Open Veterinary Journal

Open Veterinary Journal

Peer-Reviewed Journal 
ISSN 2218-6050 (Online), ISSN 2226-4485 (Print) 

"Original Research"

Adrenal cortex stimulation with hCG in spayed female dogs with Cushing’s syndrome: Is the LH-dependent variant possible?

Ignacio M. Espiñeira(1,2), Patricia N. Vidal(3,4), María C. Ghersevich(5), Elber A. Soler Arias(3), Fernanda Bosetti(1,3), María F. Cabrera Blatter(1,3), Diego D. Miceli(3,6) and 

Víctor A. Castillo(1,3*)

1- Universidad de Buenos Aires, Facultad de Ciencias Veterinarias, Cátedra de Clínica Médica de Pequeños Animales, Rep. Argentina

2- Becario Estímulo UBACyT, Rep. Argentina

3- Hospital Escuela de Medicina Veterinaria-U. Endocrinología, Rep. Argentina

4- Becaria Proyecto Estratégicos UBACyT, Rep. Argentina

5- U. Católica de Córdoba-Argentina, Facultad de Ciencias Agropecuarias, Rep. Argentina

6- IByME-CONICET, Rep. Argentina


Background: The expression and overexpression of luteinizing hormone receptors in the canine adrenal gland cortex has been reported. Therefore, it was hypothesized that a luteinizing hormone (LH)-dependent form of Cushing's syndrome (CS) could exist in dogs.

Aim: Assess whether the adrenal gland post ovariectomy exhibits a greater response to ACTH stimulation. Evaluate whether the adrenal gland responds to hCG stimulation by increasing the release of cortisol. Consider whether hCG stimulus testing would be useful as a diagnosis for possible cases of LH-dependent Cushing’s syndrome

Methods: Cortisol concentrations were measured from healthy female dogs (n=16) at baseline and following ACTH stimulation before and two months after gonadectomy (OVx). Cortisol concentrations were also measured from female dogs with CS (n=14) following administration of hCG (5000 IU). A post-hCG cortisol concentration of greater than140 nmol/L was used to define dogs with LH-dependent Cushing's syndrome.

Results: In normal female dogs, both pre-and post-stimulation cortisol concentrations increased following OVx (P=0.002 and P=0.0003, respectively). In female dogs with CS, cortisol concentrations increased following stimulation with hCG in 57% (8/14; P=0.002). Age at the time of OVx was associated (P=0.015) with the cortisol response to hCG (8 [5-9] years vs. 3.5 [2-6] years, P=0.0013).

Conclusion: Based on these results, an LH-dependent form of CS occurs in spayed female dogs, and that it is more likely to occur when female dogs are spayed later in life

Keywords: Aberrant receptors, Cushing's syndrome, Gonadectomy, hCG, Luteinizing hormone.

Cite this paper:

Espiñeira, I.M., Vidal, P.N., Ghersevich, M.C., Arias, E.A.S., Bosetti, F., Blatter, M.F.C., Miceli, D.D. and Castillo, V.A. 2021. Adrenal cortex stimulation with hCG in spayed female dogs with Cushing’s syndrome: Is the LH-dependent variant possible? Open Vet. J. 11(2), 319-329.