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Selective Retention of Corticosterone by Limbic Structures in Rat Brain


CORTICOSTERONE is one of the principal steroids secreted by the rat adrenal gland1–3 and it is well established that various noxious psychological and physiological stimuli promote the release of this substance into the blood. Because we are interested in the action of such corti-costeroids on biochemical processes in the brain, we attempted to determine the degree to which circulating, radioactive corticosterone enters and remains in the brain. Furthermore, because the limbic system of the brain is implicated in the control of the secretion of ACTH4–6 and in the affective behavioural responses7–9, we were particularly interested to see whether structures in the limbic system retain corticosterone in a higher concentration than other areas of the brain. Published work on the uptake of the oestradiol by the brain10–13 indicates that the hypothalamus retains that hormone.

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MCEWEN, B., WEISS, J. & SCHWARTZ, L. Selective Retention of Corticosterone by Limbic Structures in Rat Brain. Nature 220, 911–912 (1968).

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