Adrenergic and serotoninergic receptors mediate the immunological activation of corticosterone secretion in male rats

A. L. Guo, F. Petraglia, M. Criscuolo, G. Ficarra, C. Salvestroni, R. E. Nappi, G. P. Trentini, A. R. Genazzani

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In order to elucidate the mechanism of action of immune agents on corticosterone secretion, the present study evaluated the possible involvement of some neuronal pathways (serotoninergic, noradrenergic/adrenergic) in the lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced corticosterone release in male rats. Serotoninergic antagonists, mianserin (5-HT(2C) receptor blocker) or pindolol (5HT(1A) receptor blocker) or noradrenergic/adrenergic antagonists, prazosin (α1-adrenoceptor blocker) or propranolol (β-adrenoceptor blocker), were intraperitoneally (i.p.) injected before (5 min) the administration of LPS. In each experiment a group of rats i.p. injected with vehicle served as controls. Animals were sacrificed by decapitation 90 min after administration of LPS and trunk blood was collected for corticosterone radioimmunoassay. Results showed that pretreatment with mianserin, but not with pindolol, significantly reduced plasma corticosterone levels following administration of LPS (p <0.05); prazosin attenuated the plasma corticosterone response to LPS (p <0.05), while propranolol did not induce significant damage. The present study indicated that serotoninergic and noradrenergic/adrenergic pathways are involved in the immunoneuroendocrine modulation of hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal function in rats. In particular, it is probably mediated by the activation of 5-HT(2C) receptors and of α1-adrenoceptors, while type 1A serotonin receptors or β-adrenoceptors do not seem to be involved in such a phenomenon.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)149-154
Number of pages6
JournalGynecological Endocrinology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1996


  • Adrenaline
  • Corticosterone
  • Cytokines
  • Lipopolysaccharide
  • Noradrenaline
  • Serotonin
  • Stress

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Obstetrics and Gynaecology


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