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Expression of stanniocalcin in zona glomerulosa and medulla of normal human adrenal glands, and some adrenal tumors and cell lines

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Stanniocalcin (STC) is a calcium (Ca)-regulating hormone that was originally discovered in the fish Stannius body, which is a unique endocrine organ. Hypercalcemia increases STC secretion, which inhibits Ca uptake by the gills and normalizes serum Ca level. In this study we investigated the STC expression in human normal and abnormal adrenal cells. Immunohistochemistry using monoclonal antibody against STC revealed specific staining in zona glomerulosa and medulla of normal human adrenal glands. STC was also detected in human adrenal tumors, such as pheochromocytoma, differentiated neuroblastoma, and aldosterone-producing adenoma, and cultured adrenal tumor cells (rat pheochromocytoma PC-12 cells and human neuroblastoma NB-1 cells). However, undifferentiated human adrenal neuroblastoma was negative for STC staining. Reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction demonstrated STC mRNA expression in cultured PC-12 cells and NB-1 cells. Following several studies indicating that zona glomerulosa cells of adrenal glands express neuroendocrine properties, STC expression in normal and abnormal adrenal cells provides additional evidence to support the neuroendocrine differentiation of these cells. In conclusion, STC may be useful as a new cell marker of adrenal glands under physiological and pathological conditions.
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Keywords: Stanniocalcin; adrenal medulla; neuroblastoma; pheochromocytoma; zona glomerulosa

Document Type: Original Article

Affiliations: 1: The Second Department of Internal Medicine, 2: The Department of Pathology, and 3: The Department of Clinical and Laboratory Medicine, Tohoku University School of Medicine, Seiryo-cho 1-1, Aoba-ku, Sendai, Japan 4: The Health Administration Center, The Department of Information on Pathophysiology, Tohoku University, Kawauchi, Aoba-ku, Sendai, Japan 5: The Department of Internal Medicine, Sendai Open Hospital, Tsurugaya, Miyagino-ku, Sendai, Japan

Publication date: 2000-05-01

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