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J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 1991;40(1-3):133-42.

Regulation of basal ACTH secretion by corticosterone is mediated by both type I (MR) and type II (GR) receptors in rat brain.

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University of California, San Francisco 94143-0444.


The mechanisms involved in the physiology of the secretion of ACTH are reviewed. The secretion is regulated by the biological consequences of the occupancy of high affinity mineralocorticoid (MR) and lower affinity glucocorticoid receptors (GR) for corticosterone at specific sites of the rat brain. The regulation by this mechanism of basal secretion during the circadian rhythm, the effect of adrenalectomy and of corticosterone replacement is discussed. Experiments with RU486, a specific glucocorticoid antagonist, suggest that occupancy of both MR and GR is required for normal control of ACTH at the time of peak activity. The occupancy of the GR for a few hours per day apparently suffices to maintain steady levels of the products of GR-responsive genes throughout the body.

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