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Aberrant G-protein coupled receptor expression in relation to adrenocortical overfunction

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The aberrant adrenal expression and function of one or several G-protein coupled receptors can lead to cell proliferation and abnormal regulation of steroidogenesis in unilateral adenomas, carcinomas or in ACTH-independent macronodular adrenal hyperplasia (AIMAH). Excess cortisol secretion leading to either sub-clinical or overt Cushing’s syndrome is the most prevalent phenotype reported to date. In a few patients, aberrant regulation of androgen excess has been reported. More recently, initial studies suggest that similar mechanisms are involved in the renin-independent regulation of aldosterone secretion in primary aldosteronism. In recent years, cases of familial AIMAH have been identified, and specific aberrant hormone receptors are functional in the adrenal of affected members. The identification of aberrant receptors can offer specific pharmacological approach to prevent disease progression and control abnormal steroidogenesis; alternatively, unilateral or bilateral adrenalectomy remains the treatment of choice.
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Document Type: Review Article

Publication date: July 1, 2010

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