In a rat model of panic, corticotropin responses to dorsal periaqueductal gray stimulation depend on physical exertion

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Armini, Rubia de Souza
Bernabe, Cristian Setubal
Rosa, Caroline Azevedo
Siller, Carlos Antonio
Schimitel, Fagna Giacomin
Tufik, Sergio [UNIFESP]
Klein, Donald Franklin
Schenberg, Luiz Carlos
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Panic disorder patients are exquisitely and specifically sensitive to hypercapnia. the demonstration that carbon dioxide provokes panic in fear-unresponsive amygdala-calcified Urbach-Wiethe patients emphasizes that panic is not fear nor does it require the activation of the amygdala. This is consonant with increasing evidence suggesting that panic is mediated caudally at nnidbrain's dorsal periaqueductal gray matter (DPAG). Another startling feature of the apparently spontaneous clinical panic is the counterintuitive lack of increments in corticotropin, cortisol and prolactin, generally considered 'stress hormones'. Here we show that the stress hormones are not changed during DPAG-evoked panic when escape is prevented by stimulating the rat in a small compartment. Neither did the corticotropin increase when physical exertion was statistically adjusted to the same degree as non-stimulated controls, as measured by lactate plasma levels. Conversely, neuroendocrine responses to foot-shocks were independent from muscular effort. Data are consonant with DPAG mediation of panic attacks. (C) 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
Psychoneuroendocrinology. Oxford: Pergamon-Elsevier B.V., v. 53, p. 136-147, 2015.