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J Dev Physiol. 1988 Feb;10(1):77-83.

Tissue glycogen concentrations in hypophysectomized pig fetuses following infusion with cortisol.

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Agriculture Canada, Animal Diseases Research Institute, Nepean, Ontario.


The role of cortisol as a factor controlling the deposition of glycogen in the pig fetus was examined by infusing either a low dose (1 mg/day) or a high dose (3 mg/day) of cortisol into chronically-catheterized hypophysectomized fetal pigs for five days beginning on day 100-104 of gestation. After infusion, liver glycogen was significantly higher (P less than 0.05) and lung glycogen significantly lower (P less than 0.05) than in uninfused hypophysectomized litter mates although concentrations were significantly different from intact litter mates (P less than 0.05). Although skeletal and cardiac muscle content increased after infusion this difference was not significant. Changes in tissue glycogen content were similar for both the low and high rates of infusion. These observations indicate that exogenous cortisol alone is able to stimulate liver glycogen deposition and reverse the effect of hypophysectomy. Although other factors may be necessary for maximal response this suggests that cortisol is an important stimulant for liver glycogen deposition in the fetal pig. The effect of cortisol on muscle glycogen was equivocal suggesting that other hormones may play a more important role in this tissue.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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