Volume 72 (2022) Issue: 2022 No#1

The effects of long-term exposure to moderate heat on rat pituitary ACTH cells: histological and hormonal study

Author(s): Jovana Čukuranović Kokoris, Vladimir Ajdžanović, Lazo Pendovski, Nataša Ristić, Verica Milošević, Monika Dovenska, Florina Popovska-Perčinić

Keywords:ACTH cells, elevated temperature, pituitary, rats, stereology

Global warming causes an increased ambient temperature and prolonged heatwaves during the summer, which represent stressogenic factors affecting the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis in mammals. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of long-term (7-60 days) exposure to moderately elevated ambient temperature (35 ± 1oC) on the histological aspect and secretory ability of pituitary adrenocorticotropic (ACTH) cells, as well as on the corticosterone output, in adult rats. Stereological parameters of ACTH cells were estimated upon immunohistochemistry. The blood concentrations of ACTH and corticosterone were determined by immunoassays. The volume of ACTH cells in rats exposed to moderately high temperature for 7, 14, 21, 30 and 60 days decreased (p<0.05) by 18.1%, 14.5%, 13.5%, 8.6% and 14.2% respectively, compared to the same parameter in the controls. The volume density of ACTH cells in the groups exposed to elevated temperature for 7, 14, 21, 30 and 60 days decreased (p<0.05) by 40.0%, 33.3%, 26.7%, 13.3% and 26.7% respectively, in comparison with control rats. The plasma concentration of ACTH varied differently (p<0.05) with the duration of exposure to the elevated temperature. The serum concentration of corticosterone was decreased (p<0.05) by 54.9%, 24.4%, 29.9%, 21.1% and 24.4% in groups subjected to moderately high temperature for 7, 14, 21, 30 and 60 days respectively, all compared to the control value. Despite some signs of functional recovery of ACTH cells during the treatment, the impression is that the long-term character of this stressor overcomes the capacity of the HPA axis for resistance.


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ISSN: 0567-8315

eISSN: 1820-7448

Journal Impact Factor 2021: 1.000

5-Year Impact Factor: 1.046

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