To investigate the effect of endogenous arginine vasopressin (AVP) on ACTH secretion, normal subjects were given infusions of either hypertonic saline (HS) or isotonic saline (NS) combined with human corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) or placebo. Basal plasma AVP was 2.3 ± 0.3 (±se) pg/ ml, did not change with NS treatment, and rose to 5.4 ± 0.6 pg/ ml during HS infusion (P < 0.01). Both basal and CRH-stimulated plasma ACTH and cortisol concentrations increased during HS infusion. Peak plasma ACTH and cortisol levels were 11.4 ± 1.5 pg/ml and 8.6 ± 0.8 Mg/dl, respectively, during the HS (plus placebo) infusion. During the NS (plus placebo) infusion, plasma ACTH and cortisol gradually declined to 6.8 ± 0.5 pg/ml and 2.6 ± 0.4 μg/dl. The timing of the rise in ACTH during the HS infusion paralleled the rise in AVP. When an iv dose of 1 μg/kg CRH was administered during the saline infusions, peak plasma ACTH and cortisol levels were 27.7 ± 6.3 pg/ml and 17.5 ± 1.0 μg/dl, respectively, during the HS infusion and 15.6 ± 1.7 pg/ml and 13.4 ± 1.2 μg/dl during the NS infusion. When the areas under the hormone response curves were compared, CRH stimulated ACTH and cortisol secretion to a greater extent than did HS (P < 0.05). The hormonal stimulation due to combined CRH and hypertonic saline was greater than that attributable to either factor alone (P < 0.025), but was not different than the sum of the effects of the individual factors. These results indicate that increases in endogenous AVP produced by HS are associated with increases in both basal and CRH-stimulated ACTH and cortisol release. The effect of HS appears to be additive to but not consistently synergistic with the effect of CRH.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Biochemistry, medical