Circadian and ultradian rhythms of plasma cortisol concentrations have been documented under physiological conditions in diverse animal species. Using a novel, biophysical convolution model to remove subject-specific metabolic clearance rates, we have now estimated spontaneous adrenal secretory events in vivo. The latter were characterized by prominent ultradian rhythms of discrete secretory bursts with periodicities averaging 32, 46, 76, and 130 min. These ultradian cortisol secretory rhythms represented a 17- to 240-fold larger fraction of circadian secretory variations than did cortisol concentration rhythms. We conclude that deconvolution analysis can unmask underlying ultradian rhythms in adrenal secretory activity in vivo.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physiology (medical)