G protein-coupled receptor expression in the adult and fetal adrenal glands

Yewei Xing, Yasuhiro Nakamura, William E. Rainey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


Hormonal regulation of adrenal function occurs primarily through G protein-coupled receptors (GPCR), which may play different roles in fetal vs. adult adrenal glands. In this study, we compared the transcript levels of GPCR between fetal and adult adrenal and found that gonadotropin-releasing hormone receptor (GnRHR), latrophilin 3 receptor, G protein-coupled receptor 37, angiotensin II receptor type 2, latrophilin 2 receptor and melanocortin receptor were expressed at significantly higher levels in fetal adrenal. High GnRHR protein expression was also detected in fetal adrenal using immunohistochemical analysis. To define potential ligand sources for fetal adrenal GnRHR, we demonstrated that GnRH1 mRNA was expressed at high levels in the placenta, while fetal adrenal had high expression of GnRH2. In summary, certain GPCR particularly GnRHR were highly expressed in fetal adrenal and the expression of GnRH mRNA in the placenta and the fetal adrenal raises the possibility of endocrine and/or paracrine/autocrine influences on fetal adrenal function. However, the exact function of GnRHR in fetal adrenal remains to be determined.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)43-50
Number of pages8
JournalMolecular and Cellular Endocrinology
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Mar 5
Externally publishedYes


  • Fetal adrenal
  • GPCR
  • GnRHR

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Endocrinology


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