Interactions between Adrenocortical Steroid Hormones, Electrolytes, and the Catecholamines

  • James W. Maas
Part of the Advances in Behavioral Biology book series (ABBI, volume 1)


Adrenocortical steroid hormones, electrolytes, and catecholamines have all been implicated as being associated with alterations in mood and behavior, particularly mania and depression, and each of these areas has been the focus of a great deal of investigative effort (Bunney and Davis 1965; Schildkraut 1965; Schildkraut and Kety 1967; Fawcett and Bunney 1967; Maas, Fawcett, and Dekirmenjian 1968; Williams, Katz, and Shield 1969; Coppen 1967; Gibbons 1963). In general, however, each group of investigators have pursued their “own thing,” and there have been only a limited number of attempts at establishing interrelationships (Baer et al. 1969). This paper will review some of the evidence in the biological literature that suggests processes by which the steroid hormones, electrolytes, and catecholamines are interrelated. There seems to be ample evidence that adrenocortical steroid hormones have an important role in the regulation of the disposition of the catecholamines, and that Na+ and K+ concentrations as well as cation transport are intimately associated with transport and biosynthesis of the catecholamines. It is suggested that the steroid hormones via their action on electrolytes and/or Mg2+-Na+-K+ adenosine triphosphatase (ATPase) regulate transport and perhaps synthesis of the catecholamines. Whatever the ultimate fate of this proposal, it is hoped that it will have the heuristic value of stimulating substantive thought about interrelationships of steroid hormones, electrolytes, and catecholamines in the affective disorders.


ATPase Activity Cation Transport Adenosine Triphosphatase Catecholamine Synthesis Norepinephrine Uptake 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1971

Authors and Affiliations

  • James W. Maas
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Illinois State Psychiatric InstituteChicagoUSA
  2. 2.University of Illinois College of MedicineChicagoUSA

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