The Obesity of Middle Age: A Common Variety of Cushing’s Syndrome Due to a Chronic Increase in Adrenocorticotrophin (ACTH) and Beta-Endorphin Activity

  • D. L. Margules
Part of the Advances in Experimental Medicine and Biology book series (AEMB, volume 116)

Abstract

In 1977, the select committee on nutrition and human needs of the United States Senate held hearings on obesity (HEARINGS, 1977). They concluded that obesity is a killer disease affecting at least 30 million Americans in 197 7. One-half of these people are obese to a degree that shortens life. The frequency of obesity increases substantially with age. One-third of American men and 40% of American women between the ages of 4 0 and 49 are obese. The obese have a substantially reduced life expectancy, a high incidence of diabetes mellitus, gall bladder problems, a high incidence of cardiovascular disease , thin skin that tears easily, a greater likelihood to die from anesthesia, greater susceptibility to infection, greater chances of phlebitis, and a higher likelihood of gout. Many obese individuals have a history of an unsuccessful life struggle to reduce their body weight. Over 10 billion dollars a year are spent in this country for obesity treatments that fail. The few individuals who have some success at weight loss often regain the lost weight. Those rare individuals that succeed in maintaining the weight loss have a life-long battle to prevent relapse of the obese condition (HEARINGS, 197 7).

Keywords

Obesity Osteoporosis Adenoma Morphine Serotonin 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. ALBRIGHT, F. (1942–43) Cushing’s syndrome. Harvey Lect. 38, 123.Google Scholar
  2. CUSHING, H. (1932) The basophil adenomas of the pituitary body and their clinical manifestations (pituitary basophilism). Bull. Johns Hopkins Hosp. 50, 137.Google Scholar
  3. DUBUC, P.V., MOBLEY, P.W. & MAHLER, R.J. (1975) Elevated glucocorticoids in obese hyperglycemic mice. Hormones and Metabolic Research 7 ,102.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. EDWARDSON, J.A., HOUGH, C.A.M. (1975) The pituitaryadrenal system of the genetically obese (ob/ob) mouse. Journal of Endocrinology 65, 99–107PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. GUILLEMIN, R., VARGO, R., ROSSIER, J., MINICK, S., LANG, N., RIVIER, C., VALI, W. & BLOOM F.E. (1977) Betaendorphin and adrenocorticotropin are secreted concomitantly by the pituitary gland. Science 197, 1367–1369.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. HAUSBERGER, F.X. & HAUSBERGER, B.C. (1958) Effect of insulin and cortisone on weight gain, protein and fat content of rats. Amer. J. Physiol. 193, 455.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. Hearings before the select committee on nutrition and human needs of the United States Senate, 95th Congress, first session, Feb. 1 and 2, 1977, part 2, obesity. Diet related to killer diseases, II. U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, 1977.Google Scholar
  8. IPP, E., VOBBS, R. & UNGER, R.H. (1978) Morphine and betaendorphin influence the secretion of the endocrine pancreas. Nature 276, 190–191.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. KERWICK, A. (1965) Adiposity. In Handbook of Physiology , section 5, Adipose tissue, pp. 617–624. American Physiological Society.Google Scholar
  10. KRIEGER, D.T. (1977) Serotonin regulation of ACTH secretion. Annals of the New York Academy of Science 297, 527–535.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. LANDFIELD, P.W., WAYMIRE, J.C. & LYNCH, G. (1978) Hippo-campal aging and adrenocorticoids: Quantitative correlations. Science 202, 1098–1102.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. MARGULES, D.L., MOISSET, B., LEWIS, M.J., SHIBUYA, H. & PERT, C.B. (1978) Beta-endorphin is associated with overeating in genetically obese mice (ob/ob) and rats (fa/fa). Science 202, 988–991.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. MARGULES, D.L. (1978) Molecular theory of obesity, sterility and other behavioral and endocrine problems in genetically obese mice (ob/ob). Neurosciences and Biobehavioral Reviews 2(4), in press.Google Scholar
  14. NAESER, P. (1973) Effects of adrenalectomy on the obesehyperglycemic syndrome in mice (ob/ob). Diabetologia 9, 376–379.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. NAESER, P. (1974) Function of the adrenal cortex in obesehyperglycemic mice (ob). Diabetologia 10(5),449–453.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. PLOCHER, A. & POWLEY, T.L. (1977) Maintenance of obesity following hypophysectomy in the obese-hyperglycemic mouse (ob/ob). The Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine 50, 291–300.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. POWLEY, T.L. & MORTON, S.A. (1976) Hypophysectomy and body weight regulation in the genetically obese Zucker rat. American Journal of Physiology 230, 982–987.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. SCHILLINGER, E. & GERHARDS, E. (1974) Effects of pituitary hormones and corticosterone on lipolysis in hypophysectomized rats. Acta Endocrinologia 77, 502–508.Google Scholar
  19. SOLOMON, J. & MOYER, J. (1973) The effect of adrenalectomy on the development of the obese hyperglycemic syndrome on ob/ob mice. Endocrinology 93, 510–513.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. SUDA, T., LIOTTA, A.S. & KRIEGER, D.T. (1978) Beta-endorphin is not detectable in plasma from normal subjects. Science 202, 221–223.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1979

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. L. Margules
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyTemple UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA

Personalised recommendations