Horm Metab Res 2009; 41(8): 617-620
DOI: 10.1055/s-0029-1216360
Original Basic

© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Influence of Perinatal Stress on the Hormone Content in Immune Cells of Adult Rats: Dominance of ACTH

G. Csaba 1 , K. Tekes 2 , É. Pállinger 3
  • 1Department of Genetics, Cell and Immunobiology, Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary
  • 2Department of Pharmacodynamics, Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary
  • 3Research Group for Inflammation Biology and Immunogenomics of Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary
Weitere Informationen


received 20.01.2009

accepted 02.03.2009

21. April 2009 (online)


Rat dams were stressed by total deprivation of food and water for 48 h just before or directly after delivery and the offspring were studied when adult. The immune cells’ hormone content (ACTH, histamine, serotonin, and T3) was measured by immunocytochemical flow cytometry. The elevation of ACTH content in males was convincing in each cell type (lymphocytes, monocytes and granulocytes, and mast cells). The change in histamine and T3 content was inconsistent, while serotonin level did not change at all. As ACTH is the key hormone in the General Adaptation Syndrome, it seems likely that the perinatal stress primarily caused elevation in ACTH level and it was provoking the life-long hormonal imprinting. There was a difference between the reaction of males and females (with males’ advance), which points to the gender dependence of the phenomenon. It is important that the effect of stress on the offspring was similar in case of direct (prenatal, in the mother) and indirect (postnatal, transmitted by milk) stress treatment, which calls attention to the danger of stress during this latter period.



Prof. G. Csaba

Department of Genetics, Cell and Immunobiology

Semmelweis University

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