Physiological role of glucocorticoids on rat serum and liver metallothionein in basal and stress conditions

Juan Hidalgo*, M. Giralt, J. S. Garvey, A. Armario

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

66 Citations (Scopus)


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.
Original languageEnglish
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1988


Dive into the research topics of 'Physiological role of glucocorticoids on rat serum and liver metallothionein in basal and stress conditions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this