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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Increases in plasma ACTH and cortisol after hypertonic saline infusion in patients with central diabetes insipidus.

To clarify the mechanism for the potentiation of CRH- induced ACTH response by the infusion of hypertonic saline, we investigated changes in plasma ACTH concentration after infusion of 5% hypertonic saline in five patients with untreated central diabetes insipidus (DI). Basal levels of plasma ACTH and cortisol in the DI group were not significantly different from those in normal control subjects. The infusion of hypertonic saline produced an increase in plasma arginine vasopressin (AVP) in controls, but did not elevate ACTH. However, in patients with DI, the plasma AVP concentration did not change, but circulating ACTH increased 3.6-fold (7.7 +/- 1.5 to 23.0 +/- 2.7 pmol/liter; P < 0.01), and plasma cortisol also increased significantly (298 +/- 99 to 538 +/- 124 nmol/liter; P < 0.05). Moreover, a positive correlation was observed between plasma ACTH and osmolality (r = 0.72; P < 0.005). These results indicate that ACTH secretion in DI patients is regulated by a mechanism distinct from that in healthy subjects. It seems possible that the increase in plasma osmolality promotes ACTH secretion in DI patients through AVP and/or urocortin via the hypophyseal portal system, independent of the AVP secretion from magnocellular neurons.[1]


  1. Increases in plasma ACTH and cortisol after hypertonic saline infusion in patients with central diabetes insipidus. Itagaki, E., Ozawa, S., Yamaguchi, S., Ushikawa, K., Tashiro, T., Katahira, H., Takizawa, M., Yoshimoto, K., Murakawa, S., Ishida, H. J. Clin. Endocrinol. Metab. (2001) [Pubmed]
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