Modulation of catecholamine-synthesizing enzymes in adrenal medulla and stellate ganglia by treadmill exercise of stressed rats
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- Gavrilovic, L., Spasojevic, N. & Dronjak, S. Eur J Appl Physiol (2012) 112: 1177. doi:10.1007/s00421-011-2046-5
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The sympatho-adrenal system represents one of the main systems involved in the response to stressful events because its stress-induced activation results in an increased release of catecholamines. Exercise training acts as an important modulator of sympatho-adrenal system, adrenal medulla and stellate ganglia being two components of this system. This study aimed at investigating physical exercise-related changes in gene expression of catecholamine biosynthetic enzymes tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), dopamine-β-hydroxylase (DBH) and phenylethanolamine N-methyltransferase in the adrenal medulla and stellate ganglia of chronically psychosocially stressed adult rats exposed daily to 20-min treadmill exercise for 12 weeks, using TaqMan RT-PCR assay. Chronic psychosocial stress decreased gene expression of the examined enzymes in the adrenal medulla and treadmill exercise did not lead to further modulation of the corresponding gene expression. On the other hand, chronic psychosocial stress produced a significant increase of TH (about 51%) and DBH (about 103%) gene expression in stellate ganglia, while treadmill exercise decreased gene expression of these enzymes to control levels in psychosocially stressed rats. Our data indicate that treadmill exercise leads to a decreased gene transcription of catecholamine biosynthetic enzymes in stellate ganglia and attenuation of cardiac noradrenaline production in stressful situations. Reduction of catecholamine synthesis in stellate ganglia may be linked to the beneficial effects of treadmill exercise on cardiovascular system in stressed animals.