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N Briard, A Dutour, J Epelbaum, N Sauze, A Slama, and C Oliver

The sheep is a valuable model in which to study GH neuroregulation as its pattern of GH secretion is very close to that in humans. Furthermore, important differences in somatostatin (SRIH) action between rats and sheep have been found previously. Our goal was to compare in male rat and ram pituitaries the binding characteristics of somatostatin receptors and the effect of SRIH and 17 analogues on GH release. Using radioautography, SRIH binding was seen to be evenly distributed over the anterior pituitary of both species. In the binding assay, binding sites were three times more concentrated in rats than in sheep. Important interspecies differences in the action of SRIH and its analogues were found: they inhibited GH at lower concentrations in rats than in sheep. Seven peptides displayed greater inhibitory ability in sheep than in rats while three were more potent in rats. Agonistic potencies to inhibit GH release in rats were correlated with somatostatin receptors subtype 2 (sst2) affinities. Our data confirm and extend the quantitative differences between rat and sheep in SRIH inhibitory action on GH secretion and confirm that ligand-binding properties of a given receptor subtype cannot be extrapolated across species.

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F Dadoun, V Guillaume, N Sauze, J Farisse, JG Velut, JC Orsoni, R Gaillard, and C Oliver

Endotoxin has been shown to stimulate ACTH and cortisol secretion through an action at the hypothalamic level. However, the nature of hypothalamic neurohormones, corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) and especially arginine vasopressin (AVP), involved in that regulation is still controversial. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of an acute i.v. endotoxin administration on CRH and AVP secretion into hypophysial portal blood (HPB). The experiment has been performed in sheep since it is possible to collect HPB and quantify CRH and AVP secretion in this animal under physiological conditions. The release of both peptides into HPB was stimulated by endotoxin injection, the increase in portal AVP being more pronounced than that of CRH. An initial, transient, increase in jugular AVP concentrations was observed, probably due to the activation of magnocellular AVP neurons. In conclusion, our data indicate that the activation of the pituitary-adrenal axis after endotoxin injection is associated with an increased release of both CRH and AVP into HPB. Magnocellular AVP neurons are initially stimulated while parvocellular CRH and AVP neurons are stimulated throughout the experiment.