1602: Defining the Cause of Hyperadrenocorticism

Grant Status: Closed

Grant Amount: $66,226
Kurt Zimmerman, DVM, PhD; Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine
January 1, 2012 - December 31, 2014


Breed(s): Scottish Terrier
Research Program Area: Endocrinology
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Hyperadrenocorticism (HAC) is a chronic debilitating disorder in dogs and contributes to the development of negative health and behavior outcomes including diabetes mellitus, obesity, musculoskeletal weakness, immune system dysfunction, and inappropriate urination. Increased serum alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity and increased noncortisol steroids are associated with HAC. Using Scottish Terriers (due to their predisposition to atypical HAC), Dr. Zimmerman will: 1) determine if the severity of the HAC increases over time; 2) determine if HAC is due to a functional problem of the brain or adrenal gland itself; and 3) determine if there is a problem with steroid production in the adrenal gland. It is hoped these efforts will help us understand breed predisposition to developing atypical HAC and how to best treat and screen for this disorder.


Zimmerman, K. L., Panciera, D. L., Hoeschele, I., Monroe, W. E., Todd, S. M., Werre, S. R., … Lake, B. B. (2018). Adrenocortical Challenge Response and Genomic Analyses in Scottish Terriers with Increased Alkaline Phosphate Activity. Frontiers in Veterinary Science, 5. https://doi.org/10.3389/fvets.2018.00231

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