ACTH and vasopressin responses to insulin-induced hypoglycemia in intact and neurohypophysectomized conscious dogs.

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Journal of Neuroendocrinology

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Factors from the neurohypophysis are important in the control of anterior pituitary function. This study evaluated the hypothesis that the neurohypophysis is an integral component of the adrenocorticotropin (ACTH) response to certain stimuli. Furthermore, we investigated the possibility that the importance of the neurohypophysis during corticotropic stimuli can be classified by the magnitude of the systemic vasopressin response induced. The ACTH response to insulin-induced hypoglycemia (INS), nitroprusside hypotension (NP), or ovine corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) infusion (20 ng/kg/min) was measured in dogs before (intact) and > 2 weeks after selective transbuccal neurohypophysectomy (NHX). INS (0.2 U/kg) resulted in a significant decrease in plasma glucose from 93 ± 1 to 33 ± 2 mg/dl at 30 min and a significant increase in plasma ACTH from 53 ± 10 to 306 ± 33 pg/ml in intact dogs whereas the vasopressin (AVP) response was small (2.8 ± 0.3 to 5.5 ± 0.7 pg/ml). NHX had no effect on the blood glucose or ACTH response to INS. NP resulted in large increases in ACTH from 54 ± 8 to 351 ± 89 pg/ml and in AVP from 2.7 ± 0.2 to 272 ± 98 pg/ml. In contrast to INS, NHX significantly attenuated the ACTH and AVP responses to NP. The ACTH response to CRF was not attenuated by NHX, indicating normal pituitary corticotropic function. In summary, NHX attenuated the ACTH response to hypotension (large peripheral AVP response) but not to INS or CRF (small peripheral AVP response). We propose that the importance of the neurohypophysis in the control of ACTH release is directly related to the magnitude of the neurohypophyseal AVP response to the stimulus applied rather than to basal neurohypophyseal AVP release.


Journal of Neuroendocrinology, Vol. 53, No. 1 (1991): 85-90. DOI.

Paula Papanek was affiliated with Medical College of Wisconsin at the time of publication.