Changes in Hypothalamic Control of ACTH and Adrenal Cortical Functions during Aging

  • Gail D. Riegle


Early identification of endocrine regulation of body function, including growth, metabolism, and reproduction, has historically generated several hypotheses suggesting that changes in endocrine function were closely related to biological aging. Many early gerontologists hypothesized that reductions of metabolic and reproductive endocrine secretion were directly involved in the decline in function which occurs in most organ systems during aging. Except for the menopausal loss of ovarian steroids, the current understanding of the effects of aging on endocrine function indicates that clear hormonal deficiencies rarely occur. However, it became evident that subtle alterations in endocrine function can contribute to deterioration of physiological functions with aging, keeping the hypothesis of endocrine involvement viable.


Plasma Cortisol Cortisol Secretion Plasma Corticosterone ACTH Secretion ACTH Release 
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© Plenum Press, New York 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gail D. Riegle
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PhysiologyMichigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA

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