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J Endocrinol. 1984 Nov;103(2):219-26.

Evidence for episodic but not circadian activity in plasma concentrations of adrenocorticotrophin, cortisol and thyroxine in dogs.


Concentrations of immunoreactive (i) ACTH, cortisol and thyroxine were determined in plasma samples obtained at 20-min intervals for 25 h in nine normal and two adrenalectomized dogs. The dogs were exposed to a 12 h light: 12 h darkness photoperiod for 30 days before the sampling period. Episodic secretion of iACTH and cortisol was evident in each normal dog, with an average of 9.0 iACTH peaks and 10.1 cortisol peaks in a 24-h period. Levels of iACTH and cortisol were significantly correlated in each normal dog, but periods of dissociation between levels of the two hormones were apparent. A sex difference in 24-h mean iACTH and cortisol levels, numbers of cortisol peaks, and amplitude of iACTH peaks was observed, with females showing higher mean levels and greater peak frequency and amplitude in each instance. Adrenalectomy resulted in a 50- to 150-fold increase in mean iACTH concentrations with an apparent increase in iACTH peak amplitude. Cortisol levels were unchanging in the adrenalectomized dogs. Thyroxine concentrations showed episodic variation in each of the normal dogs, but the mean number of peaks (3.3/24-h period) was considerably less than for iACTH or cortisol. Female dogs a had significantly higher 24-h mean levels of thyroxine than did males. No circadian rhythmicity was obvious for the plasma levels of any of the three hormones measured.

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