Stress affects survival of adrenal gland stem cells through leptin in Sprague Dawley rats

author: Marta Balog, Faculty of Medicine, Josip Juraj Strossmayer University of Osijek
published: Oct. 1, 2015,   recorded: May 2015,   views: 1415


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Stress is an everyday challenge in the modern world. It is strongly engaging the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis. Acute stress promotes ˝fight-or-flight˝ response while chronic stress leads to a variety of diseases. Leptin is an important hormone affecting adrenal gland, the chief organ of the stress response. In this study we hypothesize that leptin plays an important role in adrenal gland stem cells survival through its receptor. 22 male, 24 female (NON-OVX) and 24 ovariectomized female (OVX) of 4-months-old Sprague Dawley rats were used in the study. Animals were further divided in control, acute and chronic stress groups. Adrenal glands of 7-months-old rats were immunostained with leptin receptor (Ob-R) primary antibody and secondary FITC-conjugated fluorescent antibody. Images were photographed by Leica TCSSP8 confocal microscope and analyzed by ImageJ software. We noticed immunostaining in the stem cells layer of adrenal gland. NON-OVX control group had statistically higher immunostaining intensity than OVX control group (F = 6.2; p < 0.05). Males had statistically higher fluorescence intensity than NON-OVX upon acute stress (F = 6.56; p < 0.05). Chronic stress did not produce statistical significances among groups, but immunostaining intensity was stronger in all groups than upon acute stress. Important statistical significance in immunostaining intensity occured inside animal groups – males (χ2(2) = 12.31; p = 0.002), NON-OVX (χ2(2) = 12.11; p = 0.002) and OVX (χ2(2) = 15.15; p = 0.0005). Leptin might be involved in homeostasis in females and in general stress regulation. Since leptin regulates glucose uptake and inhibits stress-induced apoptosis this finding might indicate its important role in stem cells survival and long-term affect on stress response by adrenal gland.

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