Important User Information: Remote access to EBSCO's databases is permitted to patrons of subscribing institutions accessing from remote locations for personal, non-commercial use. However, remote access to EBSCO's databases from non-subscribing institutions is not allowed if the purpose of the use is for commercial gain through cost reduction or avoidance for a non-subscribing institution. Source: Revista Veterinaria. Author s : Sierra, C. Abstract: Aim of this review was to gather relevant information about the activation of the hypothalamus-pituitaryadrenal axis during stress periods in cattle, and its impact on production through different measures available in the literature.
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Stress and the HPA Axis
Stress has long been suggested to be an important correlate of uncontrolled drinking and relapse. An important hormonal response system to stress—the hypothalamic—pituitary—adrenal HPA axis—may be involved in this process, particularly stress hormones known as glucocorticoids and primarily cortisol. The actions of this hormone system normally are tightly regulated to ensure that the body can respond quickly to stressful events and return to a normal state just as rapidly. The main determinants of HPA axis activity are genetic background, early-life environment, and current life stress.
The hypothalamic—pituitary—adrenal axis HPA axis or HTPA axis is a complex set of direct influences and feedback interactions among three components: the hypothalamus , the pituitary gland a pea-shaped structure located below the thalamus , and the adrenal also called "suprarenal" glands small, conical organs on top of the kidneys. These organs and their interactions constitute the HPA axis, a major neuroendocrine system  that controls reactions to stress and regulates many body processes, including digestion , the immune system , mood and emotions, sexuality, and energy storage and expenditure. It is the common mechanism for interactions among glands, hormones, and parts of the midbrain that mediate the general adaptation syndrome GAS. The HPA axis, hypothalamic—pituitary—gonadal axis HPG , hypothalamic—pituitary—thyroid axis HPT , and the hypothalamic—neurohypophyseal system are the four major neuroendocrine systems through which the hypothalamus and pituitary direct neuroendocrine function. CRH and vasopressin are released from neurosecretory nerve terminals at the median eminence. CRH is transported to the anterior pituitary through the portal blood vessel system of the hypophyseal stalk and vasopressin is transported by axonal transport to the posterior pituitary gland. ACTH is transported by the blood to the adrenal cortex of the adrenal gland , where it rapidly stimulates biosynthesis of corticosteroids such as cortisol from cholesterol.