A radiometabolism study is described to provide the first comparative data on the time course, route, and characteristics of excreted ( 3 H)cortisol metabolites in three nonhuman primates: the common marmoset ( Callithrix jacchus ), the long-tailed macaque ( Macaca fascicularis ), and the chimpanzee ( Pan troglodytes ). A low dose (40–100 μCi) of 3 H-labeled cortisol was administered intravenously to one adult male of each species and the excreta collected over a 5-day period postinjection. The major proportion of radioactivity was excreted in the urine (>80%). Peak radioactivity in urine was recovered within 5.5 h following injection in all three species, while in the feces peak levels of radioactivity were recovered within 26 h postinjection. In all three species, urinary metabolites were primarily excreted as conjugates (61–87%), whereas the percentage of conjugated metabolites in feces was 50% or less. The number and relative abundance of urinary and fecal ( 3 H)cortisol metabolites were determined by reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and immunoreactivity of the radioactivity peaks was assessed by screening HPLC fractions with established cortisol, corticosterone, and 11-oxoetiocholanolone enzyme immunoassays (EIA), the latter being a group-specific assay for measuring 11,17-dioxoandrostanes. HPLC separation of urinary and fecal extracts revealed multiple peaks of radioactivity, several of which were common to all three species. The relative proportion of these peaks, however, differed considerably among species and between urine and feces. HPLC indicated that native cortisol was a major urinary excretory product in the marmoset, while comparatively small amounts were present in the urine of the macaque and chimpanzee. In contrast, in feces, cortisol was only detected in low amounts in the marmoset and was virtually absent in the macaque and chimpanzee. In all three species, one of the major radioactivity peaks showed a retention time comparable to 11-oxoetiocholanolone and high immunoreactivity in the 11-oxoetiocholanolone EIA. The measurement of urinary- and/or fecal-immunoreactive 11,17-dioxoandrostanes is therefore implicated for noninvasive assessment of adrenal function in Old World monkeys, New World monkeys, and great apes.
General and Comparative Endocrinology – Elsevier
Published: Mar 1, 2000
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