Although recent evidence suggests that the gas nitric oxide (NO) can modulate the secretion of corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) from acute rat hypothalamic explants, another gas, carbon monoxide (CO), has been suggested to play a role in neural signaling in the brain; CO may complement the activity of NO in long term potentiation. In this study, we have investigated whether CO shares with NO the ability to modify the release of CRH from the rat hypothalamus. Hemin, a specific CO precursor through the enzyme heme oxygenase (the enzymatic pathway synthesizing endogenous CO), was found to inhibit in a dose-dependent manner KCl-stimulated CRH release, with a maximal effect at 1 microM, while showing no effect on basal CRH secretion. The stimulation of CRH by interleukin-1 beta (100 ng/ml) was also significantly antagonized by hemin (1 microM). An inhibitor of heme oxygenase, zinc-protoporphyrin-9, had no effect on basal or stimulated CRH release up to a maximal dose of 10 microM. When hemin and zinc-protoporphyrin-9 were given together, the hemin-induced inhibition of CRH release was completely antagonized by the enzyme inhibitor. These findings provide evidence that endogenous CO may play a role in the control of CRH release; by analogy with NO, CO may represent a major new neuroendocrine modulator. Â© 1994 by The Endocrine Society.
- Carbon Monoxide
- Corticotropin-Releasing Hormone
- Heme Oxygenase (Decyclizing)
- Neurosecretory Systems
- Rats, Wistar