The possible involvement of the lipoxygenase pathway of arachidonic acid metabolism in the events which take place during ACTH-induced stimulation of corticosterone secretion has been studied using an isolated rat adrenal cell system. Incubation with arachidonic acid resulted in an inhibition of ACTH-stimulated corticosterone production. The lipoxygenase pathway inhibitors nordihydroguaretic acid (NDGA), eicosatetraynoic acid (ETYA) and compound BW755C also produced inhibition of ACTH-stimulated corticosterone synthesis. The concentrations of the inhibitors at which 50% inhibition occurred were 15, 34 and 37 μmol/l respectively. The inhibitions produced by NDGA and ETYA were independent of cyclic AMP output. NDGA also inhibited corticosterone production induced by dibutyryl cyclic AMP but had no effect on corticosterone synthesis induced by pregnenolone.
Preincubation of adrenal cells with the lipoxygenase products 5, 12 and 15 hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid (HETE) and with leukotrienes A4, B4, C4, D4 and E4 resulted in significant inhibitions of corticosterone production in response to ACTH with leukotriene A4 (LTA4) and with 15HETE and 5HETE. Conversely, incubation with glutathione (GSH), which is known to reduce intracellular LTA4 levels, produced stimulation (at 5 mmol GSH/1) and inhibition (at 50 mmol GSH/1) of corticosterone output. These studies suggest that the lipoxygenase pathway may be involved in ACTH-stimulated corticosterone synthesis.