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

Metyrapone infusion stimulates adrenal growth without activating the cell cycle or the IGF system in the late gestation fetal sheep.

Recently, we have demonstrated that administration of metyrapone, to suppress cortisol synthesis and decrease negative feedback at the pituitary, results in an increase in circulating ACTH and adrenal growth in the late gestation sheep fetus. In these studies, we demonstrated a 2-fold increase in adrenocortical growth using morphometric techniques. To elucidate the potential molecular mechanisms leading to the increase in adrenal growth, we examined adrenal expression of the cell cycle regulatory proteins (cyclin D1) and cyclin-kinase inhibitory proteins (p16ink, p21Cip), and insulin-like growth factor-II (IGF-II), IGF-binding protein 2 (IGFBP-2) and IGF-I type 1 Receptor (IGF1R) from fetuses infused with metyrapone or vehicle for 15 days. There was a significant decrease in adrenal expression of cyclin D1 in metyrapone-(472.0 +/- 29.7) compared with vehicle-infused (662.7 +/- 29.2) fetuses. There was no significant difference, however, in the adrenal expression of the cyclin-kinase inhibitory proteins (p16ink or p21Cip) or in the IGF system (IGF-II, IGFBP-2 or IGF1R) mRNA between metyrapone- and vehicle-infused. In summary, in this model of metyrapone-activated adrenal cortical hypertrophy, growth occurs with a suppression of the rate-limiting cell cycle protein and without activation of the IGF system.[1]


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