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Effect of interleukin-1 on adrenocortical activity in intact and hypothalamic deafferentated male rats


The present study was designed to elucidate the site of action of interleukin 1 (IL-1) modulation of the hypothalamic-hypophyseal-adrenal (HHA) axis. An intraperitoneal injection of recombinant human IL-1β (160 U/rat) significantly elevated serum levels of ACTH and corticosterone (CS). In rats with complete mediobasal hypothalamic deafferentation, the HHA response to IL-1 was inhibited. An intracerebroventricular injection of rIL-1 (2 U/ rat) caused a marked increase in serum ACTH and CS. These results suggest that IL-1 activates the HHA axis by a direct effect upon the brain, and that intact neural connections between the mediobasal hypothalamus and extrahypothalamic brain regions are essential for IL-1-induced HHA responses.

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Correspondence to J. Weidenfeld.

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Ovadia, H., Abramsky, O., Barak, V. et al. Effect of interleukin-1 on adrenocortical activity in intact and hypothalamic deafferentated male rats. Exp Brain Res 76, 246–249 (1989).

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Key words

  • Interleukin 1
  • Complete hypothalamic deafferentation
  • Hypothalamic-hypophyseal-adrenal axis