Effect of cyclooxygenase inhibitors on the vasopressin induced ACTH and corticosterone response during crowding stress
The aim of the present study was to compare the effect of social stress on the corticotropin releasing hormone (CRH) and arginine vasopressin (AVP)-induced pituitary-adrenocortical activity. Also the significance of prostaglandins (PG) generated by constitutive and inducible cyclooxygenase (COX-1 and COX-2) in the stimulation of hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis by AVP under basal and crowding stress conditions was investigated. The control rats were housed 7 in a standard cage and stressed rats were crowded 24 in a cage of the same size during 7 days. The activity of HPA axis was determined by measuring plasma ACTH and serum corticosterone levels 1 h after i.p. AVP administration. Indomethacin (2.0 mg/kg i.p.), a non-selective COX inhibitor, piroxicam (0.2, 2.0, and 5.0 mg/kg), a more potent COX-1 than COX-2 inhibitor, and compound NS-398 (0.2 and 2.0 mg/kg) a selective COX-2 inhibitor, were administered i.p. 15 min prior to AVP (5.0 µg/kg i.p.) to control or crowded rats. The obtained results indicate that social stress for 7 days considerably inhibits the stimulatory action of AVP on ACTH secretion, while it intensifies the CRH-induced ACTH secretion. Indomethacin, piroxicam and NS-398 significantly diminished the AVP-elicited ACTH and corticosterone secretion in non-stressed rats. None of these COX antagonist induced any significant inhibition of the AVP-induced ACTH and corticosterone secretion in stressed rats. Therefore, PG generated by COX-1 or COX-2 do not participate to a significant extent in the HPA stimulation by AVP during crowding stress. These results suggest that social crowding stress desensitizes the PG stimulatory mechanism which considerably mediates the AVP-induced HPA stimulation under basal conditions. The results contrast with a lack of any involvement of PG in the CRH-induced stimulation of HPA response under basal or crowding stress conditions.