THE PITUITARY-ADRENAL SYSTEM OF THE GENETICALLY OBESE (ob/ob) MOUSE

in Journal of Endocrinology
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SUMMARY

Adult genetically obese (ob/ob) mice which are characterized by adrenal hypertrophy and increased secretion of corticosteroids have considerably increased levels of ACTH in the pituitary gland. At 5 weeks of age there is no difference in the pituitary ACTH content of lean and obese animals and dietary restriction, sufficient to maintain body weight at normal values, reduces the pituitary ACTH content of adult obese mice from 14 times the level found in lean litter-mate controls to almost normal values. Using an in-vitro perifusion system, the release of ACTH from isolated pituitary glands was studied. Pituitaries from lean and obese mice responded similarly to stimulation with a crude extract of hypothalamic tissue containing corticotrophin releasing factor (CRF). The CRF content of the hypothalamus in both groups appears to be similar. In contrast with the high pituitary content, plasma values for ACTH in unstressed obese mice are not increased. The results are discussed in relation to other evidence for a hypothalamic disorder in ob/ob mice.

 

      Society for Endocrinology

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