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Consistent Reduction of ACTH responses to stimulation with CRH, Vasopressin and Hypoglycaemia in Patients with Major Depression

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  02 January 2018

Roger G. Kathol*
Affiliation:
College of Medicine, The University of Iowa
Richard S. Jaeckle
Affiliation:
Ohio State University
Juan F. Lopez
Affiliation:
Department of Psychiatry, University of Michigan
William H. Meller
Affiliation:
Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, University of Minnesota
*
Iowa City, Iowa 52242, USA

Abstract

Eleven patients with major depression and 12 control subjects were administered corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), aqueous arginine vasopressin (AVP), and insulin hypoglycaemia (IH) to test for differences in hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis function. Patients with major depression demonstrated lower ACTH responses to CRH when compared with controls, and a trend toward such after administration of AVP. Despite lower ACTH responses in patients with depression, there were no differences in Cortisol responses to these stimuli. In the CRH and AVP tests, there was no correlation between the basal Cortisol and ACTH responses in either controls or patients, but in the IH test there was a negative correlation between these responses for both groups. The ACTH responses to CRH and AVP were positively correlated in controls and patients. Cortisol responses to all three provocative stimuli were positively correlated in both subject groups. These findings are consistent with the hypothesis that hypothalamic or supra-hypothalamic overactivity may be involved in the development of HPA-axis abnormalities in patients with depression.

Type
Papers
Copyright
Copyright © Royal College of Psychiatrists 1989 

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Consistent Reduction of ACTH responses to stimulation with CRH, Vasopressin and Hypoglycaemia in Patients with Major Depression
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