Metabolism of cortisol in anorexia nervosa

Acta Endocrinol (Copenh). 1990 Jun;122(6):753-8. doi: 10.1530/acta.0.1220753.

Abstract

In patients with anorexia nervosa 24-h mean plasma concentration of cortisol were 0.44 +/- 0.09 mumol/l (normal less than 0.28 mumol/l). Following stimulation by ACTH (1-24) urinary excretion rates of cortisol were stimulated from 0.22 +/- 0.08 to 4.85 +/- 2.78 mumol/24 h. Similarly, plasma concentrations of the glucocorticoid metabolite, tetrahydrocortisone, increased from 23.3 +/- 9.0 to 47.3 +/- 30.2 nmol/l; urinary excretion rates of tetrahydrocortisone increased from 3.61 +/- 0.90 to 8.40 +/- 1.72 mumol/24 h. The relative share of the sulphate, glucuronide and free fractions of tetrahydrocortisone in the patients' urine did not indicate any defect in metabolization of this steroid metabolite. Excretion rates of the four glucocorticoid tetrahydro-metabolites, tetrahydrocortisone, allotetrahydrocortisone, tetrahydrocortisol, and allo-tetrahydrocortisol, expressed as percent of total steroid excretion, were similar in patients with anorexia and in healthy women under basal conditions (24 +/- 6 vs 23 +/- 6%) and during stimulation by ACTH (1-24) (36 +/- 10 vs 45 +/- 6%). The share of the two androgen metabolites, androsterone and etiocholanolone, was 24 +/- 5% of total steroid excretion (basal; healthy women: 27 +/- 8%) and 13 +/- 2% (ACTH stimulation; healthy women: 12 +/- 4%) in patients with anorexia nervosa. Thus, analysis of urinary steroid excretion rates did not indicate a shift in adrenocortical function. The results confirmed enhanced secretion of cortisol in patients with anorexia nervosa under basal conditions and during/following stimulation by ACTH. The ACTH-induced increase in the concentrations of the tetrahydro-glucocorticoid metabolites in urine was less pronounced than that of cortisol.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

MeSH terms

  • Adrenocorticotropic Hormone / pharmacology
  • Adult
  • Androsterone / urine
  • Anorexia Nervosa / metabolism*
  • Chromatography, Gas
  • Etiocholanolone / urine
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydrocortisone / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Tetrahydrocortisone / blood
  • Tetrahydrocortisone / urine

Substances

  • Tetrahydrocortisone
  • Adrenocorticotropic Hormone
  • Etiocholanolone
  • Androsterone
  • Hydrocortisone