Central Acetylcholine and Stress Induced Cardiovascular, Neuroendocrine and Behavioral Changes: Effects of Physostigmine and Neostigmine

  • D. S. Janowsky
  • S. C. Risch
  • J. C. Gillin
  • M. Ziegler
  • B. Kennedy
  • L. Huey
Part of the Advances in Behavioral Biology book series (ABBI, volume 30)


A growing body of data indicates that central neurotransmitters and neuromodulators, including norepinephrine, serotonin, GABA, dopamine, vasopressin, and the opioid polypeptides, are likely to have a major role in the regulation of stress (1). In the following paragraphs, we will review and present evidence suggesting that central acetylcholine may also have an important role in the regulation of stress. Supportive of this, Gilad et al. (7) have observed stress-induced increases in central nervous system acetylcholine turnover and neuronal choline uptake, and down-regulation of muscarinic receptors in rats; and these effects are exaggerated in stress-sensitive rats. Furthermore, there is evidence from a number of studies and from our own work that many of the manifestations of naturally occurring stress are mimicked by administration of centrally acting cholinomimetic agents in both animals and in man.


Serum Prolactin Anticholinergic Agent Central Neurotransmitter Nausea Rating Cholinergic Regulation 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1986

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. S. Janowsky
    • 1
  • S. C. Risch
    • 1
  • J. C. Gillin
    • 1
  • M. Ziegler
    • 1
  • B. Kennedy
    • 1
  • L. Huey
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatrySan Diego Veterans Administration Medical Center and University of CaliforniaSan Diego La JollaUSA

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