The relationship between neuropeptides and hormones in starvation.

OBJECTIVES: Some hormonal disturbances were demonstrated in starvation. Leptin, NPY and galanin play an important role in the control of appetite and in the mechanism of hormone release.

METHODS: In order to evaluate the effect of starvation on the relationship between leptin, neuropeptide Y (NPY) galanin and pituitary and gonadal hormones release, plasma leptin, NPY and galanin as well as serum LH, FSH, prolactin (PRL), estradiol, progesterone levels in non-starved female rats (in diestrus) and after 72 hrs of starvation were measured with RIA methods. Effects of leptin, NPY and galanin administration on pituitary and gonadal hormones were investigated in vivo and in vitro experiments.

RESULTS: Plasma leptin, NPY and galanin as well as serum estradiol and progesterone concentrations were significantly lower in starved rats as compared with non-starved rats. However serum prolactin level was significantly higher in starved rats. Opposite effects after leptin and NPY administration on hormone release in vivo and in vitro experiments were observed in non-starved rats. However, in starved rats we did not find changes in pituitary and gonadal hormones release after leptin, NPY and galanin injection or the hormonal response was blunted.

CONCLUSIONS: 1) The disturbances in neuropeptides activity and in hormones release were observed in starvation. 2) Leptin, NPY and galanin have direct and indirect effects on pituitary and gonadal hormones release. 3) In starvation the hormonal response to leptin, NPY and galanin is impaired.

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