A decrease of absolute synthesis of albumin, no change in that of fibrinogen and an increased fractional synthesis of transferrin were observed 3h after intraperitoneal administration of a pharmacological dose of 5 mg of cortisol to 220g rats in the post-absorptive state and previously kept on a diet with 40% protein. The concentration in liver of total free amino acids was practically unchanged at this time. Intraperitoneal administration of a mixture of amino acids with the cortisol raised this concentration and was accompanied by an almost complete de-repression of the synthesis of albumin, with no real effect on that of fibrinogen. In considerable contrast, in rats studied at 24h after intraperitoneal administration of cortisol, and who had been fed once in the interim (but who had received no amino acids intraperitoneally), there was a marked increase in the absolute synthesis of albumin and fibrinogen, with an increase in fractional synthesis that was less proportionately but still very significant and which included transferrin. The amino acid concentrations had risen above the supplemented values at 3h but not as much proportionately as the fractional synthesis rates, and of course not as much as the absolute synthesis rates, of albumin and fibrinogen. These time-dependent effects of cortisol suggest to us that our studies resolve the apparently conflicting results of the effect of cortisol on the synthesis of albumin reported by others.

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