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Human adrenal cortex and aldosterone secreting adenomas express both 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 and type 2 genes

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11β-Hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 and type 2 (11βHSD1 and 11βHSD2) isozymes catalize the conversion of inactive glucocorticoids (e.g. cortisone) to their active forms (e.g. cortisol) and vice versa, respectively. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction allowed the detection of 11βHSD1 and 11βHSD2 mRNAs in the human adrenal cortex, liver, kidneys, as well as in six aldosterone-secreting adenomas. 11βHSD1 and 11βHSD2 activity, as evaluated by the capacity of the microsomal fraction to convert [3H]cortisone to [3H]cortisol and vice versa, was detected in both human adrenal cortex and aldosteronomas, although it was less elevated than in liver and kidneys. Aldosteronomas possessed more intense 11βHSD1 activity and less intense 11βHSD2 activity than the normal adrenal cortex. The hypothesis is advanced that the elevated local concentration of steroid-hormone intermediates occurring in aldosteronomas up-regulates 11βHSD1 and down-regulates 11βHSD2, thereby contributing to their enhanced steroidogenic function.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Human Anatomy and Physiology, Section of Anatomy, University of Padua, I-35121 Padua, Italy

Publication date: January 1, 2002

More about this publication?
  • The International Journal of Molecular Medicine is a monthly, peer-reviewed journal devoted to the publication of high quality studies related to the molecular mechanisms of human disease. The journal welcomes research on all aspects of molecular and clinical research, ranging from biochemistry to immunology, pathology, genetics, human genomics, microbiology, molecular pathogenesis, molecular cardiology, molecular surgery and molecular psychology.

    The International Journal of Molecular Medicine aims to provide an insight for researchers within the community in regard to developing molecular tools and identifying molecular targets for the diagnosis and treatment of a diverse number of human diseases.
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