We previously confirmed that postprandial alterations in the circulation and metabolism after a single oral dose of flavan 3-ols (mixture of catechin and catechin oligomers) were involved in an increase in sympathetic nervous activity. However, it is well known that, in response to various stresses, activation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis occurs together with sympathetic nerve activity, which is associated with activation of the sympathetic-adrenal-medullary (SAM) axis. In this study, we examined whether the HPA axis was activated after a single dose of flavan 3-ols. We administered an oral dose of 10 or 50 mg/kg flavan 3-ols to male ICR mice, removed the brains, and fixed them in paraformaldehyde-phosphate buffer. Other animals that were treated similarly were decapitated, and blood was collected. In the paraventricular nucleus (PVN), c-fos mRNA expression increased significantly at 15 min after administration of either 10 or 50 mg/kg flavan 3-ols. Corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) mRNA expression levels significantly increased at 240 min after administration of 10 mg/kg flavan 3-ols, and at 60 min after administration of 50 mg/kg flavan 3-ols. Plasma corticosterone levels were also significantly increased at 240 min after ingestion of 50 mg/kg flavan 3-ols. In this experiment, we confirmed that the ingestion of flavan 3-ols acted as a stressor in mammals with activation both the SAM and HPA axes.
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