Adrenocorticotrophic hormone lowers serum Lp(a) and LDL cholesterol concentrations in hemodialysis patients

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Previously, we have shown that short-term administration of adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH) results in reduced concentrations of apolipoprotein B-containing lipoproteins, including lipoprotein(a), and reduced activities of hepatic lipase. These effects were observed in steroid-treated patients suffering from iatrogenic ACTH deficiency and in healthy individuals. The direct nature of the influence of ACTH on hepatic lipoprotein metabolism was confirmed by in vitro experiments. The aim of the present investigation was to study the effects of ACTH treatment on uremic patients, who exhibit disturbed lipoprotein pattern due to the slow removal of triglyceride-rich lipoproteins and who probably are ACTH resistant. Eight patients on chronic hemodialysis were studied. After one intramuscular injection of Synacthen Depot (a synthetic ACTH1-24 preparation from Ciba Geigy AG, Basel, Switzerland) 1 mg, the only change noted was a significant reduction of 26% in median lipoprotein(a) concentration. After five injections, a further decrease (65%) was found in the lipoprotein(a) concentration. Also, reductions in median concentrations of total cholesterol, low density lipoprotein cholesterol and apolipoprotein B were observed. The magnitude of these changes was 15 to 30%. In contrast to previously studied groups, no changes were observed regarding triglyceride metabolism. Significantly increased median concentration of apolipoprotein CIII was found. However, the excess apolipoprotein CIII was confined to the fraction that was not associated with apolipoprotein B. Thus, administration of ACTH to uremic patients improved their atherogenic lipoprotein profile, a fact that may have future therapeutic implications. In comparison to previously studied groups, the uremic patients responded rather slowly and not at all regarding triglyceride metabolism.


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Urology and Nephrology


  • uremia, lipoprotein, hypertriglyceridemia, acrenocorticotrophic hormone, triglycerides, hemodialysis
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1651-1655
JournalKidney International
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1997
Publication categoryResearch