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In Vivo and in Vitro Screening for Illegitimate Receptors in Adrenocorticotropin-Independent Macronodular Adrenal Hyperplasia Causing Cushing’s Syndrome: Identification of Two Cases of Gonadotropin/Gastric Inhibitory Polypeptide-Dependent Hypercortisolism

Abstract : In ACTH-independent macronodular adrenal hyperplasia (AIMAH) causing Cushing's syndrome, cortisol production can be controlled by illegitimate membrane receptors. The aim of the present study was to evaluate in vivo and in vitro the sensitivity of AIMAH to various regulatory factors to detect the expression of illegitimate receptors by the tissues. Four consecutive patients with AIMAH and hypercortisolism (H1-H4) preoperatively underwent a series of pharmacological and/or physiological tests. After adrenalectomy, in vitro studies were conducted to investigate the cortisol responses of cultured cells, derived from hyperplastic tissues, to various membrane receptor ligands. The adrenal tissues of the two patients who responded in vivo to food intake (H2 and H4) were stimulated in vitro by gastric inhibitory polypeptide. GnRH and human chorionic gonadotropin, but not FSH, stimulated cortisol secretion in patients H2 and H4. In these two cases, human chorionic gonadotropin but not GnRH stimulated cortisol production from cultured adrenocortical cells. Cisapride induced a significant increase in cortisol levels in patient H1. In addition, serotonin (5-HT) was more efficient to stimulate cortisol production in H1 cells than in normal adrenocortical cells. Upright stimulation test provoked an increase in cortisol levels in patients H1, H2, and H3. H1 and H2 cells were more sensitive to the stimulatory action of angiotensin II than normal cells. Similarly, arginine vasopressin (AVP) more efficiently activated steroidogenesis in H1 cells than in normal cells. In H1 tissue, immunohistochemical studies revealed the presence of 5-HT- and AVP-like immunoreactivities within clusters of steroidogenic cells, suggesting that these two factors acted through an autocrine/paracrine mechanism to stimulate cortisol secretion. The present study provides the first demonstration of primary adrenal Cushing's syndrome dependent on both gonadotropin and gastric inhibitory polypeptide. Our data also show a hyperresponsiveness of hyperplastic adrenal tissues to 5-HT, angiotensin II, and AVP. Finally, they reveal for the first time the presence of paracrine regulatory signals in adrenal hyperplasia tissues.
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https://hal-normandie-univ.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-01928788
Contributor : Céline Duparc <>
Submitted on : Tuesday, November 20, 2018 - 5:31:45 PM
Last modification on : Wednesday, May 6, 2020 - 1:30:32 AM

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Jérôme Bertherat, Vincent Contesse, Estelle Louiset, Gaelle Barrande, Céline Duparc, et al.. In Vivo and in Vitro Screening for Illegitimate Receptors in Adrenocorticotropin-Independent Macronodular Adrenal Hyperplasia Causing Cushing’s Syndrome: Identification of Two Cases of Gonadotropin/Gastric Inhibitory Polypeptide-Dependent Hypercortisolism. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, Endocrine Society, 2005, 90 (3), pp.1302 - 1310. ⟨10.1210/jc.2004-1256⟩. ⟨hal-01928788⟩

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