In adrenocortical pathology, it is important to localize the sites of steroid biosynthesis in order to obtain a better understanding of steroid metabolism. Previous morphological techniques, including light- and electron-microscopical examination, histochemistry, and immunohisto-chemistry of steroids, as well as biochemical studies, could not satisfactorily demonstrate which types of cortical cells produce which steroid hormones. Recent purification and characterization of specific steroidogenic enzymes, such as cytochrome P-450, that are involved in adrenal steroid biosynthesis have made it possible to generate specific antibodies and DNA probes against the enzymes that catalyze specific reaction(s) in the complicated biochemical cascade of steroidogenesis. By employing these antibodies and DNA probes, it has became possible to detect the expression of specific steroidogenic enzymes in surgically resected human adrenal cortex and its disorders. This can indicate the site(s) of specific steroid hormone(s) catalyzed by the expressed enzymes.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pathology and Forensic Medicine
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism