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J Affect Disord. 1988 May-Jun;14(3):213-22.

The oCRH stimulation test before and after clinical recovery from depression.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia 19104.

Abstract

A substantial body of data suggests that excessive cortisol secretion in depression may result from a dysregulation at several sites within the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical (HPA) axis. These alterations in regulatory mechanisms are thought to be the result of a hypothalamic 'overdrive' of corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH). Previous studies have demonstrated a diminished adrenocorticotropin (ACTH) secretory response, as well as a heightened adrenocortical responsiveness after ovine-CRH administration in depressed patients. In the present investigation, we examined pituitary and adrenocortical responsiveness after an ovine-CRH stimulation test before and during clinical recovery in seven depressed patients. Cumulative ACTH responses increased significantly during clinical recovery (P = 0.014). Paradoxically, maximum and peak cortisol responses increased after recovery, suggesting that heightened adrenocortical responsiveness to ACTH during depression may take longer to 'normalize' than abnormal pituitary responsiveness to ovine-CRH stimulation.

PMID:
2838538
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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