The effect of althesin on plasma corticosterone levels

Life Sci. 1984 Oct 8;35(15):1585-91. doi: 10.1016/0024-3205(84)90357-6.


Althesin in doses which produced anesthesia (4 and 6 ml kg-1, i.p.) produced biphasic changes in plasma corticosterone levels. Plasma corticosterone showed an increase (p less than 0.05) due to the stress of injection but returned to basal levels by 30 min. Subsequent to the anesthetic effect (approximately 30 min) corticosterone levels increased markedly (p less than 0.01). Althesin's effectiveness showed time of day effects, i.e., Althesin was more effective in the A.M. Rats given 6 ml kg-1 Althesin showed graded plasma corticosterone responses to stresses of varying intensity. Blood withdrawal and surgical stress evoked significant increases in plasma corticosterone but a 2-min holding stress had no effect on plasma corticosterone levels. Instrumented rats receiving supplemental injections (i.p.) presented patterns of plasma corticosterone which were different from those receiving supplemental infusions (i.a.). Whereas plasma corticosterone levels of rats receiving the continuous infusion of Althesin remained relatively constant, corticosterone levels of those which received supplemental injections tended to increase. Collectively, these data suggest that Althesins usefulness as an experimental anesthetic is limited to those studies which are not compromised by stress-induced pituitary-adrenal activity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Alfaxalone Alfadolone Mixture / pharmacology*
  • Animals
  • Circadian Rhythm
  • Corticosterone / blood*
  • Female
  • Rats
  • Rats, Inbred Strains
  • Stress, Physiological / blood


  • Alfaxalone Alfadolone Mixture
  • Corticosterone