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Biol Psychiatry. 1991 Jun 1;29(11):1099-109.

Disturbed glucocorticoid receptor autoregulation and corticotropin response to dexamethasone in depressives pretreated with metyrapone.

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1
Department of Psychiatry, University of Würzburg, Germany.

Abstract

We studied glucocorticoid receptor autoregulation and corticotropin response to dexamethasone in depressed patients and controls, attempting to control for the confounding effect of endogenous glucocorticoids. After depletion of endogenous cortisol, depressed patients showed an attenuated suppressibility of corticotropin by dexamethasone in the face of unchanged dexamethasone plasma levels. Beta-endorphin levels were strongly correlated with adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) concentrations. Although metyrapone administration resulted in a marked rise of glucocorticoid receptor sites per cell in controls, this effect was not present in depressives. These data support the hypothesis of a decreased glucocorticoid receptor plasticity and a partial steroid resistance in depression.

PMID:
1651773
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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