Previously we have shown that an increase in endogenous monoamine oxidase A inhibitory activity (MAO-AI), measured in human saliva, both precedes and predicts psychological stress-induced activation of the hypothalamic pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis, as determined by the cortisol response. We now report the relationship between endogenous MAO-AI and the cortisol response in the plasma of prepubertal pigs (n=5 or 6) under two experimental paradigms of HPA activation. In the first condition, pigs were physically restrained (snaring) for 15 minutes. Blood samples were taken from indwelling catheters at intervals before and after snaring (a sampling period of about 1 hour), and at the same time intervals on a separate day to provide baseline measures. Both cortisol concentration and percentage MAO-AI were determined in each plasma sample. There was a pronounced cortisol response on the snaring day (cortisol peaked 30 minutes after the start of the snaring). There was also a significant MAO-AI response to snaring which peaked 15 minutes after the start of the stress challenge. In the second experimental paradigm, bacterial endotoxin (LPS: 20μg/pig) was used to induce HPA activation and plasma cortisol and MAO-AI were determined. This time, however, the cortisol response was not preceded by any change in MAO-AI. We conclude that generation of MAO-AI, which is associated with HPA activation induced by psychological stress, is not a component of the pathways involved in immunological stimulation of the HPA axis.
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