The influence of cocaine-amphetamine regulated transcript (CART) on pituitary hormones, corticosterone and leptin levels in starved rats.

OBJECTIVE: CART is involved in the control of food intake and hormonal secretion. We aimed to evaluate the effects of CART on hormonal profile in starved rats.

METHODS: Study group included 100 male rats. Under conditions of food limitation CART (55-102) was given centrally (icv) or peripherally (iv). Non-starved animals underwent identical procedure. Vehicle (aCSF or saline)-injected rats served and as a controls. 60 minutes after CART or vehicle administration blood was collected to assess pituitary hormones (LH, FSH, PRL, GH, ACTH, TSH), corticosterone and leptin concentrations.

RESULTS: Itracerebroventricular CART injection resulted in a significant increase in PRL, GH and corticosterone concentrations in non-starved rats compared with vehicle injected animals. However, in a group of starved animals only leptin levels were decreased in comparison with fasted controls. Peripheral CART administration caused a significant increase in PRL, GH and TSH levels in non-starved rats but no changes in investigated hormone levels were observed in starved animals when compared to saline injected controls.

CONCLUSIONS: Our results indicate that CART is able to modulate hormonal profile in a non-starved rats. However, the modulatory effect depends on the CART administration method. Interestingly, CART administration, both icv and iv, does not have an impact on pituitary hormones and corticosterone levels in a course of food limitation.

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