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The effects of chronic treatments with SRIH-14 and octreotide on pituitary corticotropes (ACTH cells) and on the adrenal cortex of male Wistar rats were examined. Adult males received two daily s.c. injections of 20 ?g/100 g of body weight of either SRIH-14 or octreotide for 28 consecutive days. ACTH cells were studied using a peroxidaseantiperoxidase immunocytochemical procedure. Morphometry was used to evaluate the changes in cell and nuclear volumes (?m3) and volume densities (%) of ACTHimmunoreactive cells. The adrenal cortex was analyzed by histological and morphometric methods. A significant (p<0.05) decrease in body weight and in the absolute weights of the pituitary and adrenal glands was observed in both treated groups. Morphometric parameters of ACTH cells in both treated groups were not significantly (p>0.05) different than in control rats. The absolute volumes of the adrenal gland and adrenal cortex were significantly (p<0.05) decreased in both treated groups. The absolute and relative volumes of the zona glomerulosa (ZG), as well as the cellular and nuclear volumes of the ZG were significantly (p<0.05) decreased in the both treated groups. In rats treated with SRIH-14 and octreotide, the absolute and relative volumes of the zona fasciculata (ZF) and zona reticularis (ZR), as well as their stereological parameters, did not change significantly (p>0.05). The aldosterone levels in the SRIH-14 and ocreotide-treated groups were significantly (p<0.05) decreased – by 13% and 19%, respectively. The concentration of ACTH and corticosterone did not change significantly. Together, these findings show that SRIH-14 and octreotide administration affected the morphological characteristics of the adrenal ZG in a similar manner, and brought about a decrease in plasma aldosterone concentration. These treatments did not affect pituitary ACTH cells or adrenal ZF and ZR functioning.
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