The biological effects and pharmacokinetic properties of the recently sequenced rat/human corticotropinreleasing factor (r/hCRF) were evaluated in the rhesus monkey and compared to those of the previously studied ovine corticotropin-releasing factor (oCRF). An iv bolus of 0, 0.1, 1, 10, and 100 μg/kg r/hCRF and 1 μg/kg oCRF were given to rhesus monkeys (four to five tests per dose). Serial blood samples were drawn before and up to 180 min after the injection for determination of plasma immunoreactive (IR) ACTH, cortisol, and IRr/hCRF or IR-oCRF concentrations. Mean arterial blood pressure and heart rate were monitored. r/hCRF stimulated ACTH and cortisol secretion in a dose-dependent fashion. Its potency was similar to that of oCRF. r/hCRF, however, had a shorter half-life and a 3-fold higher MCR than oCRF. A dose-dependent decrease in the MCR of r/hCRF was observed, which may indicate a saturation of the clearance mechanisms. Significant decreases in mean arterial blood pressure, increases in heart rate, and a profound facial flush occurred at the dose of 100 μg/kg r/hCRF. We conclude that r/hCRF stimulates ACTH and cortisol secretion in a nonhuman primate with a potency similar to that of oCRF. The peptide has marked hypotensive effects at high doses and is cleared 3 times more rapidly than oCRF.
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