Journal of Endocrinological Investigation

, Volume 25, Issue 11, pp 932–937 | Cite as

Hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis in central diabetes insipidus: ACTH and cortisol responsiveness to CRH administration

  • R. Pivonello
  • A. Faggiano
  • M. Filippella
  • C. Di Somma
  • M. C. De Martino
  • M. Gaccione
  • G. Lombardi
  • Annamaria Colao
Original Article


A strong relationship has been found between arginine-vasopressin (AVP) and hypotha-lamus-pituitary-adrenal axis in humans. The aim of the current study was to evaluate baseline and CRH-stimulated ACTH and F levels in patients with central diabetes insipidus (CDI), before and after replacement therapy with desamino-D-AVP (DDAVP). Twenty-five patients with CDI, and 25 sex- and age-and BMI-matched healthy subjects entered the study. A standard CRH test (measurement of plasma ACTH and serum F before and every 15 min for 2 h after the administration of 100 μg of human CRH) was performed in all subjects. In patients with CDI, CRH test were repeated after 1 week of DDAVP at standard doses. At study entry, ACTH and F levels were significantly higher in patients with CDI than in controls either at baseline (ACTH: 45.5±4.8 vs 18.5±3.3 ng/l, p<0.05; F: 375.1±55.7 vs 146.6±19.4 μg/l, p<0.05) or after CRH test considered as a peak (ACTH: 90.8±14.4 vs 42.5±7.4 ng/l, p<0.05; F: 501.6±65.7 vs 226.3± 25.6 μg/l, p<0.05) and AUC (ACTH: 3997.0±571.7 vs 2136.0±365.8 ng/l/120 min, p<0.05; F: 31489.0 ±4299.4 vs 14854.5±1541.5 μg/l/120 min, p<0.05). In patients with CDI, 1 week of replacement with DDAVP brought down ACTH (peak: 56.9±9.3 ng/l; AUC: 2390.7±480.7 ng/l/120 min) and F (peak: 310.3±39.5 μg/l; AUC: 17555.5±2008.7 μg/l/120 min) responses to CRH to normal but did not sig-nificantly modify baseline hormone levels (ACTH: 29.6±3.6 ng/l; F: 239.0±32.3 μg/l). In conclusion, CDI is associated to increased baseline ACTH and F levels and increased responsiveness of ACTH and F to CRH administration. In addition, replacement treatment with DDAVP normalized CRH-induced but not baseline ACTH and F secretion.


Corticotropin-releasing hormone corticotropin glucocorti-coids arginine vasopressin diabetes insipidus pituitary adrenal 


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Copyright information

© Italian Society of Endocrinology (SIE) 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Pivonello
    • 1
  • A. Faggiano
    • 1
  • M. Filippella
    • 1
  • C. Di Somma
    • 1
  • M. C. De Martino
    • 1
  • M. Gaccione
    • 1
  • G. Lombardi
    • 1
  • Annamaria Colao
    • 1
  1. 1.Dipartimento di Oncologia e Endocrinologia Molecolare e Clinica“Federico II” Università di NapoliNapoliItalia

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