OBJECTIVES: Neurotrophins and GDNF have been recently recognized as important local regulators of inflammatory processes of the gut.
RESULTS: We now demonstrate that experimental TNBS-colitis is associated with the increased expression of neurotrophins and GDNF in the adrenal glands. In histological sections of the adrenals from untreated control animals, faint immunolabeling for BDNF, NT-3 and NGF was detectable in the adrenal cortex, with some additional labeling for NGF over the adrenal medulla, whereas GDNF immunolabeling was confined to the adrenal medulla. Induction of TNBS-colitis markedly increased NGF, BDNF, and NT-3 expression within the adrenal cortex after 8 h. NGF declined to basal levels after 7 days. In case of BDNF and NT-3 basal expression levels were reached after 14 days. GDNF expression was robustly upregulated in the adrenal medulla 8 h after induction of colitis and stayed elevated for up to 14 days.
CONCLUSION: Together these observations suggest that neurotrophins and GDNF might act as local modulators of components of the HPA-axis during peripheral inflammation.