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BOZZO, Andrea et al. Chronic stress effects on the apoptotic index of the adrenal cortex of pregnant rats. Biocell [online]. 2006, vol.30, n.3, pp.439-445. ISSN 0327-9545.

Chronic stress by immobilization during gestation can alter several mechanisms that maintain homeostasis in adrenal gland. The aim of this work was to quantify the apoptotic index of adrenal cortex during mid-pregnancy and to prove cytological characteristics by electron microscopy. The apoptotic index did not present significant differences between the adrenal cortex areas of control and experimental rats in any of the three ages studied. The day of gestation influenced significantly on the apoptotic index in both groups. This index increased as gestation progressed. It may be concluded that chronic stress by immobilization might induce the increase of apoptotic index in adrenal cortex as gestation progresses which might be related variations of plasmatic corticosterone and prolactin, and to the decrease of specific growth factors. On the other hand, it might be concluded that each zone of adrenal cortex behaves independently in regards to apoptosis and cellular proliferation via paracrine and/or autocrine regulatory mechanisms without being affected by other zones.

Keywords : Chronic stress; Apoptosis; Adrenal cortex; Pregnancy.

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