British Journal of Nutrition

Papers on General Nutrition

Redistribution of vitamin A in tissues of rats with imposed chronic confinement stress

Kiwao Nakanoa1 and Akihito Moritaa1

a1 Department of Nutritional Regulation, The Research Institute for Biochemical Regulation, Nagoya University, Chikusa, Nagoya 464, Japan


1. The effect of confinement stress on the metabolism of vitamin A was studied in ratsby following changes in tissue distribution of the vitamin for 29 d. In order to minimizepredicted errors which might result from fluctuation of vitamin A intake, the effect of the stress was investigated in rats fed on a vitamin A-free diet.

2. Daily stress for 6 h induced an enlargement of the adrenals with a concomitant involution of the thymus and spleen, values returning to normal within 11–15 d.

3. The stress caused an immediate decrease in the content of vitamin A in serum.

4. Feeding rats a vitamin A-free diet resulted in a significant increase in the vitamin Acontent of the kidney. Imposing stress on these rats inhibited markedly the increase in kidney vitamin A content.

5. The stress produced no appreciable change in levels of the vitamin in the liver andtestes.

6. There was a preferential accumulation of the vitamin in the adrenals of the stress-imposed rats even though they were fed on a vitamin A-free diet.

7. In conclusion, the results of the present study demonstrated that chronic immobilization stress produced marked tissue-dependent changes in their vitamin A content.

(Received April 14 1981)

(Accepted January 22 1982)