Adrenocorticotropin Responses Following Administration of Ethanol and Ovine Corticotropin‐Releasing Hormone in the Sons of Alcoholics and Control Subjects

Claire Waltman, M. E. McCaul, Gary S. Wand

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Alcoholism is a familial disorder with both genetic and environmental determinants. The sons of alcoholic fathers have been documented to have alterations in several neuroendocrine measures. We investigated the ACTH/cortisol response to ovine corticotropin‐releasing hormone (oCRH) and ethanol in men with and without a family history of alcoholism. Men were defined as family history positive (FHP) (n= 7) if their father was alcoholic; as family history negative (FHN) (n= 16), if their father was nonalcoholic. Ethanol (0.75 g/kg) or placebo was ingested over 15 min, 1 μg/kg oCRH was administered, and plasma ACTH/cortisol levels were determined at –20, 0, 15, 30, 60, and 90 min after oCRH. Following placebo, FHP men had lower peak ACTH response to oCRH than did FHN men (12 ± 2 vs 20 ± 2 pmol/liter, P= 0.04). In FHN men, plasma ACTH response to oCRH was blunted during the ethanol session compared to the placebo session (13 ± 1 vs 20 ± 2 pmol/liter; P= 0.006). In contrast, FHP men had similar ACTH responses to oCRH during ethanol and placebo sessions. Cortisol responses to oCRH were similar in both groups during both sessions. In summary, FHP and FHN nonalcoholic men had different plasma ACTH responses following the administration of oCRH.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)826-830
Number of pages5
JournalAlcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research
Volume18
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1994

Keywords

  • Adrenocorticotropin
  • Corticotropin‐Releasing Hormone
  • Family History of Alcoholism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Toxicology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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