In an attempt to understand the hyper-responsiveness to glucocorticoids that is characteristic of genetically obese fa/fa rats, we have measured the levels of free corticosterone in serum from lean and obese rats as well as the number of “cytosolic” and “nuclear” binding sites in livers of these rats. Both the lean and obese rats had similar amounts of free corticosterone available for biological activity at 4 weeks and 10 weeks of age. Measurement of glucocorticoid binding to hepatic glucocorticoid receptors failed to show any differences between genotypes leading to the suggestion that the abnormal glucocorticoid response in obese rats may be due either to post-receptor defects or to a permissive action of the steroid in the expression of the fa/fa genotype.

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