Neuronal cell bodies in the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus mediate stress-induced renin and corticosterone secretion

K. D. Richardson Morton, L. D. Van de Kar, M. S. Brownfield, C. L. Bethea

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

56 Scopus citations


The present studies were undertaken to determine the involvement of neurons in the hypothalamic paraventricular nucleus (PVN) in stress-induced renin secretion. The stressor was a 10-min conditioned emotional response (CER) paradigm. Bilateral electrolytic lesions in the PVN prevented the stress-induced increase in plasma renin activity (PRA), and plasma renin concentration (PRC). Stress-induced corticosterone secretion was also blocked, supporting the histological verification and suggesting that the lesion included corticosterone-releasing factor neurons in the PVN. Stress-induced renin secretion appears to be restricted to the PVN, as electrolytic lesions in the nucleus reuniens, dorsal and caudal to the PVN, did not prevent the stress-induced increase in either PRA or PRC. The next step was to determine whether cell bodies in the PVN or fibers of passage through the PVN mediate the stress-induced increase of these hormones. For this purpose, bilateral stereotaxic injections of the cell-selective neurotoxin ibotenic acid (10 μg/ml; 0.3 μl per side) were performed 14 days prior to the stress procedure. Histological evaluation of the tissue revealed cell death and lysis in the PVN. Ibotenic acid injection into the PVN prevented the effect of stress on PRA, PRC and corticosterone levels. None of the lesions prevented the stress-induced rise in plasma prolactin concentration. These results suggest that neurons in the PVN play an important role in mediating stress-induced increases in renin and corticosterone but not prolactin secretion.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)73-80
Number of pages8
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1989
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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