We have previously reported that plasma growth hormone (GH) and prolactin levels were markedly decreased in rats two weeks following a single dose (100 μg/kg, SC) of soman. We have now conducted additional experiments to attempt to determine whether neuroendocrine responses to physiological or pharmacological challenge are altered in rat survivors of soman exposure, and whether immune function, which can be affected by circulating hormones, is altered in the soman-exposed rats. In the present study, basal prolactin levels were not significantly lower in the soman-treated rats although prolactin increases in response to physiological or pharmacological challenge were attenuated. Also, basal growth hormone levels in soman survivors were similar to control levels in 2 of 3 experiments in the present report. In the third experiment, growth hormone levels were lower in soman-treated animals. Endocrine abnormalities appeared to be related to the severity of soman insult as assessed by changes in body weight following exposure. Both ACTH and prolactin responses to stress were impaired in a severely affected subpopulation of soman survivors. The thymus, an important immune organ, was decreased in weight in severely affected soman survivors, but other tests of immune function did not show differences between control and soman-exposed rats.
- Growth hormone
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental Neuroscience
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience