The movement of progesterone (cortisol), P (F) and 17-hydroxyprogesterone (17-OHP) across the blood-cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) barrier was determined using six adult male rhesus monkeys with indwelling canulae in the lateral ventricles of their brains. Tritiated steroids were given iv as a bolus followed by a constant 6 h infusion with continuous collection of CSF and periodic sampling of blood before and during the infusion. The amounts of authentic steroid in the plasma and CSF were determined by recrystallization to constant isotopic ratio and the amount of free plasma steroid was determined by equilibrium dialysis against Ringer’s solution. Tritiated progesterone was undetectable in the pooled samples of CSF. The average concentration of tritiated 17-OHP in the CSF was 10.3% of the concurrent plasma level while the concentration of tritiated F was 22.5% of the concurrent plasma level. Plasma free steroid was found to be 2.2% for P, 6.3% for 17-OHP and 22.3% for F, showing a rough correlation between steroid entry into the CSF and free steroid concentration in plasma.
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