Puberty installation and adrenergic response of seminal vesicle from rats exposed prenatally to hydrocortisone
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Piffer, R. C.
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We investigated the effects of hydrocortisone during the prenatal period and its repercussion on puberty installation and adrenergic response of seminal vesicle in adult rats. The efficacy of the hydrocortisone treatment in reducing adrenal wet weight immediately after delivery in both the treated mothers and respective pups at birth may indicate impairment of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis. This parameter was unchanged in the adult phase of these descendants, suggesting recuperation of this axis. In addition, the treatment with hydrocortisone delayed the age of puberty installation, probably by absence of both physiologic production and liberation of luteinizing hormone and testosterone. Despite the significant reduction in testosterone level as well as of wet weights of both vas deferens and testis in the adult phase, no difference was observed in the sensitivity of the seminal vesicle to the studied sympathetic agonist. However, the observed reduction in contractile response of the seminal vesicle may be a consequence of contractile-system damage in this organ. It is possible that this alteration may cause a reduction in the amount of vesicular secretion so important in the process of ejaculation. In conclusion, these results suggest that administration of hydrocortisone in late prenatal life did not influence the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis in adult life, although it altered the hypothalamus-pituitary-gonadal axis, and reduced testosterone production starting at puberty, as a consequence of an incomplete masculinization of the hypothalamus plus a reduction in the contractile response of the seminal vesicle. (c) 2005 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
development, puberty, hydrocortisone, seminal vesicle, adrenergic response, male rat
Life Sciences. Oxford: Pergamon-Elsevier B.V., v. 77, n. 12, p. 1381-1390, 2005.