Changes of 17-hydroxycorticosteroids and growth hormone during self-stimulation in monkeys

Benjamin H. Natelson, Gerard P. Smith, Peter E. Stokes, Allen W. Root

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3 Scopus citations


To investigate the relationship of neuroendocrine responses to self-stimulation, we measured plasma 17-hydroxycorticosteroids (17-OHCS) and growth hormone (GH) during varying rates of self-stimulation of lateral hypothalamic sites in rhesus monkeys. Mean plasma 17-OHCS and GH were significantly higher during self-stimulation than during control. Since 17-OHCS and GH did not change significantly during extinction of self-stimulation, the increases of 17-OHCS and GH observed during self-stimulation were related to the neural consequences of self-stimulation and were not related to other conditions of these experiments. Increases of 17-OHCS tended to vary inversely with rates of self-stimulation. During relatively low rates (<1637 lever presses/hr), 17-OHCS increased (control = 40.3 ± 6.7 μg/100 ml; self-stimulation = 53.6 ± 5.2, p<0.01). During relatively higher rates (>1637 lever presses/hr), 17-OHCS did not change (control = 33.6 ± 3.9 μg/100 ml; self-stimulation = 35.7 ± 3.9). In contrast to plasma 17-OHCS, GH increased during relatively high rates of self-stimulation (control = 5.4 ± 1.0 ng/ml, self-stimulation = 9.4 ± 0.9, p<0.05), but not during relatively low rates (control = 5.2 ± 0.7 ng/ml, self-stimulation = 5.9 ± 1.0). The inverse relationship between change of 17-OHCS and rate of self-stimulation does not support the hypothesis that increases of plasma 17-OHCS during self-stimulation facilitate the performance or reinforcement of self-stimulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-126
Number of pages6
JournalPhysiology and Behavior
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1974
Externally publishedYes


  • Macaca mulatta
  • Monkeys
  • Plasma 17-hydroxycorticosteroids
  • Plasma growth hormone
  • Reinforcement
  • Self-stimulation


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