Exposure to acute inescapable shock resulted in a decline of hypothalamic norepinephrine (NE), and an increase of plasma corticosterone concentrations. With repeated application of the stressor over 15 successive days the reduction of NE was eliminated and concentrations of the amine actually exceeded those of control animals. In contrast to the NE variations, plasma corticosterone concentrations were elevated irrespective of whether mice received a single or repeated sessions of inescapable footshock. Moreover, unlike NE concentrations, handling mice on successive days in the absence of the shock treatment was sufficient to provoke a modest, but reliable increase of corticosterone concentrations. It is suggested that the hypothalamic NE and plasma corticosterone changes may be reflective of different attributes of the stressor or are subserved by different mechanisms. It is suggested that variations in both these systems represent adaptive changes to meet environmental demands.

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Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior
Department of Psychology

Irwin, J. (Jill), Ahluwalia, P. (Pardeep), Zacharko, R.M. (Robert M.), & Anisman, H. (1986). Central norepinephrine and plasma corticosterone following acute and chronic stressors: Influence of social isolation and handling. Pharmacology, Biochemistry and Behavior, 24(4), 1151–1154. doi:10.1016/0091-3057(86)90471-5