Comparison of corticotropin-releasing factor and acetylcholine on catecholamine secretion in dogs

W. C. Engeland, M. P. Lilly, T. O. Bruhn, D. S. Gann

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To test whether corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF) is a secretagogue for adrenal secretion of catecholamines, a preparation was developed that permits measurement of adrenal venous output in response to in vivo arterial injection into the dog adrenal gland. Dogs were prepared with catheters in the lumboadrenal vein for monitoring adrenal blood flow and secretion rate of epinephrine and norepinephrine and in the lumboadrenal and inferior phrenic arteries for adrenal injection. Under pentobarbital anesthesia 48 h after surgery, dogs received a series of intra-adrenal injections that included acetylcholine (0.2-200 nmol), CRF (2.0-20.0 nmol), and diluent. There was a log dose-response relationship before epinephrine secretion and norepinephrine secretion to acetylcholine. Adrenal injection of CRF stimulated epinephrine and norepinephrine secretion at the highest dose tested (20 nmol). The response observed was equivalent to the response to 0.2 nmol acetylcholine. A similar dose of CRF given systemically produced hypotension without stimulating catecholamine responses. Adrenal catecholamine responses to acetylcholine were not augmented by addition of CRF. These findings show that arterial injection of CRF into the intact dog adrenal stimulates secretion of epinephrine and norepinephrine. However, the low potency of CRF relative to that of acetylcholine, the lack of a synergistic effect of CRF on catecholamine responses to acetylcholine, and the high dose of CRF required to achieve a response suggest that CRF does not function in the adrenal medulla as a physiologically important secretagogue for catecholamines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)22/2
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1987


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