Serious contradictions exist at present in our understanding of the physiological role of glucocorticoids on the synthesis of the metal-binding protein, metallothionein (MT). In addressing this problem, we have examined in vivo the role of glucocorticoids on liver and serum MT levels in the rat under a spectrum of experimental conditions. The experiments confirm that stress has a major positive effect on hepatic MT levels. It was found that adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) administration has an inhibitory effect on hepatic MT levels in response to restraint stress and that adrenalectomy (ADX) leads to an increase in basal MT levels and in MT levels in response to acute and chronic immobilization stress. Similar results followed treatment with the glucocorticoid receptor blocker, RU 486. The relations found among hepatic MT, serum MT, and glucocorticoid concentrations indicate that in some circumstances glucocorticoids have a permissive role in mobilizing MT from tissues to serum and that in physiological conditions corticosterone has an inhibitory role in the maintenance of hepatic MT levels.
|Journal||American Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 1988|