Direct inhibitory effect of dexamethasone on steroidogenesis of human adrenal in vivo

J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 1979 May;48(5):861-3. doi: 10.1210/jcem-48-5-861.


A rapid ACTH test was used to investigate the direct effect of glucocorticoid on the steroidogenesis by the adrenal cortex in man. The plasma cortisol response to 250 microgram iv synthetic alpha-ACTH-(1--24) (Cortrosyn) was determined in normal subjects pretreated with 2 and 12 mg dexamethasone. The 15- and 30-min increments in plasma cortisol levels in response to ACTH injection after pretreatment with 12 mg dexamethasone were significantly suppressed compared to values obtained after pretreatment with 2 mg dexamethasone. The present study suggests that there is a direct inhibitory effect of glucocorticoid on adrenocortical steroidogenesis in man.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adrenal Cortex / drug effects*
  • Adrenal Cortex / metabolism
  • Adrenocorticotropic Hormone / pharmacology
  • Adult
  • Dexamethasone / administration & dosage
  • Dexamethasone / pharmacology*
  • Dose-Response Relationship, Drug
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydrocortisone / biosynthesis*
  • Male


  • Dexamethasone
  • Adrenocorticotropic Hormone
  • Hydrocortisone