Potent mast cell degranulation and vascular permeability triggered by urocortin through activation of corticotropin-releasing hormone receptors. (1/1772)

Urocortin (Ucn) is related to corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), and both are released in the brain under stress where they stimulate CRH 1 and 2 receptors (CRHR). Outside the brain, they may have proinflammatory actions through activation of mast cells, which are located perivascularly close to nerve endings and degranulate in response to acute psychological stress. Here, we report that a concentration of intradermal Ucn as low as 10 nM induced dose-dependent rat skin mast cell degranulation and increased vascular permeability. This effect appeared to be equipotent to that of calcitonin gene-related peptide and neurotensin. Ucn-induced skin vasodilation was inhibited by pretreatment with the mast cell stabilizer disodium cromoglycate (cromolyn) and was absent in the mast cell-deficient W/Wv mice. The selective nonpeptide CRH receptor 1 antagonist, antalarmin and the nonselective peptide antagonist astressin both reduced vascular permeability triggered by Ucn but not that by Substance P or histamine. In contrast, the peptide antagonist alpha-helical CRH-(9-41) reduced the effect of all three. The vasodilatory effect of Ucn was largely inhibited by pretreatment with H1 receptor antagonists, suggesting that histamine is the major mediator involved in vitro. Neuropeptide depletion of sensory neurons, treatment with the ganglionic blocker hexamethonium, or in situ skin infiltration with the local anesthetic lidocaine did not affect Ucn-induced vascular permeability, indicating that its in situ effect was not mediated through the peripheral nervous system. These results indicate that Ucn is one of the most potent triggers of rat mast cell degranulation and skin vascular permeability. This effect of Ucn may explain stress-induced disorders, such as atopic dermatitis or psoriasis, and may lead to new forms of treatment.  (+info)

Studies of the role of endothelium-dependent nitric oxide release in the sustained vasodilator effects of corticotrophin releasing factor and sauvagine. (2/1772)

1. The mechanisms of the sustained vasodilator actions of corticotrophin-releasing factor (CRF) and sauvagine (SVG) were studied using rings of endothelium de-nuded rat thoracic aorta (RTA) and the isolated perfused rat superior mesenteric arterial vasculature (SMA). 2. SVG was approximately 50 fold more potent than CRF on RTA (EC40: 0.9 +/- 0.2 and 44 +/- 9 nM respectively, P < 0.05), and approximately 10 fold more active in the perfused SMA (ED40: 0.05 +/- 0.02 and 0.6 +/- 0.1 nmol respectively, P < 0.05). Single bolus injections of CRF (100 pmol) or SVG (15 pmol) in the perfused SMA caused reductions in perfusion pressure of 23 +/- 1 and 24 +/- 2% that lasted more than 20 min. 3. Removal of the endothelium in the perfused SMA with deoxycholic acid attenuated the vasodilatation and revealed two phases to the response; a short lasting direct action, and a sustained phase which was fully inhibited. 4. Inhibition of nitric oxide synthase with L-NAME (100 microM) L-NMMA (100 microM) or 2-ethyl-2-thiopseudourea (ETPU, 100 microM) had similar effects on the vasodilator responses to CRF as removal of the endothelium, suggesting a pivotal role for nitric oxide. However the selective guanylate cyclase inhibitor 1H-[l,2,4]oxadiazolo[4,3-alpha]quinoxalin-1-one (ODQ, 10 microM) did not affect the response to CRF. 5. High potassium (60 mM) completely inhibited the vasodilator response to CRF in the perfused SMA, indicating a role for K channels in this response. 6. Compared to other vasodilator agents acting via the release of NO, the actions of CRF and SVG are strikingly long-lasting, suggesting a novel mechanism of prolonged activation of nitric oxide synthase.  (+info)

Effect of central corticotropin-releasing factor on carbon tetrachloride-induced acute liver injury in rats. (3/1772)

Central neuropeptides play important roles in many instances of physiological and pathophysiological regulation mediated through the autonomic nervous system. In regard to the hepatobiliary system, several neuropeptides act in the brain to regulate bile secretion, hepatic blood flow, and hepatic proliferation. Stressors and sympathetic nerve activation are reported to exacerbate experimental liver injury. Some stressors are known to stimulate corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) synthesis in the central nervous system and induce activation of sympathetic nerves in animal models. The effect of intracisternal CRF on carbon tetrachloride (CCl4)-induced acute liver injury was examined in rats. Intracisternal injection of CRF dose dependently enhanced elevation of the serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) level induced by CCl4. Elevations of serum aspartate aminotransferase, alkaline phosphatase, and total bilirubin levels by CCl4 were also enhanced by intracisternal CRF injection. Intracisternal injection of CRF also aggravated CCl4-induced hepatic histological changes. Intracisternal CRF injection alone did not modify the serum ALT level. Intravenous administration of CRF did not influence CCl4-induced acute liver injury. The aggravating effect of central CRF on CCl4-induced acute liver injury was abolished by denervation of hepatic plexus with phenol and by denervation of noradrenergic fibers with 6-hydroxydopamine treatment but not by hepatic branch vagotomy or atropine treatment. These results suggest that CRF acts in the brain to exacerbate acute liver injury through the sympathetic-noradrenergic pathways.  (+info)

Corticotropin-releasing factor receptor 1 in mouse spleen: expression after immune stimulation and identification of receptor-bearing cells. (4/1772)

A specific polyclonal Ab against the N-terminal domain of corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) receptor, type 1 (CRF-R1), was employed to an immunohistochemical analysis of the spleen from naive mice and mice exposed to an immune challenge. Cell types stained with anti-CRF-R1 Ab were identified by their nuclear shapes and colocalization with the cell type-specific markers ER-MP58, ER-MP20, Moma-1, Moma 2, anti-CD3e mAbs, and anti-Ig Ab. Only a few clusters of CRF-R1+ cells were found in spleen sections of naive mice at sites typical for granulopoietic islands. However, a 17-fold increase in the mean number of CRF-R1+ cells was noted within hours following a challenge of acute systemic inflammation induced by i.p. administration of LPS. The majority of these cells were identified as mature neutrophils. CRF-R1 was shown to mediate suppression of the IL-1beta secretion by these cells. However, at later time points a large number of granulocyte-macrophage precursors was strongly labeled with anti-CRF-R1 Ab. Western blot analysis of splenic membranes from animals treated with LPS revealed a m.w. of approximately 70,000 for CRF-R1. Subcellular staining patterns were suggestive for the predominant localization of CRF-R1 on granule membranes. CRF-R1 mRNA was detected in spleen but not in bone marrow and peripheral blood leukocytes from naive mice. Thus, it was indicated that CRF-R1 was not produced constitutively by mature or immature neutrophils. Its production was rather triggered by inflammatory stimuli.  (+info)

Evaluation of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis in amenorrhoeic women with insulin-dependent diabetes. (5/1772)

Diabetes is associated with a higher incidence of secondary hypogonadotrophic amenorrhoea. In amenorrhoeic women with insulin-dependent diabetes a derangement in hypothalamic-pituitary-ovary axis has been proposed. No data exist on hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal function in these women. Gonadotrophin releasing hormone (GnRH), corticotrophin releasing hormone (CRH), metoclopramide and thyroid releasing hormone (TRH) tests were performed in 15 diabetic women, eight amenorrhoeic (AD) and seven eumenorrhoeic (ED). Frequent blood samples were taken during 24 h to evaluate cortisol plasma concentrations. There were no differences between the groups in body mass index, duration of diabetes, insulin dose and metabolic control. The AD women had lower plasma concentrations of luteinizing hormone (LH), follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), prolactin, oestradiol, androstenedione and 17-hydroxyprogesterone (17-OHP) than the ED women. The responses of pituitary gonadotrophins to GnRH, and of thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH) to TRH, were similar in both groups. The AD women had a lower prolactin response to TRH and metoclopramide, and lower ACTH and cortisol responses to CRH, than the ED women. Mean cortisol concentrations > 24 h were higher in the amenorrhoeic group. Significant differences in cortisol concentrations from 2400 to 1000 h were found between the two groups. Insulin-dependent diabetes may involve mild chronic hypercortisolism which may affect metabolic control. Stress-induced activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis would increase hypothalamic secretion of CRH. This would lead directly and perhaps also indirectly by increasing dopaminergic tonus to inhibition of GnRH secretion and hence hypogonadotrophic amenorrhoea. Amenorrhoea associated with metabolically controlled insulin-dependent diabetes is a form of functional hypothalamic amenorrhoea that requires pharmacological and psychological management.  (+info)

Pituitary-adrenal cortical responses to low-dose physostigmine and arginine vasopressin administration in normal women and men. (6/1772)

Animal studies indicate that central cholinergic neurotransmission stimulates CRH secretion, but several human studies suggest that the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal cortical (HPA) axis may be activated only by doses of cholinergic agonists that produce noxious side effects and, by inference, a nonspecific stress response. Physostigmine (PHYSO), a reversible cholinesterase inhibitor, was administered to normal women and men at a dose that elevated plasma ACTH1-39, cortisol, and arginine vasopressin (AVP) concentrations but produced few or no side effects. Exogenous AVP also was administered alone and following PHYSO, to determine if it would augment the effect of PHYSO on the HPA axis. Fourteen normal women and 14 normal men matched to the women on age and race underwent four test sessions 5 to 7 days apart: PHYSO (8 micrograms/kg i.v.), AVP (0.08 U/kg i.m.), PHYSO plus AVP, and saline control. Serial blood samples taken before and after pharmacologic challenge were analyzed for ACTH1-39, cortisol, and AVP. PHYSO and AVP administration produced no side effects in about half the subjects and mild side effects in the other half, with no significant female-male differences overall. There also were no significant female-male differences in ACTH1-39 or cortisol responses to AVP. In contrast, the men had significantly greater ACTH1-39 responses to PHYSO administration than did the women. The endogenous AVP response to PHYSO also was significantly greater in the men than in the women, and the ACTH1-39 and AVP responses to PHYSO were significantly correlated in the men (both = +0.70) but not in the women. None of the hormone responses was significantly correlated with the presence or absence of side effects in either group of subjects. These results indicate a greater sensitivity of the HPA axis to low-dose PHYSO in normal men than in normal women, which likely is mediated by increased secretion of AVP. The lack of difference in side effects between the two groups of subjects and the lack of significant correlations between presence or absence of side effects and hormone responses in either group suggest that the increased hormone responses in the men were due to increased responsivity of central cholinergic systems and not to a nonspecific stress response.  (+info)

Peripheral urocortin delays gastric emptying: role of CRF receptor 2. (7/1772)

Urocortin, a new mammalian member of the corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) family has been proposed to be the endogenous ligand for CRF receptor 2 (CRF-R2). We studied the influence of intravenous urocortin on gastric emptying and the role of CRF-R2 in peptide action and postoperative gastric ileus in conscious rats. The intravenous doses of rat CRF and rat urocortin producing 50% inhibition of gastric emptying were 2.5 and 1.1 microgram/kg, respectively. At these intravenous doses, CRF and urocortin have their actions fully reversed by the CRF-R1/CRF-R2 antagonist astressin at antagonist/agonist ratios of 5:1 and 67:1, respectively. Astressin (12 microgram/kg iv) completely prevented abdominal surgery-induced 54% inhibition of gastric emptying 3 h after surgery while having no effect on basal gastric emptying. The selective nonpeptide CRF-R1 antagonists antalarmin (20 mg/kg ip) and NBI-27914 (400 microgram/kg iv) did not influence intravenous CRF-, urocortin- or surgery-induced gastric stasis. These results as well as earlier ones showing that alpha-helical CRF9-41 (a CRF-R2 more selective antagonist) partly prevented postoperative ileus indicate that peripheral CRF-R2 may be primarily involved in intravenous urocortin-, CRF-, and abdominal surgery-induced gastric stasis.  (+info)

Mechanisms underlying the anti-inflammatory actions of central corticotropin-releasing factor. (8/1772)

Immune activation of hypothalamic corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) provides a negative feedback mechanism to modulate peripheral inflammatory responses. We investigated whether central CRF attenuates endothelial expression of intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1) and leukocyte recruitment during endotoxemia in rats and determined its mechanisms of action. As measured by intravital microscopy, lipopolysaccharide (LPS) induced a dose-dependent increase in leukocyte rolling, adhesion, and emigration in mesenteric venules, which was associated with upregulation of endothelial ICAM-1 expression. Intracisternal injection of CRF abrogated both the increased expression of ICAM-1 and leukocyte recruitment. Intravenous injection of the specific CRF receptor antagonist astressin did not modify leukocyte-endothelial cell interactions induced by a high dose of LPS but enhanced leukocyte adhesion induced by a low dose. Blockade of endogenous glucocorticoids but not alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (alpha-MSH) receptors reversed the inhibitory action of CRF on leukocyte-endothelial cell interactions during endotoxemia. In conclusion, cerebral CRF blunts endothelial upregulation of ICAM-1 and attenuates the recruitment of leukocytes during endotoxemia. The anti-inflammatory effects of CRF are mediated by adrenocortical activation and additional mechanisms independent of alpha-MSH.  (+info)