Journal of Comparative Physiology B

, Volume 165, Issue 8, pp 665–676 | Cite as

Modulation of catecholamine storage and release by the pituitary-interrenal axis in the rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss

  • S. G. Reid
  • M. M. Vijayan
  • S. F. Perry
Original Paper


This study examined the effects of pituitary-interrenal hormones on catecholamine storage and release in the rainbow trout Oncorhynchus mykiss. An extract of trout pituitary elicited the release of adrenaline, but not noradrenaline, using an in situ perfusion preparation. A variety of doses of adrenocorticotropic hormone (2–2000 mU) caused the release of both catecholamines in situ which was unaffected by pre-treatment with the ganglion blocker, hexamethonium, or the serotonergic receptor antagonist, methysergide, but was abolished in calcium-free media. Intra-arterial injections of adrenocorticotrophic hormone in vivo caused an elevation of plasma adrenaline but not noradrenaline levels. Injections of cortisol in situ did not elicit catecholamine release. Trout given an intraperitoneal implant of cortisol (50 mg·kg-1 body weight) had significantly higher plasma cortisol concentrations when compared to controls after 7 days of implantation. Increases in the levels of stored catecholamines were observed in various regions of the kidney and posterior cardinal vein following 3 and 7 days of cortisol treatment. The ability of the chromaffin cells to release catecholamines in response to cholinergic stimulation was assessed in situ after 7 days of treatment. Basal (non-stimulated) adrenaline outflowing perfusate levels were greater in the cortisol-treated fish. Cortisol treatment increased the responsiveness of the catecholamine release process to low doses of the cholinoceptor agonist carbachol. Three or 7 days of cortisol treatment did not alter the in vitro activity of the enzyme phenylethanolamine-N-methyl-transferase. The results of this study demonstrate that interactions within the pituitary-adrenal axis can influence both catecholamine storage and release in the rainbow trout.

Key words

Catecholamines Cortisol Chromaffin cells Adrenocorticotropic hormone Rainbow trout, Oncorhynchus mykiss 



adrenocorticotropic hormone


anterior third of the kidney


anterior third of the PCV


high performance liquid chromatography


middle third of the kidney


maximum value


middle third of the PCV




pre value


perchloric acid


posterior cardinal vein


posterior third of the kidney




posterior third of the PCV


red blood cells


standard error of the mean


total kidney (i.e. the sum of the AK, MK, and PK)


total PCV (i.e. the sum of the APCV, MPCV and PPCV)


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. G. Reid
    • 1
  • M. M. Vijayan
    • 1
  • S. F. Perry
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of BiologyUniversity of OttawaOttawaCanada

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