Differential effects of aging on neuroendocrine responses to physostigmine in normal men

Murray A. Raskind, Elaine R. Peskind, Richard C. Veith, Charles W. Wilkinson, David Federighi, Daniel M. Dorsa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

36 Scopus citations

Abstract

We assessed the effects of age on cholinergic regulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and other neuroendocrine systems by measuring the plasma cortisol and β-endorphin responses to an infusion of the centrally active cholinesterase inhibitor physostigmine (0.0125 mg/kg) in 12 healthy older men (68 ± 1.7 yr) and 9 healthy young men (25 ± 1.4 yr). We also measured the responses to physostigmine of plasma GH, arginine vasopressin, epinephrine, and norepinephrine (NE). As estimated by comparing calculated areas under the curve, older subjects had greater cortisol (P = 0.02) and β-endorphin (P < 0.01) secretory responses, but a reduced GH (P < 0.01) secretory response. The arginine vasopressin response did not differ between groups. By analysis of variance, older subjects also had a greater epinephrine response (P = 0.01). Older subjects had higher basal NE concentrations (P < 0.05), but NE responses to physostigmine did not differ between groups. These findings suggest age-related enhancement of the cholinergic stimulatory regulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis and adrenal medulla. They also confirm previous reports of reduced GH secretory response with aging in normal men.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1420-1425
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Volume70
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 1990

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical

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