Effects of neuromedin U (NMU)-8 on the rat hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis. Evidence of a direct effect of NMU-8 on the adrenal gland

Neuropeptides. 1994 Jan;26(1):47-53. doi: 10.1016/0143-4179(94)90092-2.


A 6-day subcutaneous (s.c.) treatment of adult rats with NMU-8 (1.5 or 6 micrograms/100 g/day) increased the average volume of zona fasciculata cells and decreased the number of zona reticularis cells in the adrenal cortex. The lower dose of NMU-8 did not change blood ACTH concentration and adrenal weight, but it notably enhanced serum corticosterone level and basal corticosterone output by adrenal slices. ACTH blood level increased after ether stress in both control and NMU-8-treated rats, but stress-evoked rise in serum corticosterone was observed only in control rats. The higher dose of NMU-8 increased the level of circulating ACTH; however, it decreased adrenal weight and had no effect on serum corticosterone concentration and basal corticosterone output by adrenal slices. NMU-8 (10(-10)/10(-6) M) did not affect basal and ACTH-stimulated corticosterone yield by isolated adrenocortical cells, nor did it change their cytosolic Ca2+ concentration. NMU-8 (10(-8) M) markedly raised basal corticosterone secretion by adrenal slices (including cortex and medulla); higher concentrations of NMU-8 (10(-7)/10(-6) M) were ineffective on basal corticosterone secretion, but strongly inhibited the response to ACTH stimulation. On the ground of these findings it seems reasonable to suggest that NMU-8 exerts a biphasic effect on the function of the peripheral branch of the hypothalamo-pituitary-adrenal axis in rats: NMU-8 at low doses directly stimulates the function and growth of the adrenal cortex, while at high doses exerts a direct inhibitory action.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adrenal Glands / drug effects
  • Adrenal Glands / metabolism
  • Adrenal Glands / pathology
  • Adrenocorticotropic Hormone / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Calcium / analysis
  • Corticosterone / metabolism
  • Female
  • Hypothalamo-Hypophyseal System / drug effects*
  • Neuropeptides / pharmacology*
  • Organ Size / drug effects
  • Pituitary-Adrenal System / drug effects*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Zona Fasciculata / drug effects


  • Neuropeptides
  • Adrenocorticotropic Hormone
  • neuromedin U 8
  • Calcium
  • Corticosterone