Document Detail

Proliferation of capsular stem cells induced by ACTH in the rat adrenal cortex.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  12530684     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Despite great efforts devoted to clarifying the localization of proliferative activity in the adrenal cortex, the agents that stimulate proliferation remain controversial, and the nature of the stem cells from which cortical cells differentiate is incompletely understood. We studied proliferative activity in the rat adrenal cortex using an immunohistochemical method to detect the presence of the Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen (PCNA) (an intranuclear enzyme whose synthesis reaches the maximum intensity during the S-phase of the cell cycle). Groups of six rats were subjected to daily intraperitoneal injection of either corticotropin (ACTH1-24--0.2 mg/kg), dexamethasone (Dexa--4 mg/kg) or 0.9% saline for three consecutive days and killed 24 h after the last injection. Adrenal weight was significantly increased by ACTH treatment and reduced by Dexa. Concentrations of endogenous ACTH in plasma were lower in the Dexa group than in controls, and curiously, this was true in the ACTH1-24 treated group as well, probably in consequence of the increased corticosterone levels providing negative feedback at the hypothalamic-pituitary level. Corticosterone levels, as expected, were increased by the ACTH stimulus and reduced by the use of Dexa. Proliferating cell nuclear antigen immunostaining was close to zero in Dexa treated animals and low in controls. In ACTH treated rats, a significantly increased number of cells were positively stained. Positive cells were identified in both in zona glomerulosa (ZG) and zona intermedia (ZI) but many were located in the capsule. Zona fasciculata (ZF) and zona reticularis (ZR) were devoid of staining in all of these cases. We conclude that pharmacological doses of ACTH induce proliferation of capsular fibroblasts. Following descriptions by early 20th century researchers it is possible that these cells may also be stem cells and differentiate into adrenal cortex cells.
D Pignatelli; J Ferreira; P Vendeira; M C Magalhães; G P Vinson
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Endocrine research     Volume:  28     ISSN:  0743-5800     ISO Abbreviation:  Endocr. Res.     Publication Date:  2002 Nov 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2003-01-17     Completed Date:  2003-07-16     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  8408548     Medline TA:  Endocr Res     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  683-91     Citation Subset:  IM    
Institute of Histology and Embryology of the Faculty of Medicine of Porto, Portugal.
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MeSH Terms
Adrenal Cortex / cytology*,  metabolism
Adrenal Glands / anatomy & histology
Adrenocorticotropic Hormone / blood
Cell Division / drug effects
Corticosterone / metabolism
Cosyntropin / pharmacology*
Dexamethasone / pharmacology
Glucocorticoids / pharmacology
Organ Size
Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen / metabolism
Stem Cells / cytology*
Tissue Distribution
Reg. No./Substance:
0/Glucocorticoids; 0/Proliferating Cell Nuclear Antigen; 16960-16-0/Cosyntropin; 50-02-2/Dexamethasone; 50-22-6/Corticosterone; 9002-60-2/Adrenocorticotropic Hormone

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