Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Summary In an attempt to find whether vasopressin (VP) secretion is suppressed by learned emotional stress, we have given rats under a hypertonic condition simultaneously applied light and tone that had been paired previously with footshocks and have quantified immunoreactive VP (ir-VP) in the plasma. In a training session light (60 watt) and tone (2 kz) of 3-s duration which were paired with electric footshocks (50 Hz, 1-s duration) were given to rats 11 times at an interval of 30 s. Various lengths of time after the training, the rats were tested with light and tone, which were unpaired with footshocks and repeatedly applied every 15 s for 3 min in the box used for training. Hypertonic NaCl (0.5 M, 2 ml/ 100 g b. w.) was injected s. c. 30 min before testing to increase the basal level of plasma VP. After testing, plasma ir-VP was significantly less in the experimental group than in the 0-mA control group of rats that were trained without FS. The values for the experimental group were also significantly less than those of untested control rats that had been trained with FS but were not tested. Plasma osmolality and blood haemoglobin concentration were not significantly different between control and experimental groups. Plasma immunoreactive adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ir-ACTH) level was higher and motor activity as expressed by cumulative time period of body movement during testing was lower in the experimental group than in either of the control groups. The difference in plasma ir-VP between experimental and control groups was statistically significant two days but not seven days after training, whereas ACTH and motor activity in experimental groups were still significantly different from those in control groups seven days after training. The suppressive VP and augmentative ACTH responses to testing disappeared in the rats that had received light and tone repeatedly during the intervening period between training and testing. These data support the hypothesis that emotional stimuli suppress VP secretion.
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