Adrenocorticotropic hormone and cortisol concentrations after corticotropin-releasing hormone stimulation testing in cats administered methylprednisolone

Cynthia Susan Crager From the Department of Small Animal Surgery and Medicine (Crager, Dillon, Brewer, Angarano) and Department of Physiology and Pharmacology (Kemppainen), College of Veterinary Medicine, Auburn University, AL 36849-5523.

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Allen Ray Dillon From the Department of Small Animal Surgery and Medicine (Crager, Dillon, Brewer, Angarano) and Department of Physiology and Pharmacology (Kemppainen), College of Veterinary Medicine, Auburn University, AL 36849-5523.

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Robert James Kemppainen From the Department of Small Animal Surgery and Medicine (Crager, Dillon, Brewer, Angarano) and Department of Physiology and Pharmacology (Kemppainen), College of Veterinary Medicine, Auburn University, AL 36849-5523.

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William Grafton Brewer Jr. From the Department of Small Animal Surgery and Medicine (Crager, Dillon, Brewer, Angarano) and Department of Physiology and Pharmacology (Kemppainen), College of Veterinary Medicine, Auburn University, AL 36849-5523.

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Donna Walton Angarano From the Department of Small Animal Surgery and Medicine (Crager, Dillon, Brewer, Angarano) and Department of Physiology and Pharmacology (Kemppainen), College of Veterinary Medicine, Auburn University, AL 36849-5523.

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Summary

The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical (hpa) axis was studied in 8 healthy cats after administration of supraphysiologic doses of methylprednisolone (mp). Ovine corticotropin-releasing hormone (oCHR) administration increased cortisol and adrenocorticotropic hormone (acth) concentrations. Significant (P < 0.05) suppression of cortisol and a trend toward suppression of acth was observed after 1 week of mp administration. The hpa axis quickly recovered from suppressive effects of mp 1 week after administration of the steroid was discontinued. Side effects of ocrh administration were minimal in 7 cats; however, 1 cat had a severe hypotensive reaction. Clinical abnormalities were not associated with mp administration.

The hpa axis was suppressed by supraphysiologic doses of mp in all treated cats that lacked clinical signs consistent with iatrogenic hpa axis suppression. Despite the relatively active pars intermedia in cats, compared with human beings and dogs, feedback of mp on the hpa axis resulted in similar trends in ocrh-stimulated acth and cortisol concentrations as observed in human beings and dogs. Lack of consistent correlation between acth and cortisol concentrations was observed in 3 cats and possibly was related to the active pars intermedia in the cat.

Summary

The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical (hpa) axis was studied in 8 healthy cats after administration of supraphysiologic doses of methylprednisolone (mp). Ovine corticotropin-releasing hormone (oCHR) administration increased cortisol and adrenocorticotropic hormone (acth) concentrations. Significant (P < 0.05) suppression of cortisol and a trend toward suppression of acth was observed after 1 week of mp administration. The hpa axis quickly recovered from suppressive effects of mp 1 week after administration of the steroid was discontinued. Side effects of ocrh administration were minimal in 7 cats; however, 1 cat had a severe hypotensive reaction. Clinical abnormalities were not associated with mp administration.

The hpa axis was suppressed by supraphysiologic doses of mp in all treated cats that lacked clinical signs consistent with iatrogenic hpa axis suppression. Despite the relatively active pars intermedia in cats, compared with human beings and dogs, feedback of mp on the hpa axis resulted in similar trends in ocrh-stimulated acth and cortisol concentrations as observed in human beings and dogs. Lack of consistent correlation between acth and cortisol concentrations was observed in 3 cats and possibly was related to the active pars intermedia in the cat.

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