Document Detail

Adrenocortical zonation and ACTH.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  12768537     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The clear morphological distinction between the cells of the different adrenocortical zones has attracted speculation and experiment to interpret their functions and the ways in which they are regulated. Considerable data have been produced in recent years that has benefited a fuller understanding of the processes of steroidogenesis and of cell proliferation at the molecular level. This now enables the reexamination of earlier concepts. It is evident that there is considerable species variation, and this article, dealing mainly with the rat, reaches conclusions that do not necessarily apply to other mammals. In the rat adrenal, however, the evidence suggests that the greatest differences between the functions of the zones are between the glomerulosa and the fasciculata. Here the sometimes all-or-nothing demarcation in their complement of components associated with steroidogenesis or with cell proliferation suggests a stark division of labor. In this model the fasciculata is the main engine of steroid hormone output and the glomerulosa is the site of cell proliferation, recruitment, and differentiation. Regulating these functions are angiotensin II and other paracrine components that modulate and maintain the glomerulosa, and ACTH, that maintains the fasciculata, and recruits new fasciculata cells by transformation of proliferating glomerulosa cells. Grafted onto this mostly vegetative function of the glomerulosa is CYP11B2, limited to just a fraction of the outer glomerulosa in rats on a normal laboratory diet and generating aldosterone (and 18-hydroxycorticosterone) from precursors whose origin is not, from the evidence summarized here, very clear, but may include the fasciculata, directly or indirectly. The biosynthesis of aldosterone in the rat certainly requires reinterpretation.
G P Vinson
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Microscopy research and technique     Volume:  61     ISSN:  1059-910X     ISO Abbreviation:  Microsc. Res. Tech.     Publication Date:  2003 Jun 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2003-05-27     Completed Date:  2003-07-23     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9203012     Medline TA:  Microsc Res Tech     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  227-39     Citation Subset:  IM    
Copyright Information:
Copyright 2003 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
School of Biological Sciences, Queen Mary, University of London, London E1 4NS, UK.
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MeSH Terms
Adrenal Cortex / physiology*
Adrenal Cortex Hormones / biosynthesis
Adrenocorticotropic Hormone / physiology*
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Adrenal Cortex Hormones; 9002-60-2/Adrenocorticotropic Hormone

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