The effects of septic shock plasma on adrenocortical cell function have been studied using primary cultures of rat adrenocortical cells. Whereas control plasma had no adverse effect on the stimulation of corticosterone production by corticotropin (ACTH), shock plasma caused a 40%, noncompetitive inhibition of ACTH-induced steroidogenesis. The inhibitory effect was maximal at 24 h and appeared to be due to the action of shock plasma on the cells rather than the hormone. E. coli endotoxins did not have any effect on the responsiveness of the cells. These results suggest that septic shock plasma contains factor(s) which attenuate the responsiveness of adrenocortical cells to ACTH, thereby affecting the ability of the shocked animal to cope with sepsis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas