Decreased in vitro sensitivity to dexamethasone in corticotropes from middle-age rats

S. Revskoy, E. Redei

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


A disregulation of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis due to a decline of negative feedback regulation is a consistent feature of the aging process. Hippocampus has been proposed to be a primary site responsible for this alteration in the HPA axis in aging in rat. In this study an alternative hypothesis that the decreased sensitivity of the HPA axis to glucocorticoids in aging occurs directly in pituitary corticotropes has been tested. The sensitivity of corticotropes isolated from 2- and 13-month old male Sprague-Dawley rats to dexamethasone (DEX) in vitro was examined using a modification of the combined DEX/CRH challenge test that was originally designed for investigation of relative glucocorticoid resistance in vivo. No significant difference in basal ACTH production by corticotropes from the two age groups was detected. Corticotropes from middle-aged rats showed a diminished response of ACTH to CRH stimulation. DEX treatment did not cause a significant inhibition of either basal or CRH-stimulated ACTH release in corticotropes from middle-aged rats. These findings demonstrate an age-related decrease in the sensitivity of corticotropes to glucocorticoids in vitro suggesting that there is a direct, pituitary-mediated dysregulation of the HPA axis in rat starting as early as middle age.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)237-242
Number of pages6
JournalExperimental Gerontology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2000


  • ACTH
  • Aging
  • Anterior pituitary
  • CRH
  • Dexamethasone
  • In vitro
  • Sprague-Dawley rats

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Aging
  • Molecular Biology
  • Genetics
  • Endocrinology
  • Cell Biology


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