Beta-adrenergic mechanism of insulin-induced adrenocorticotropin release from the anterior pituitary

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Science  30 Nov 1984:
Vol. 226, Issue 4678, pp. 1085-1087
DOI: 10.1126/science.6093262


Intraperitoneal administration of insulin to control rats and to rats with pituitary stalk transections or with lesions of the median eminence resulted in increased plasma adrenocorticotropin (ACTH) levels. The insulin-induced stimulation of ACTH release was blocked in both the control and lesioned animals by prior treatment with either the beta-adrenergic antagonist propranolol or the glucocorticoid analog dexamethasone. The direct application of insulin to primary cultures of the anterior pituitary did not evoke ACTH release or affect the maximal ability of corticotropin-releasing factor or epinephrine to stimulate ACTH secretion. The results suggest that insulin stimulates ACTH release by a mechanism in which catecholamines of peripheral origin act directly on the anterior pituitary.

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