, Volume 37, Issue 3, pp 213–218 | Cite as

Glucocorticoid-Induced Prenatal Modification of GABA-ergic Regulation of the Responsiveness of the Hypothalamo-Hypophyseal-Adrenocortical System to Stress in Rats



We studied the effects of introduction of exogenous glucocorticoids within the prenatal period (seven subcutaneous injections of hydrocortisone acetate, 50 mg/kg, daily, on the 15th–21st pregnancy days, or two injections on the 16th and 18th days) on the state of the hippocampal GABA-ergic system and the hypothalamo-hypophyseal-adrenocortical system (HHAS) of adult rats under conditions of acute stress (1-h-long immobilization): effects of pre-stress injection of an agonist of GABAB receptors, baclofen (10 mg/kg, 30 min before immobilization), were also examined. The activity of glutamate decarboxylase and binding of 3H-GABA were the indices characterizing the state of the former regulatory system, while the content of catecholamines in the hypothalamus and the level of hormones of the adrenal cortex characterized the state of the latter system. Prenatal introduction of hydrocortisone acetate resulted in weakening of the adrenocortical reaction to acute stress in adult offspring males; post-stress changes in the noradrenaline level in the hypothalamus and the activity of glutamate decarboxylase in the hippocampus, as well as stress-related activation of GABAB receptors, were absent in these animals. Adult females subjected to the prenatal influence of hydrocortisone acetate, vice versa, demonstrated a greater reaction of the adrenal cortex to stress; this occurred against the background of suppression of the activity of glutamate decarboxylase in the hippocampus and preserved activity of GABAB receptors. Our study shows that modifying influences, which exogenous glucocorticoids applied within the prenatal period exert on the GABA-ergic regulation of the responsiveness of the HHAS to stress, are characterized in adult offspring of rats by a significant sex-related dependence.


glucocorticoid hormones prenatal period GABA hippocampus responsiveness to stress rats 


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© Springer Science+Business Media, Inc. 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Komissarenko Institute of Endocrinology and MetabolismAcademy of Medical Sciences of UkraineKyivUkraine

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