Specificity of action of adrenocorticotrophin in vitro on ascorbate transport in rat adrenal glands.
ABSTRACT: The inhibition of ascorbate transport by rat adrenal quarters in response to steroidogenesis in vitro was shown to be highly specific with respect to tissue, substrate and steroidogenic agent. The transport system in vitro is capable of net accumulation of ascorbate. The evidence is consistent with the conclusion that ascorbate ;depletion' in the adrenal gland is due to a specific block by corticoids of the uptake of ascorbate.
Project description:Adrenal toxicity is one of the major concerns in drug development. To quantitatively understand the effect of endocrine-active compounds on adrenal steroidogenesis and to assess the human adrenal toxicity of novel pharmaceutical drugs, we developed a mathematical model of steroidogenesis in human adrenocortical carcinoma NCI-H295R cells. The model includes cellular proliferation, intracellular cholesterol translocation, diffusional transport of steroids, and metabolic pathways of adrenal steroidogenesis, which serially involve steroidogenic proteins and enzymes such as StAR, CYP11A1, CYP17A1, HSD3B2, CYP21A2, CYP11B1, CYP11B2, HSD17B3, and CYP19A1. It was reconstructed in an experimental dynamics of cholesterol and 14 steroids from an in vitro steroidogenesis assay using NCI-H295R cells. Results of dynamic sensitivity analysis suggested that HSD3B2 plays the most important role in the metabolic balance of adrenal steroidogenesis. Based on differential metabolic profiling of 12 steroid hormones and 11 adrenal toxic compounds, we could estimate which steroidogenic enzymes were affected in this mathematical model. In terms of adrenal steroidogenic inhibitors, the predicted action sites were approximately matched to reported target enzymes. Thus, our computer-aided system based on systems biological approach may be useful to understand the mechanism of action of endocrine-active compounds and to assess the human adrenal toxicity of novel pharmaceutical drugs.
Project description:Disorders of adrenal steroidogenesis comprise autosomal recessive conditions affecting steroidogenic enzymes of the adrenal cortex. Those are located within the 3 major branches of the steroidogenic machinery involved in the production of mineralocorticoids, glucocorticoids, and androgens. This mini review describes the principles of adrenal steroidogenesis, including the newly appreciated 11-oxygenated androgen pathway. This is followed by a description of pathophysiology, biochemistry, and clinical implications of steroidogenic disorders, including mutations affecting cholesterol import and steroid synthesis, the latter comprising both mutations affecting steroidogenic enzymes and co-factors required for efficient catalysis. A good understanding of adrenal steroidogenic pathways and their regulation is crucial as the basis for sound management of these disorders, which in the majority present in early childhood.
Project description:Development of metabolic syndrome is associated with hyperactivity of the HPA axis characterized by elevated levels of circulating adrenal hormones including cortisol and aldosterone. However, the molecular mechanism leading to the dysregulation of the HPA axis is not well elucidated. In this study, we found that insulin regulates adrenal steroidogenesis by increasing the expression and activity of steroidogenic factor 1 (SF-1) both in vitro and in vivo and this insulin effect was partly through inhibition of FoxO1. Specifically, insulin increased the protein and RNA levels of SF-1 and steroidogenic target genes. Further, adrenal SF-1 expression was significantly increased by hyperactivation of insulin signaling in mice. Together with the elevated SF-1 expression in adrenal glands, hyperactivation of insulin signaling led to increased aldosterone and corticosterone levels. On the other hand, suppressing the insulin signaling using streptozotocin markedly reduced the expression of adrenal SF-1 in mice. In addition, overexpression of FoxO1 significantly suppressed SF-1 and its steroidogenic target genes implying that the positive effect of insulin on SF-1 activity might be through suppression of FoxO1 in the adrenal gland. Taken together, these results indicate that insulin regulates adrenal steroidogenesis through coordinated control of SF-1 and FoxO1.
Project description:PURPOSE:Tumor androgens in castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) reflect de novo intratumoral synthesis or adrenal androgens. We used C.B.-17 SCID mice in which we observed adrenal CYP17A activity to isolate the impact of adrenal steroids on CRPC tumors in vivo. EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN:We evaluated tumor growth and androgens in LuCaP35CR and LuCaP96CR xenografts in response to adrenalectomy (ADX). We assessed protein expression of key steroidogenic enzymes in 185 CRPC metastases from 42 patients. RESULTS:Adrenal glands of intact and castrated mice expressed CYP17A. Serum DHEA, androstenedione (AED), and testosterone (T) in castrated mice became undetectable after ADX (all P < 0.05). ADX prolonged median survival (days) in both CRPC models (33 vs. 179; 25 vs. 301) and suppressed tumor steroids versus castration alone (T 0.64 pg/mg vs. 0.03 pg/mg; DHT 2.3 pg/mg vs. 0.23 pg/mg; and T 0.81 pg/mg vs. 0.03 pg/mg, DHT 1.3 pg/mg vs. 0.04 pg/mg; all P ? 0.001). A subset of tumors recurred with increased steroid levels, and/or induction of androgen receptor (AR), truncated AR variants, and glucocorticoid receptor (GR). Metastases from 19 of 35 patients with AR positive tumors concurrently expressed enzymes for adrenal androgen utilization and nine expressed enzymes for de novo steroidogenesis (HSD3B1, CYP17A, AKR1C3, and HSD17B3). CONCLUSIONS:Mice are appropriate for evaluating adrenal impact of steroidogenesis inhibitors. A subset of ADX-resistant CRPC tumors demonstrate de novo androgen synthesis. Tumor growth and androgens were suppressed more strongly by surgical ADX than prior studies using abiraterone, suggesting reduction in adrenally-derived androgens beyond that achieved by abiraterone may have clinical benefit. Proof-of-concept studies with agents capable of achieving true "nonsurgical ADX" are warranted.
Project description:CONTEXT:The endocrine function of human fetal adrenals (HFAs) is activated already during first trimester, but adrenal steroidogenesis during fetal life is not well characterized. OBJECTIVE:This study aimed to investigate HFA steroidogenesis by analyzing adrenal glands from first and second trimesters. DESIGN AND SETTING:Male and female HFA from gestational weeks (GWs) 8 to 19 were examined, including a total of 101 samples from 83 fetuses. MAIN OUTCOME MEASURE(S):Expression level of steroidogenic genes and protein expression/localization were determined by quantitative PCR and immunohistochemistry, respectively, and intra-adrenal steroid levels were quantified by LC-MS/MS. RESULTS:Transcriptional levels of StAR, CYP11A1, CYP17A1, CYP21A2, CYP11B1/2, and SULT2A1 were significantly higher in second trimester compared to first trimester (P < 0.05), whereas expression levels of 3?-HSD2 and ARK1C3 were unaltered between GWs 8 and 19. All investigated steroidogenic proteins were expressed in a distinct pattern throughout the investigated period, with most enzymes expressed primarily in the fetal zone, except 3?-HSD1/2, which was expressed mainly in the definitive zone. Abundant steroidogenic enzyme expression was reflected in overall high intra-adrenal tissue concentrations of mineralocorticoids, glucocorticoids, and androgens; cortisol was the most abundant (1071 to 2723 ng/g tissue), and testosterone levels were the lowest (2 to 14 ng/g tissue). CONCLUSIONS:The expression profiles of HFA steroidogenic enzymes are distinct from first to second trimester, with no major differences between male and female samples. Intra-adrenal steroid hormone concentrations confirm that cortisol is produced throughout first and second trimesters, suggesting continued regulation of the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis during this entire period.
Project description:The ectopic expression of the glucose-dependent insulinotropic polypeptide receptor (GIPR) in the human adrenal gland causes significant hypercortisolemia after ingestion of each meal and leads to Cushing's syndrome, implying that human GIPR activation is capable of robustly activating adrenal glucocorticoid secretion. In this study, we transiently transfected the human GIPR expression vector into cultured human adrenocortical carcinoma cells (H295R) and treated them with GIP to examine the direct link between GIPR activation and steroidogenesis. Using quantitative RT-PCR assay, we examined gene expression of steroidogenic related proteins, and carried out immunofluorescence analysis to prove that forced GIPR overexpression directly promotes production of steroidogenic enzymes CYP17A1 and CYP21A2 at the single cell level. Immunofluorescence showed that the transfection efficiency of the GIPR gene in H295R cells was approximately 5%, and GIP stimulation enhanced CYP21A2 and CYP17A1 expression in GIPR-introduced H295R cells (H295R-GIPR). Interestingly, these steroidogenic enzymes were also expressed in the GIPR (-) cells adjacent to the GIPR (+) cells. The mRNA levels of a cholesterol transport protein required for all steroidogenesis, StAR, and steroidogenic enzymes, HSD3?2, CYP11A1, CYP21A2, and CYP17A1 increased 1.2-2.1-fold in GIP-stimulated H295R-GIPR cells. These changes were reflected in the culture medium in which 1.5-fold increase in the cortisol concentration was confirmed. Furthermore, the levels of adenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) receptor and ACTH precursor proopiomelanocortin (POMC) mRNA were upregulated 2- and 1.5-fold, respectively. Immunofluorescence showed that ACTH expression was detected in GIP-stimulated H295R-GIPR cells. An ACTH-receptor antagonist significantly inhibited steroidogenic gene expression and cortisol production. Immunostaining for both CYP17A1 and CYP21A2 was attenuated in cells treated with ACTH receptor antagonists as well as with POMC siRNA. These results demonstrated that GIPR activation promoted production and release of ACTH, and that steroidogenesis is activated by endogenously secreted ACTH following GIP administration, at least in part, in H295R cells.
Project description:The hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis is a dynamic system regulating glucocorticoid hormone synthesis in the adrenal glands. Many key factors within the adrenal steroidogenic pathway have been identified and studied, but little is known about how these factors function collectively as a dynamic network of interacting components. To investigate this, we developed a mathematical model of the adrenal steroidogenic regulatory network that accounts for key regulatory processes occurring at different timescales. We used our model to predict the time evolution of steroidogenesis in response to physiological adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) perturbations, ranging from basal pulses to larger stress-like stimulations (e.g., inflammatory stress). Testing these predictions experimentally in the rat, our results show that the steroidogenic regulatory network architecture is sufficient to respond to both small and large ACTH perturbations, but coupling this regulatory network with the immune pathway is necessary to explain the dissociated dynamics between ACTH and glucocorticoids observed under conditions of inflammatory stress.
Project description:Adrenal and gonadal steroids are essential for life and reproduction. The orphan nuclear receptor SF1 (NR5A1) has been shown to regulate the expression of enzymes involved in steroid production in vitro. However, the in vivo role of this transcription factor in steroidogenesis has not been elucidated. In this study, we have generated steroidogenic-specific Cre-expressing mice to lineage mark and delete Sf1 in differentiated steroid-producing cells of the testis, the ovary and the adrenal gland. Our data show that SF1 is a regulator of the expression of steroidogenic genes in all three organs. In addition, Sf1 deletion leads to a radical change in cell morphology and loss of identity. Surprisingly, sexual development and reproduction in mutant animals were not compromised owing, in part, to the presence of a small proportion of SF1-positive cells. In contrast to the testis and ovary, the mutant adult adrenal gland showed a lack of Sf1-deleted cells and our studies suggest that steroidogenic adrenal cells during foetal stages require Sf1 to give rise to the adult adrenal population. This study is the first to show the in vivo requirements of SF1 in steroidogenesis and provides novel data on the cellular consequences of the loss of this protein specifically within steroid-producing cells.
Project description:Congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) is one of the most common inherited metabolic disorders. It comprises a group of autosomal recessive disorders caused by the deficiency of one of four steroidogenic enzymes involved in cortisol biosynthesis or in the electron donor enzyme P450 oxidoreductase (POR) that serves as electron donor to steroidogenic cytochrome P450 (CYP) type II enzymes. The biochemical and clinical phenotype depends on the specific enzymatic defect and the impairment of specific enzyme activity. Defects of steroid 21-hydroxylase (CYP21A2) and 11beta-hydroxylase (CYP11B1) only affect adrenal steroidogenesis, whereas 17alpha-hydroxylase (CYP17A1) and 3beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 2 (HSD3B2) deficiency also impact on gonadal steroid biosynthesis. Inactivating POR gene mutations are the cause of CAH manifesting with apparent combined CYP17A1-CYP21A2 deficiency. P450 oxidoreductase deficiency (ORD) has a complex phenotype including two unique features not observed in any other CAH variant: skeletal malformations and severe genital ambiguity in both sexes.
Project description:The functions of the phosphodiesterase 8B (PDE8) family of phosphodiesterases have been largely unexplored because of the unavailability of selective pharmacological inhibitors. Here, we report a novel function of PDE8B as a major regulator of adrenal steroidogenesis using a genetically ablated PDE8B mouse model as well as cell lines treated with either a new PDE8-selective inhibitor or a short hairpin RNA (shRNA) construct against PDE8B. We demonstrate that PDE8B is highly enriched in mouse adrenal fasciculata cells, and show that PDE8B knockout mice have elevated urinary corticosterone as a result of adrenal hypersensitivity toward adrenocorticotropin. Likewise, ablation of PDE8B mRNA transcripts by an shRNA construct potentiates steroidogenesis in the commonly used Y-1 adrenal cell line. We also observed that the PDE8-selective inhibitor (PF-04957325) potentiates adrenocorticotropin stimulation of steroidogenesis by increasing cAMP-dependent protein kinase activity in both primary isolated adrenocortical cells and Y-1 cells. It is noteworthy that PDE8s have their greatest control under low adrenocorticotropin-stimulated conditions, whereas other higher K(m) PDE(s) modulate steroidogenesis more effectively when cells are fully stimulated. Finally, both genetic ablation of PDE8B and long-term pharmacological inhibition of PDE8s cause increased expression of steroidogenic enzymes. We conclude that PDE8B is a major regulator of one or more pools of cAMP that promote steroidogenesis via both short- and long-term mechanisms. These findings further suggest PDE8B as a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of several different adrenal diseases.