitary Gland, Anterior: The anterior glandular lobe of the pituitary gland, also known as the adenohypophysis. It secretes the ADENOHYPOPHYSEAL HORMONES that regulate vital functions such as GROWTH; METABOLISM; and REPRODUCTION.Pituitary Function Tests: Examinations that evaluate functions of the pituitary gland.Locus Coeruleus: Bluish-colored region in the superior angle of the FOURTH VENTRICLE floor, corresponding to melanin-like pigmented nerve cells which lie lateral to the PERIAQUEDUCTAL GRAY.RNA, Messenger: RNA sequences that serve as templates for protein synthesis. Bacterial mRNAs are generally primary transcripts in that they do not require post-transcriptional processing. Eukaryotic mRNA is synthesized in the nucleus and must be exported to the cytoplasm for translation. Most eukaryotic mRNAs have a sequence of polyadenylic acid at the 3' end, referred to as the poly(A) tail. The function of this tail is not known for certain, but it may play a role in the export of mature mRNA from the nucleus as well as in helping stabilize some mRNA molecules by retarding their degradation in the cytoplasm.Amygdala: Almond-shaped group of basal nuclei anterior to the INFERIOR HORN OF THE LATERAL VENTRICLE of the TEMPORAL LOBE. The amygdala is part of the limbic system.Hormones: Chemical substances having a specific regulatory effect on the activity of a certain organ or organs. The term was originally applied to substances secreted by various ENDOCRINE GLANDS and transported in the bloodstream to the target organs. It is sometimes extended to include those substances that are not produced by the endocrine glands but that have similar effects.Septal Nuclei: Neural nuclei situated in the septal region. They have afferent and cholinergic efferent connections with a variety of FOREBRAIN and BRAIN STEM areas including the HIPPOCAMPAL FORMATION, the LATERAL HYPOTHALAMUS, the tegmentum, and the AMYGDALA. Included are the dorsal, lateral, medial, and triangular septal nuclei, septofimbrial nucleus, nucleus of diagonal band, nucleus of anterior commissure, and the nucleus of stria terminalis.Pituitary Gland: A small, unpaired gland situated in the SELLA TURCICA. It is connected to the HYPOTHALAMUS by a short stalk which is called the INFUNDIBULUM.Glucocorticoids: A group of CORTICOSTEROIDS that affect carbohydrate metabolism (GLUCONEOGENESIS, liver glycogen deposition, elevation of BLOOD SUGAR), inhibit ADRENOCORTICOTROPIC HORMONE secretion, and possess pronounced anti-inflammatory activity. They also play a role in fat and protein metabolism, maintenance of arterial blood pressure, alteration of the connective tissue response to injury, reduction in the number of circulating lymphocytes, and functioning of the central nervous system.Dexamethasone: An anti-inflammatory 9-fluoro-glucocorticoid.Maternal Deprivation: Prolonged separation of the offspring from the mother.Hormone Antagonists: Chemical substances which inhibit the function of the endocrine glands, the biosynthesis of their secreted hormones, or the action of hormones upon their specific sites.Neuropeptide Y: A 36-amino acid peptide present in many organs and in many sympathetic noradrenergic neurons. It has vasoconstrictor and natriuretic activity and regulates local blood flow, glandular secretion, and smooth muscle activity. The peptide also stimulates feeding and drinking behavior and influences secretion of pituitary hormones.Amphibian Proteins: Proteins obtained from species in the class of AMPHIBIANS.Median Eminence: Raised area at the infundibular region of the HYPOTHALAMUS at the floor of the BRAIN, ventral to the THIRD VENTRICLE and adjacent to the ARCUATE NUCLEUS OF HYPOTHALAMUS. It contains the terminals of hypothalamic neurons and the capillary network of hypophyseal portal system, thus serving as a neuroendocrine link between the brain and the PITUITARY GLAND.Behavior, Animal: The observable response an animal makes to any situation.Adrenal Glands: A pair of glands located at the cranial pole of each of the two KIDNEYS. Each adrenal gland is composed of two distinct endocrine tissues with separate embryonic origins, the ADRENAL CORTEX producing STEROIDS and the ADRENAL MEDULLA producing NEUROTRANSMITTERS.Neurosecretory Systems: A system of NEURONS that has the specialized function to produce and secrete HORMONES, and that constitutes, in whole or in part, an ENDOCRINE SYSTEM or organ.ACTH Syndrome, Ectopic: Symptom complex due to ACTH production by non-pituitary neoplasms.Flushing: A transient reddening of the face that may be due to fever, certain drugs, exertion, stress, or a disease process.Hypothalamic Diseases: Neoplastic, inflammatory, infectious, and other diseases of the hypothalamus. Clinical manifestations include appetite disorders; AUTONOMIC NERVOUS SYSTEM DISEASES; SLEEP DISORDERS; behavioral symptoms related to dysfunction of the LIMBIC SYSTEM; and neuroendocrine disorders.Radioimmunoassay: Classic quantitative assay for detection of antigen-antibody reactions using a radioactively labeled substance (radioligand) either directly or indirectly to measure the binding of the unlabeled substance to a specific antibody or other receptor system. Non-immunogenic substances (e.g., haptens) can be measured if coupled to larger carrier proteins (e.g., bovine gamma-globulin or human serum albumin) capable of inducing antibody formation.Gene Expression Regulation: Any of the processes by which nuclear, cytoplasmic, or intercellular factors influence the differential control (induction or repression) of gene action at the level of transcription or translation.Pyrroles: Azoles of one NITROGEN and two double bonds that have aromatic chemical properties.Thyroid Hormones: Natural hormones secreted by the THYROID GLAND, such as THYROXINE, and their synthetic analogs.Spasms, Infantile: An epileptic syndrome characterized by the triad of infantile spasms, hypsarrhythmia, and arrest of psychomotor development at seizure onset. The majority present between 3-12 months of age, with spasms consisting of combinations of brief flexor or extensor movements of the head, trunk, and limbs. The condition is divided into two forms: cryptogenic (idiopathic) and symptomatic (secondary to a known disease process such as intrauterine infections; nervous system abnormalities; BRAIN DISEASES, METABOLIC, INBORN; prematurity; perinatal asphyxia; TUBEROUS SCLEROSIS; etc.). (From Menkes, Textbook of Child Neurology, 5th ed, pp744-8)Handling (Psychology): Physical manipulation of animals and humans to induce a behavioral or other psychological reaction. In experimental psychology, the animal is handled to induce a stress situation or to study the effects of "gentling" or "mothering".Pituitary Neoplasms: Neoplasms which arise from or metastasize to the PITUITARY GLAND. The majority of pituitary neoplasms are adenomas, which are divided into non-secreting and secreting forms. Hormone producing forms are further classified by the type of hormone they secrete. Pituitary adenomas may also be characterized by their staining properties (see ADENOMA, BASOPHIL; ADENOMA, ACIDOPHIL; and ADENOMA, CHROMOPHOBE). Pituitary tumors may compress adjacent structures, including the HYPOTHALAMUS, several CRANIAL NERVES, and the OPTIC CHIASM. Chiasmal compression may result in bitemporal HEMIANOPSIA.Anxiety: Feeling or emotion of dread, apprehension, and impending disaster but not disabling as with ANXIETY DISORDERS.Vasopressins: Antidiuretic hormones released by the NEUROHYPOPHYSIS of all vertebrates (structure varies with species) to regulate water balance and OSMOLARITY. In general, vasopressin is a nonapeptide consisting of a six-amino-acid ring with a cysteine 1 to cysteine 6 disulfide bridge or an octapeptide containing a CYSTINE. All mammals have arginine vasopressin except the pig with a lysine at position 8. Vasopressin, a vasoconstrictor, acts on the KIDNEY COLLECTING DUCTS to increase water reabsorption, increase blood volume and blood pressure.Adrenal Gland Diseases: Pathological processes of the ADRENAL GLANDS.Neurons: The basic cellular units of nervous tissue. Each neuron consists of a body, an axon, and dendrites. Their purpose is to receive, conduct, and transmit impulses in the NERVOUS SYSTEM.Receptors, Glucocorticoid: Cytoplasmic proteins that specifically bind glucocorticoids and mediate their cellular effects. The glucocorticoid receptor-glucocorticoid complex acts in the nucleus to induce transcription of DNA. Glucocorticoids were named for their actions on blood glucose concentration, but they have equally important effects on protein and fat metabolism. Cortisol is the most important example.Follicle Stimulating Hormone: A major gonadotropin secreted by the adenohypophysis (PITUITARY GLAND, ANTERIOR). Follicle-stimulating hormone stimulates GAMETOGENESIS and the supporting cells such as the ovarian GRANULOSA CELLS, the testicular SERTOLI CELLS, and LEYDIG CELLS. FSH consists of two noncovalently linked subunits, alpha and beta. Within a species, the alpha subunit is common in the three pituitary glycoprotein hormones (TSH, LH, and FSH), but the beta subunit is unique and confers its biological specificity.Peptide Hormones: Hormones synthesized from amino acids. They are distinguished from INTERCELLULAR SIGNALING PEPTIDES AND PROTEINS in that their actions are systemic.In Situ Hybridization: A technique that localizes specific nucleic acid sequences within intact chromosomes, eukaryotic cells, or bacterial cells through the use of specific nucleic acid-labeled probes.Convulsants: Substances that act in the brain stem or spinal cord to produce tonic or clonic convulsions, often by removing normal inhibitory tone. They were formerly used to stimulate respiration or as antidotes to barbiturate overdose. They are now most commonly used as experimental tools.Luteinizing Hormone: A major gonadotropin secreted by the adenohypophysis (PITUITARY GLAND, ANTERIOR). Luteinizing hormone regulates steroid production by the interstitial cells of the TESTIS and the OVARY. The preovulatory LUTEINIZING HORMONE surge in females induces OVULATION, and subsequent LUTEINIZATION of the follicle. LUTEINIZING HORMONE consists of two noncovalently linked subunits, alpha and beta. Within a species, the alpha subunit is common in the three pituitary glycoprotein hormones (TSH, LH and FSH), but the beta subunit is unique and confers its biological specificity.Pyrimidines: A family of 6-membered heterocyclic compounds occurring in nature in a wide variety of forms. They include several nucleic acid constituents (CYTOSINE; THYMINE; and URACIL) and form the basic structure of the barbiturates.Brain: The part of CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM that is contained within the skull (CRANIUM). Arising from the NEURAL TUBE, the embryonic brain is comprised of three major parts including PROSENCEPHALON (the forebrain); MESENCEPHALON (the midbrain); and RHOMBENCEPHALON (the hindbrain). The developed brain consists of CEREBRUM; CEREBELLUM; and other structures in the BRAIN STEM.17-Hydroxycorticosteroids: A group of hydroxycorticosteroids bearing a hydroxy group at the 17-position. Urinary excretion of these compounds is used as an index of adrenal function. They are used systemically in the free alcohol form, but with esterification of the hydroxy groups, topical effectiveness is increased.Pregnancy: The status during which female mammals carry their developing young (EMBRYOS or FETUSES) in utero before birth, beginning from FERTILIZATION to BIRTH.Anorexia: The lack or loss of APPETITE accompanied by an aversion to food and the inability to eat. It is the defining characteristic of the disorder ANOREXIA NERVOSA.Adrenal Insufficiency: Conditions in which the production of adrenal CORTICOSTEROIDS falls below the requirement of the body. Adrenal insufficiency can be caused by defects in the ADRENAL GLANDS, the PITUITARY GLAND, or the HYPOTHALAMUS.Metyrapone: An inhibitor of the enzyme STEROID 11-BETA-MONOOXYGENASE. It is used as a test of the feedback hypothalamic-pituitary mechanism in the diagnosis of CUSHING SYNDROME.Neuropeptides: Peptides released by NEURONS as intercellular messengers. Many neuropeptides are also hormones released by non-neuronal cells.Electroshock: Induction of a stress reaction in experimental subjects by means of an electrical shock; applies to either convulsive or non-convulsive states.Reflex, Abdominal: Contractions of the abdominal muscles upon stimulation of the skin (superficial abdominal reflex) or tapping neighboring bony structures (deep abdominal reflex). The superficial reflex may be weak or absent, for example, after a stroke, a sign of upper (suprasegmental) motor neuron lesions. (Stedman, 25th ed & Best & Taylor's Physiological Basis of Medical Practice, 12th ed, p1073)Eating: The consumption of edible substances.Dose-Response Relationship, Drug: The relationship between the dose of an administered drug and the response of the organism to the drug.Rats, Wistar: A strain of albino rat developed at the Wistar Institute that has spread widely at other institutions. This has markedly diluted the original strain.Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-fos: Cellular DNA-binding proteins encoded by the c-fos genes (GENES, FOS). They are involved in growth-related transcriptional control. c-fos combines with c-jun (PROTO-ONCOGENE PROTEINS C-JUN) to form a c-fos/c-jun heterodimer (TRANSCRIPTION FACTOR AP-1) that binds to the TRE (TPA-responsive element) in promoters of certain genes.Immunohistochemistry: Histochemical localization of immunoreactive substances using labeled antibodies as reagents.Hippocampus: A curved elevation of GRAY MATTER extending the entire length of the floor of the TEMPORAL HORN of the LATERAL VENTRICLE (see also TEMPORAL LOBE). The hippocampus proper, subiculum, and DENTATE GYRUS constitute the hippocampal formation. Sometimes authors include the ENTORHINAL CORTEX in the hippocampal formation.Petrosal Sinus Sampling: Sampling of blood levels of the adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) by withdrawal of blood from the inferior petrosal sinus. The inferior petrosal sinus arises from the cavernous sinus and runs to the internal jugular vein. Sampling of blood at this level is a valuable tool in the differential diagnosis of Cushing disease, Cushing syndrome, and other adrenocortical diseases.Receptors, Vasopressin: Specific molecular sites or proteins on or in cells to which VASOPRESSINS bind or interact in order to modify the function of the cells. Two types of vasopressin receptor exist, the V1 receptor in the vascular smooth muscle and the V2 receptor in the kidneys. The V1 receptor can be subdivided into V1a and V1b (formerly V3) receptors.Animals, Newborn: Refers to animals in the period of time just after birth.Analysis of Variance: A statistical technique that isolates and assesses the contributions of categorical independent variables to variation in the mean of a continuous dependent variable.Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone: A decapeptide that stimulates the synthesis and secretion of both pituitary gonadotropins, LUTEINIZING HORMONE and FOLLICLE STIMULATING HORMONE. GnRH is produced by neurons in the septum PREOPTIC AREA of the HYPOTHALAMUS and released into the pituitary portal blood, leading to stimulation of GONADOTROPHS in the ANTERIOR PITUITARY GLAND.Time Factors: Elements of limited time intervals, contributing to particular results or situations.Parathyroid Hormone: A polypeptide hormone (84 amino acid residues) secreted by the PARATHYROID GLANDS which performs the essential role of maintaining intracellular CALCIUM levels in the body. Parathyroid hormone increases intracellular calcium by promoting the release of CALCIUM from BONE, increases the intestinal absorption of calcium, increases the renal tubular reabsorption of calcium, and increases the renal excretion of phosphates.Cyclic AMP: An adenine nucleotide containing one phosphate group which is esterified to both the 3'- and 5'-positions of the sugar moiety. It is a second messenger and a key intracellular regulator, functioning as a mediator of activity for a number of hormones, including epinephrine, glucagon, and ACTH.Peptide Fragments: Partial proteins formed by partial hydrolysis of complete proteins or generated through PROTEIN ENGINEERING techniques.Raphe Nuclei: Collections of small neurons centrally scattered among many fibers from the level of the TROCHLEAR NUCLEUS in the midbrain to the hypoglossal area in the MEDULLA OBLONGATA.Fear: The affective response to an actual current external danger which subsides with the elimination of the threatening condition.Corticotropin-Like Intermediate Lobe Peptide: A peptide derived from the cleavage of ADRENOCORTICOTROPIC HORMONE, found primarily in the INTERMEDIATE LOBE OF PITUITARY but also in the ARCUATE NUCLEUS of basal HYPOTHALAMUS. Its sequence is identical to the C-terminal 22-amino acids of ACTH or ACTH 18-39.Mice, Inbred C57BLGene Expression: The phenotypic manifestation of a gene or genes by the processes of GENETIC TRANSCRIPTION and GENETIC TRANSLATION.Gonadal Steroid Hormones: Steroid hormones produced by the GONADS. They stimulate reproductive organs, germ cell maturation, and the secondary sex characteristics in the males and the females. The major sex steroid hormones include ESTRADIOL; PROGESTERONE; and TESTOSTERONE.Maternal Behavior: The behavior patterns associated with or characteristic of a mother.Exploratory Behavior: The tendency to explore or investigate a novel environment. It is considered a motivation not clearly distinguishable from curiosity.Serotonin: A biochemical messenger and regulator, synthesized from the essential amino acid L-TRYPTOPHAN. In humans it is found primarily in the central nervous system, gastrointestinal tract, and blood platelets. Serotonin mediates several important physiological functions including neurotransmission, gastrointestinal motility, hemostasis, and cardiovascular integrity. Multiple receptor families (RECEPTORS, SEROTONIN) explain the broad physiological actions and distribution of this biochemical mediator.Mice, Knockout: Strains of mice in which certain GENES of their GENOMES have been disrupted, or "knocked-out". To produce knockouts, using RECOMBINANT DNA technology, the normal DNA sequence of the gene being studied is altered to prevent synthesis of a normal gene product. Cloned cells in which this DNA alteration is successful are then injected into mouse EMBRYOS to produce chimeric mice. The chimeric mice are then bred to yield a strain in which all the cells of the mouse contain the disrupted gene. Knockout mice are used as EXPERIMENTAL ANIMAL MODELS for diseases (DISEASE MODELS, ANIMAL) and to clarify the functions of the genes.Signal Transduction: The intracellular transfer of information (biological activation/inhibition) through a signal pathway. In each signal transduction system, an activation/inhibition signal from a biologically active molecule (hormone, neurotransmitter) is mediated via the coupling of a receptor/enzyme to a second messenger system or to an ion channel. Signal transduction plays an important role in activating cellular functions, cell differentiation, and cell proliferation. Examples of signal transduction systems are the GAMMA-AMINOBUTYRIC ACID-postsynaptic receptor-calcium ion channel system, the receptor-mediated T-cell activation pathway, and the receptor-mediated activation of phospholipases. Those coupled to membrane depolarization or intracellular release of calcium include the receptor-mediated activation of cytotoxic functions in granulocytes and the synaptic potentiation of protein kinase activation. Some signal transduction pathways may be part of larger signal transduction pathways; for example, protein kinase activation is part of the platelet activation signal pathway.Cells, Cultured: Cells propagated in vitro in special media conducive to their growth. Cultured cells are used to study developmental, morphologic, metabolic, physiologic, and genetic processes, among others.Mast Cells: Granulated cells that are found in almost all tissues, most abundantly in the skin and the gastrointestinal tract. Like the BASOPHILS, mast cells contain large amounts of HISTAMINE and HEPARIN. Unlike basophils, mast cells normally remain in the tissues and do not circulate in the blood. Mast cells, derived from the bone marrow stem cells, are regulated by the STEM CELL FACTOR.Labor, Obstetric: The repetitive uterine contraction during childbirth which is associated with the progressive dilation of the uterine cervix (CERVIX UTERI). Successful labor results in the expulsion of the FETUS and PLACENTA. Obstetric labor can be spontaneous or induced (LABOR, INDUCED).Adenoma: A benign epithelial tumor with a glandular organization.Receptors, Steroid: Proteins found usually in the cytoplasm or nucleus that specifically bind steroid hormones and trigger changes influencing the behavior of cells. The steroid receptor-steroid hormone complex regulates the transcription of specific genes.Substance Withdrawal Syndrome: Physiological and psychological symptoms associated with withdrawal from the use of a drug after prolonged administration or habituation. The concept includes withdrawal from smoking or drinking, as well as withdrawal from an administered drug.Adrenal Cortex: The outer layer of the adrenal gland. It is derived from MESODERM and comprised of three zones (outer ZONA GLOMERULOSA, middle ZONA FASCICULATA, and inner ZONA RETICULARIS) with each producing various steroids preferentially, such as ALDOSTERONE; HYDROCORTISONE; DEHYDROEPIANDROSTERONE; and ANDROSTENEDIONE. Adrenal cortex function is regulated by pituitary ADRENOCORTICOTROPIN.Cell Line: Established cell cultures that have the potential to propagate indefinitely.Startle Reaction: A complex involuntary response to an unexpected strong stimulus usually auditory in nature.Receptors, Thyroid Hormone: Specific high affinity binding proteins for THYROID HORMONES in target cells. They are usually found in the nucleus and regulate DNA transcription. These receptors are activated by hormones that leads to transcription, cell differentiation, and growth suppression. Thyroid hormone receptors are encoded by two genes (GENES, ERBA): erbA-alpha and erbA-beta for alpha and beta thyroid hormone receptors, respectively.Progesterone: The major progestational steroid that is secreted primarily by the CORPUS LUTEUM and the PLACENTA. Progesterone acts on the UTERUS, the MAMMARY GLANDS and the BRAIN. It is required in EMBRYO IMPLANTATION; PREGNANCY maintenance, and the development of mammary tissue for MILK production. Progesterone, converted from PREGNENOLONE, also serves as an intermediate in the biosynthesis of GONADAL STEROID HORMONES and adrenal CORTICOSTEROIDS.Sheep: Any of the ruminant mammals with curved horns in the genus Ovis, family Bovidae. They possess lachrymal grooves and interdigital glands, which are absent in GOATS.Placenta: A highly vascularized mammalian fetal-maternal organ and major site of transport of oxygen, nutrients, and fetal waste products. It includes a fetal portion (CHORIONIC VILLI) derived from TROPHOBLASTS and a maternal portion (DECIDUA) derived from the uterine ENDOMETRIUM. The placenta produces an array of steroid, protein and peptide hormones (PLACENTAL HORMONES).Norepinephrine: Precursor of epinephrine that is secreted by the adrenal medulla and is a widespread central and autonomic neurotransmitter. Norepinephrine is the principal transmitter of most postganglionic sympathetic fibers and of the diffuse projection system in the brain arising from the locus ceruleus. It is also found in plants and is used pharmacologically as a sympathomimetic.Human Growth Hormone: A 191-amino acid polypeptide hormone secreted by the human adenohypophysis (PITUITARY GLAND, ANTERIOR), also known as GH or somatotropin. Synthetic growth hormone, termed somatropin, has replaced the natural form in therapeutic usage such as treatment of dwarfism in children with growth hormone deficiency.Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction: A variation of the PCR technique in which cDNA is made from RNA via reverse transcription. The resultant cDNA is then amplified using standard PCR protocols.Rats, Inbred Strains: Genetically identical individuals developed from brother and sister matings which have been carried out for twenty or more generations or by parent x offspring matings carried out with certain restrictions. This also includes animals with a long history of closed colony breeding.Leptin: A 16-kDa peptide hormone secreted from WHITE ADIPOCYTES. Leptin serves as a feedback signal from fat cells to the CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM in regulation of food intake, energy balance, and fat storage.Motor Activity: The physical activity of a human or an animal as a behavioral phenomenon.Transcription, Genetic: The biosynthesis of RNA carried out on a template of DNA. The biosynthesis of DNA from an RNA template is called REVERSE TRANSCRIPTION.Gestational Age: The age of the conceptus, beginning from the time of FERTILIZATION. In clinical obstetrics, the gestational age is often estimated as the time from the last day of the last MENSTRUATION which is about 2 weeks before OVULATION and fertilization.Colforsin: Potent activator of the adenylate cyclase system and the biosynthesis of cyclic AMP. From the plant COLEUS FORSKOHLII. Has antihypertensive, positive inotropic, platelet aggregation inhibitory, and smooth muscle relaxant activities; also lowers intraocular pressure and promotes release of hormones from the pituitary gland.Obstetric Labor, Premature: Onset of OBSTETRIC LABOR before term (TERM BIRTH) but usually after the FETUS has become viable. In humans, it occurs sometime during the 29th through 38th week of PREGNANCY. TOCOLYSIS inhibits premature labor and can prevent the BIRTH of premature infants (INFANT, PREMATURE).Body Weight: The mass or quantity of heaviness of an individual. It is expressed by units of pounds or kilograms.Circadian Rhythm: The regular recurrence, in cycles of about 24 hours, of biological processes or activities, such as sensitivity to drugs and stimuli, hormone secretion, sleeping, and feeding.