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Cerebellin in the rat adrenal gland: gene expression and effects of CER and [des-Ser1]CER on the secretion and growth of cultured adrenocortical cells

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Cerebellin (CER) is a regulatory peptide, originally isolated from rat cerebellum, which derives from the cleavage of precerebellin (Cbln), three types of which (Cbln1-3) have been identified in humans and rats. CER is also expressed in several extra-cerebellar tissues, including adrenal gland, and evidence has been provided that CER exerts a modulatory action on human and rat adrenal gland. Hence, we have investigated the expression of Cbln1-3 mRNAs and CER protein-immunoreactivity (IR) in the various zones of rat adrenal glands, and the effects of CER and its metabolite [des-Ser1]CER (des-CER) on the secretion and growth of cultured rat adrenocortical cells. Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction showed high and low expression of Cbln2 mRNA in zona glomerulosa (ZG) and zona fasciculata-reticularis, respectively. Cbln1 was not expressed, and Cbln3 mRNA was detected only in ZG. No Cbln expression was found in adrenal medulla. Immunocytochemistry demonstrated the presence of CER-IR exclusively in the adrenal cortex, the reaction being more intense in ZG. As expected, ACTH (10−8 M) markedly enhanced corticosterone secretion and lowered proliferation rate of cultured adrenocortical cells. CER was ineffective, while des-CER exerted an ACTH-like effect, but only at the lowest concentration (10−10 M). Taken together, these findings allow us to conclude that CER is expressed in rat adrenal cortex, and to suggest that CER conversion to des-CER by endopeptidases is needed for CER to exert its autocrine-paracrine regulatory functions.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Histology and Embryology, School of Medicine, PL-60781 Poznan, Poland

Publication date: March 1, 2005

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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