Adrenomedullin 2/intermedin (AM2/IMD) is a new member of calcitonin/ calcitonin gene-related peptide family. AM is expressed in various tumors including adrenocortical tumors and modulates tumor growth. The AM2/IMD expression has not been studied, however, in adrenal tumors. The expression of AM2/IMD and AM was therefore studied in human adrenal tumors and attached non-neoplastic adrenal tissues by immunocytochemistry (ICC). Immunoreactive (IR)-AM2/IMD was measured by RIA. Furthermore, the expression of AM2/IMD and its receptor components, calcitonin receptor-like receptor (CRLR), and receptor activity-modifying proteins (RAMPs) 1, 2, and 3 mRNA in these tissues was studied by reverse transcription PCR (RT-PCR). ICC showed that AM2/ IMD and AM immunoreactivities were localized in adrenocortical tumors and pheochromocytomas. AM2/IMD and AM immunoreactivities were detected in medulla of attached non-neoplastic tissues, while the degree of immunoreactivity for AM2/IMD and AM in cortices of attached adrenals was relatively weak or undetectable. RIA detected IR-AM2/IMD in adrenal tumors (0.414±0.12 to 0.786±0.27 pmol/g wet weight, mean±S.E.M.) and attached adrenal tissues (0.397± 0.052 pmol/g wet weight). Reverse-phase high-performance liquid chromatography showed one broad peak eluted in the similar position to synthetic AM2/ IMD with several minor peaks. RT-PCR showed expression of AM2/IMD, CRLR, and RAMP1, RAMP2, and RAMP3 mRNA in tissues of adrenal tumors and attached adrenal glands. In conclusion, AM2/IMD is expressed in human adrenal tumors and attached non-neoplastic adrenal tissues and may play (patho-)physiological roles in normal and neoplastic adrenals as an autocrine/paracrine regulator.
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