Physiological activation of the sympathetic adrenomedullary (SAM) axis following both thermal and non thermal stress was assessed by changes in serum norepinephrine, glucose and/or protein as well as indices of peripheral blood flow. The occurrence of elevated serum parathyroid hormone (PTH) did not reliably reflect SAM activation as might be predicted from pharmacological studies that document a beta adrenergic receptor mechanism in the parathyroid gland that mediates catecholamine stimulated release of PTH into the circulation. The beta agonist isoproterenol at 1 μg/min for 60 min did produce a transient increase in serum PTH at 20 min. Overall, the data raise doubts about the physiological significance of the adrenergic receptor in the parathyroid gland. Significant increases in serum PTH of 67% and 109% above basal respectively were seen following ruminal loading with cold and thermoneutral water. Associated with the PTH change were increased serum phosphorus and elevated or constant serum protein and serum total calcium.
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