Virilizing adrenocortical adenoma: In vitro steroidogenesis, immunohistochemical studies of steroidogenic enzymes, and gene expression of cordcotropin receptor

Tsuneo Imai, Jun Ichi Tobinaga, Takako Morita-Matsuyama, Toyone Kikumori, Hironobu Sasano, Hisao Seo, Hiroomi Funahashi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

8 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background. No reports have yet precisely determined corticotropin (ACTH) responsiveness in virilizing adrenocortical adenoma. Methods. Five women with an androgen-secreting adrenal adenoma were reviewed. Three of them were examined by in vitro steroidogenesis. Two of these 3 patients were studied by immunohistochemistry of steroidogenic enzymes and for the gene expression of ACTH receptor by Northern blot analysis. Results. In preoperative hormonal determinations plasma and urine androgens had increased. Dexamethasone did not suppress plasma and urinary androgens, nor did ACTH increase them. In vitro steroidogenesis revealed that the cells produced mainly dehydroepiandrosterone and a small amount of testosterone. ACTH did not increase the in vitro production of androgens. In immunohistochemical staining 5 enzymes involved in adrenal steroidogenesis were all expressed, especially 17α-hydroxylase, which was strongly expressed in tumor cells. ACTH receptor messenger RNA was not detected in virilizing tumor tissues, whereas it was expressed in attached adrenal tissues. Conclusions. The lack of response to ACTH is the result of a deficiency of ACTH receptor expression in the virilizing tumor cells. Androgens were autonomously produced in adrenal adenoma cells without ACTH regulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)396-402
Number of pages7
JournalSurgery
Volume125
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1999 Jan 1

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Virilizing adrenocortical adenoma: In vitro steroidogenesis, immunohistochemical studies of steroidogenic enzymes, and gene expression of cordcotropin receptor'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this