THE PHYSIOLOGIC AL to stress includes an in- creased activity of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis as well as changes in gastrointestinal function. Adrenocortical activity and stomach lesions are used frequently as physiological markers of exposure to a stressor The relationship bletween the adrenals and the stomach was accentuated when Selye (24a) identified adrenal hypertrophy and stomach ulceration as two of the nonspecific s to stress in his formulation of the general adaptation syndrome. According to Selyeâs formulation, an increase in adrenocortical activity should be related to an increase in the incidence of stomach ulceration. This notion has been reinforced by numerous clinical reports noting that adrenocorticosteroid therapy has frequently been associated with the appearance or reactivation of peptic ulcers (5). The animal experimental literature is equally interesting. The administration of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) or corticosteroid is associated with an increase in gastric acid secretion, as well as an increase in gastric ulcer incidence (13). The opposite experimental approach, i.e., adrenalectomy, which eliminates the glucocorticoid negative-feedback regulation of the HPA axis, produces the well-known effects of increases in ACTH and corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) synthesis and secretion (6, 22). Because CRF has been suggested to have a protective effect on
AJP - Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology – The American Physiological Society
Published: Feb 1, 1994
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