Early activation of thyrotropin-releasing-hormone and prolactin plays a critical role during a T cell-dependent immune response

C Perez Castro, R Peñalva, M Páez Pereda, U Renner, J M Reul, G K Stalla, F Holsboer, E Arzt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)


Functional interaction between the immune and neuroendocrine systems is mediated by humoral mediators, neurotransmitters, and cytokines, including TRH and PRL. We examined the role of neuroendocrine changes, particularly TRH and PRL, during the T cell-dependent immune response. After immunization of rats with sheep red blood cells (SRBC, a T cell-dependent antigen), an increase of hypothalamic TRH messenger RNA (mRNA) was observed at 4-24 h post immunization, in contrast to the decrease observed after treatment with lipopolysaccharide (LPS). During the above period, with SRBC, there was an increase in pituitary TRH receptor mRNA and plasma PRL levels but no changes in TSH and GH. Also, in contrast to the early corticosterone peak induced by LPS, the activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical suppressive response appears in a late phase, 5-7 days after SRBC. Intracerebroventricular injection of antisense oligonucleotide complementary to rat TRH mRNA in conscious freely-moving rats immunized with SRBC resulted in a significant inhibition of specific antibody production and a concomitant inability to produce the peak in plasma PRL levels. These studies demonstrate, for the first time, that the T cell-dependent immune response is critically dependent on the early activation of TRH and PRL and that the neuroendocrine changes occurring during it are profoundly different from those occurring during the T cell-independent and inflammatory responses (LPS model).

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)690-7
Number of pages8
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1999


  • Animals
  • Antibody Formation
  • Erythrocytes
  • Growth Hormone
  • Hypothalamus
  • Immunization
  • Injections, Intraventricular
  • Male
  • Oligonucleotides
  • Prolactin
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Sheep
  • T-Lymphocytes
  • Thyrotropin-Releasing Hormone


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