Assessing the presence of abnormal regulation of cortisol secretion by membrane hormone receptors: In vivo and in vitro studies in patients with functioning and non-functioning adrenal adenoma

C. Dall'Asta, E. Ballarè, C. Mantovani, B. Ambrosi, A. Spada, L. Barbetta, P. Colombo, P. Travaglini, P. Loli, P. Beck-Peccoz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Regulation of cortisol secretion by aberrant hormone receptors may play a role in the pathogenesis of ACTH-independent Cushing's syndrome. In this study, the topic was evaluated by combining in vivo and in vitro approaches. Cortisol responses to various stimuli (standard meal, GnRH + TRH, cisapride, vasopressin, glucagon) were assessed in 6 patients with clinical or subclinical adrenal Cushing's syndrome, and non-functioning adrenal adenoma in two cases. Abnormal responses were observed in three patients with Cushing's syndrome; one patient showed a gastric inhibitory polypeptide (GIP)-dependent cortisol rise after meal, together with responses after GnRH and cisapride; the second patient showed an LH-dependent cortisol response to GnRH, and in the third cortisol rose after cisapride. The pattern of receptor expression performed by RT-PCR showed that while GIP-R was only expressed in tumor from the responsive patient, 5-hydroxytryptamine type 4 receptor and LH-R were also present in normal adrenal tissues and tissues from non-responsive patients. Interestingly, an activating mutation of Gsα gene was identified in one of these tumors. Therefore, cortisol responses to agents operating via Gs protein coupled receptors (in one case associated with Gsα mutation) were found in Cushing's patients, while these responses were absent in the others. The finding of receptor expression in normal and non-responsive tumors suggests that different mechanisms are probably involved in inducing in vivo cortisol responses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)578-583
Number of pages6
JournalHormone and Metabolic Research
Volume36
Issue number8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2004

Keywords

  • Adrenal mass
  • Cushing's syndrome
  • GIP receptor
  • Gsα gene mutation
  • Incidentaloma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Assessing the presence of abnormal regulation of cortisol secretion by membrane hormone receptors: In vivo and in vitro studies in patients with functioning and non-functioning adrenal adenoma'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this