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Caroline H Brennan, Alexandra Chittka, Stewart Barker and Gavin P Vinson

cortex is the major site of adrenal cell proliferation, and the inner zones are the site of cell death. Though there are conflicting views ( Wolkersdorfer & Bornstein 1998 , Mitani et al . 2003 ), it does seem likely that adrenocortical cells are

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Sinead N Kelly, T Joseph McKenna and Leonie S Young

years studies have shown that the transcription factor SF-1 participates in the expression of all steroidogenic enzymes in the adrenal cortex ( Leers-Sucheta et al. 1997 , Hu et al. 2001 a , Bassett et al. 2002 , Sewer & Waterman 2002 ). We have

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K. C. CALMAN, A. H. BAILLIE, M. M. FERGUSON and D. McK. HART

SUMMARY

The histochemical utilization of 3α-, 3β-, 6β-, 11α-, 11β-, 12α-, 16α-, 16β-, 17α-, 17β-, 20α-, 21- and 24-hydroxysteroids by three normal adult human adrenal glands, two human foetal adrenal glands, three adrenals from patients with Cushing's syndrome and one adrenal adenoma are described.

The normal adult human adrenal showed high 16β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase activity in the zona glomerulosa. Activity restricted to the outer part of the zona fasciculata was recorded with 3α-, 3β-, 6β-, 11β-, 16α-, 16β-, and 17β-hydroxysteroids. The zona reticularis utilized 3α-, 3β-, 11β-, 16β- and 17β-hydroxysteroids less well than the zona fasciculata.

The adrenals of Cushing's syndrome showed activity only for 3β- and 16β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenases; this activity was noted in all three zones. The activity pattern of the adrenal adenoma resembled that of the normal adult human adrenal except that greater activity for 16α-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase was noted.

The foetal part of the human foetal cortex was extremely active, showing 3α-, 3β-, 6β-, 11β-, 12α-, 16α-, 16β-, 17β-, 20β- and 21-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase activity. The definitive cortex behaved similarly to the adult gland and possessed 3α-, 3β-, 11β-, 16β- and 17β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenases; some evidence of zoning of the definitive cortex was seen with the 16β-hydroxysteroid.

The relevance of these findings in the light of current knowledge of adrenal zonation is discussed.

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Hironobu Kobayashi, Fukushi Kambe, Tsuneo Imai, Yatsuka Hibi, Toyone Kikumori, Sachiko Ohmori, Akimasa Nakao and Hisao Seo

nucleotide-binding protein (G protein)-coupled receptor, ACTH receptor (ACTHR), present in the plasma membrane of adrenocortical cells. The adrenal is composed of two distinct tissues, cortex and medulla, and the former consists of three major zones of cells

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I. CHESTER JONES and C. C. ROBY

SUMMARY

Male adult mice, 80 days after hypophysectomy, show approximately the same pattern of sodium and potassium intake and sodium, potassium and water output as normal mice. The healthy remnant of adrenal cortex left after the operation is thought to be responsible for the day-to-day competence of the hypophysectomized animal in salt-electrolyte metabolism. The histology of the cortex is described and it is shown that, with the injection of ACTH, a cortex of normal appearance can be regenerated from the persistent zona glomerulosa of the long-term hypophysectomized mouse.

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I. CHESTER JONES and A. WRIGHT

SUMMARY

Male adult rats, with established drinking patterns, were given the choice of saline or tap water to drink, immediately after adrenal enucleation. Both saline and water were taken, but by the 6th day after operation the rats had returned to drinking predominantly tap water. The adrenals at this stage showed a small compact cortex, no distinguishable zona glomerulosa, and they appeared to be composed for the most part of cells in 'fascicles'. Adrenalectomized animals chose saline, drinking more and more pari passu with time. Other short-term enucleated animals were injected with ACTH, and the tendency for the regenerating cortex to form in 'fascicles' was very pronounced.

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M. M. FERGUSON, J. B. GLEN and D. K. MASON

SUMMARY

Cortisol utilization by salivary glands, kidneys and adrenals of various mammals has been compared by using a standard histochemical technique for the demonstration of hydroxysteroid dehydrogenases. 11β-Hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase activity was localized in salivary gland ducts, renal collecting and convoluted tubules and in the adrenal cortex of some species. There was no obvious relationship between the levels of enzyme activity in the salivary glands, kidneys and adrenals. Neither was the presence of 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase in salivary glands particularly associated with mucous or serous secretion, nor were sex differences in levels of activity evident.

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A. T. COWIE and S. C. WATSON

The hormones of the adrenal cortex play an important role in lactogenesis in several species and adrenocorticotrophin (ACTH) is generally regarded as an essential component of the lactogenic complex of the anterior pituitary (see reviews by Folley, 1952, 1956, 1961; Cowie, 1966). The observations that cortisol acetate or ACTH will induce lactation in the rabbit whose mammary glands are suitably developed (Talwalker, Nicoll & Meites, 1961; Chadwick & Folley, 1962) would appear to agree with this concept of the important role of the adrenal cortex in lactogenesis in this species. Recently, however, Kilpatrick, Armstrong & Greep (1964) have reported that prolactin alone will induce a lactogenic response in the hypophysectomized pseudopregnant rabbit; that is, in circumstances when the level of corticosteroids in the body must be low. It is therefore of interest to test whether prolactin is lactogenic in the rabbit in the absence of the adrenal glands.

Virgin female

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I. E. BUSH and K. A. FERGUSON

SUMMARY

Adrenal venous blood was collected from six anaesthetized sheep, of which two had been previously hypophysectomized. The blood was extracted and analysed for adrenocortical steroids by paper chromatography. In each case the predominant secretory product found in the extracts was 17α-hydroxycorticosterone. Small amounts of corticosterone and a substance tentatively identified as 11β-hydroxyandrost-4-ene-3,17-dione were also found in all the extracts. Only traces of other reducing steroids or αβ-unsaturated ketosteroids were found: their irregular appearance makes it likely that they were artifacts. It seems unlikely that the secretion of the adrenal cortex in vivo is as complex as the mixture of products released by the perfused beef adrenals in the experiments of Hechter, Zaffaroni, Jacobsen, Levy, Jeanloz, Schenker & Pincus [1951].

The reported actions of cortical steroids, or whole adrenal extracts, when injected into mammals or added to isolated tissues have become so numerous that it has become essential to find out by direct experiment what the adrenal cortex actually secretes into the blood in various conditions. In the absence of direct knowledge of the nature of the cortical secretion, various theories of adrenocortical function have been proposed from time to time [e.g. Sayers, 1950], but recent work has cast considerable doubt upon them. All such theories postulate that the adrenal cortex secretes one or more steroid substances at particular rates in various physiological conditions, and it is necessary to find out whether this is the case or not.

This paper describes experiments on six sheep in which adrenal venous blood was collected and analysed by paper chromatography [Bush, 1953] in order to determine the rate and type of secretion in this species.

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Weiye Wang, Lishan Wang, Akira Endoh, Geoffrey Hummelke, Christina L Hawks and Peter J Hornsby

Introduction In the human adrenal cortex the zona reticularis (ZR) is biochemically and functionally distinct from the zona fasciculata (ZF; Hornsby 1995 ). The most significant difference is the level of 3β