Chronic treatment with reserpine and adrenocortical activation

U. Scapagnini, L. Annunziato, G. Di Renzo, G. Lombardi, P. Preziosi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Daily i.p. injection of reserpine for 9 days strongly depletes hypothalamic norepinephrine (NE); after an initial activation, adrenocortical function returns to control values by the 5th day. Tyrosine hydroxylase (TH) activity in the brain stem of reserpine-treated rats exhibits a progressive increase. Alpha-methyl-para-tyrosine (x -MpT) in rats chronically pretreated with reserpine provokes adrenocortical activation and a further decrease of hypothalamic NE. Exogenous ACTH in the same animals revealed an un-impaired adrenocortical reactivity after prolonged treatment with reserpine. These results seem to suggest that the disappearance of adrenocortical activation following long-term treatment with reserpine is due to the stimulated formation of a small functional pool of NE available for the tonic inhibition of CRF-ACTH secretion.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)243-249
Number of pages7
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1976


  • ACTH
  • Brain catecholamines Reserpine
  • x-MpT

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


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