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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Acute in vivo effects of ACTH by exo utero microinjection on differentiation, steroidogenesis and proliferation of fetal mouse adrenocytes.

Mouse embryos on embryonic day (E)13 or 14 were treated with ACTH1-24 by exo utero microinjection and the adrenal was examined after 16 and 32 h. Light microscopic morphometry showed that the ACTH treatment increased cell size and decreased cell density of the adrenocortical cells. Bromodeoxyuridine-labeling index did not alter significantly after the ACTH treatment. By immunohistochemistry, both number of cells expressing 11beta-hydroxylase and the staining intensity increased in the ACTH-treated glands compared to controls whereas expression of aldosterone synthase was detectable in neither the treated nor control groups. Ultrastructurally, the adrenocytes of the inner cortical zone of the ACTH-treated glands were characterized by strikingly increased content of the smooth endoplasmic reticulum, increased mitochondria with more vesicular cristae, lipid droplets with a much higher electron density along with the distribution altered from that in controls. All of the significant differences between the ACTH-treated and control glands occurred at 16 h but not at the 32 h interval. The present results indicated that the mouse fetal adrenocytes are already sensitive to ACTH during early period ( E13 and 14) of their functional differentiation. In vivo acute treatment of ACTH stimulates cell-size, increase of fetal adrenocytes but not proliferation, and may directly or indirectly regulate multiple steps of the steroidogenic process of the fetal mouse adrenal.[1]


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