Simultaneous circadian variations of plasma ACTH, beta-lipotropin, beta-endorphin and cortisol

Felice Petraglia, Fabio Facchinetti, Donatella Parrini, Giuseppe Micieli, Salvatore De Luca, Andrea R. Genazzani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The major objective of this study was to investigate the analogy existing between the typical circadian periodicity of ACTH and that recently described of β-lipotropin (β-LPH) and β-endorphin (β-EP) plasma levels. The determination of their concentrations, plus cortisol, has been performed on the same plasma samples of 6 healthy volunteers. All hormones were measured by radioimmunoassay. Those of β-LPH and β-EP were preceded by a purification of plasma through silicic acid extraction and Sephadex G-75 gel filtration. The highest values (mean ± SEM) were found in the morning (ACTH: 10.3 ± 0.9; β-LPH: 6.3 ± 0.7; β-EP: 6.5 ± 0.5 fmol/ml; cortisol: 378 ± 30 pmol/ml) and the lowest values in the evening (ACTH: 6.1 ± 0.7; β-LPH: 3.3 ± 0.4; β-EP: 3.7 ± 0.6 fmol/ml; cortisol: 130 ± 23 pmol/ml). Statistical analysis using the Fourier method led to the evidence of a concomitant circadian secretory pattern of the three proopiocortin-related peptides. These results strongly suggest that the phasic secretion of ACTH. β-LPH and β-EP underlies a common central control.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)147-152
Number of pages6
JournalHormone Research in Paediatrics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1983


  • ACTH
  • Circadian rhythm
  • Cortisol
  • β-Endorphin
  • β-Lipotropin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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