Cortisol secretion and clearance in the rhesus monkey

John W. Holaday, James L. Meyerhoff, Benjamin H. Natelson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

20 Scopus citations


Cortisol secretory patterns were studied in two chair-adapted rhesus monkeys by simultaneous measurement of plasma concentration and specific activity of cortisol after an iv bolus of14C-labeled hormone. The results indicated that fluctuating plasma cortisol concentrations are the result of episodic secretion by the adrenal cortex. Specific activity changes during these spontaneous secretory bursts indicated occasional submaximal activity. In addition, cortisolsecretory rates calculated during basal (20.4 μg/min) and ACTHstimulated (28.4 μg/min) conditions in a total of seven monkeys were significantly different (P<005), further demonstrating that spontaneous secretory bursts were usually sub-maximal. From plasma samples collected at 10 min intervals, a cortisol distribution t½ of 6 min and a clearance t½ of 66 min were found. The apparent volume of distribution for this hormone was 4.8 liters, a value far in excess of extracellular fluid volume estimates. The circadian pattern of plasmacortisol in these monkeys resembled that reported for man, but monkeys had twice as many episodic bursts and over twice the mean cortisol levels as man. However, the 24 h production rate was 10.5mg, a value within the range of human production.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1178-1185
Number of pages8
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1977
Externally publishedYes


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