Evaluation of pituitary function after caecal ligation and puncture (CLP). Pituitary tissue samples were removed from four to five mice, snap-frozen, homogenised in Trizol and total RNA was extracted. Assessment of mRNA expression of (a) proopiomelanocortin (POMC) and (b) growth hormone (GH) 24 hours after CLP or sham operation by real-time PCR. Whole blood samples were drawn at given time-points by puncture of the inferior vena cava, plasma was obtained by centrifugation and subjected to ELISA analysis. Samples were assessed for (c) GH or (d) corticosterone under identical conditions. For all graphs, there were five to seven samples per experimental condition. GAPDH = glyceraldehyde 3-phosphate dehydrogenase. # p < 0.05 between sham and 24 hours CLP animals; * p < 0.05 between IgG-treated and anti-C5a-treated rats.