The serum concentration of corticosteroid-binding globulin (CBG) is higher in female rats than in males. Combined hypophysectomy and gonadectomy of female rats reduced the serum concentration of CBG as measured by steady-state polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis, whereas hypophysectomy of male rats increased serum CBG. These effects were seen despite replacement therapy with thyroxine and glucocorticoids. Moreover, neither androgen nor oestrogen treatment affected the serum concentrations of CBG in hypophysectomized rats. Continuous infusions of human or bovine GH (1·4 U/kg per day), by means of osmotic minipumps for 1 week, increased serum concentrations of CBG in both hypophysectomized male and female rats. In contrast, intermittent GH replacement therapy by s.c. injections at 12-h intervals either had no effect or suppressed serum CBG levels. In male rats, neonatal (days 1–2) gonadectomy increased CBG levels more than did prepubertal (day 25) gonadectomy, and testosterone replacement therapy reversed these effects.
It is concluded that GH increases the serum CBG levels of hypophysectomized rats when it is given in a continuous manner, but not when given intermittently. The sex difference in serum CBG levels of normal rats may, therefore, be attributed to the more continuous secretory pattern of GH previously observed in female rats.