Rupprecht, R. and Kornhuber, J. and Wodarz, Norbert and Göbel, C. and Lugauer, J. and Sinzger, C. and Beckmann, H. and Riederer, P. and Möller, O. A.
Characterization of Glucocorticoid Binding Capacity in Human Mononuclear Lymphocytes: Increase by Metyrapone is Prevented by Dexamethasone Pretreatment.
Journal of neuroendocrinology 2 (6), pp. 803-806.
Autoregulation of receptor systems by their own ligands is a well established biological phenomenon. While down-regulation of the glucocorticoid binding capacity by glucocorticoids has been shown in animals and humans, data on up-regulation processes in humans are lacking. To further explore glucocorticoid receptor plasticity in relation to endogenous ligands, glucocorticoid binding parameters were assessed in 15 healthy controls before and after oral administration of 1.5 g metyrapone with and without dexamethasone pretreatment. Administration of metyrapone resulted in blockade of the feedback of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal system as shown by the rise in adrenocorticotropin levels, while pretreatment with 1 mg dexamethasone completely suppressed adrenocorticotropin concentrations. Glucocorticoid binding sites per lymphocyte exhibited an increase of 63% following metyrapone administration, which was prevented by dexamethasone pretreatment. Comparison of morning and afternoon glucocorticoid binding sites per cell in 11 healthy volunteers further revealed a diurnal rhythm of glucocorticoid receptor sites. These data suggest that human lymphocyte glucocorticoid receptors are under autoregulatory control.