Faculty Research 1990 - 1999

Adrenocortical dysplasia: a mouse model system for adrenocortical insufficiency.

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Adrenal-Gland-Hypofunction: ge, co, pa, Animal, Chromosome-Mapping, Disease-Models-Animal, Female, Genes-Recessive, Homozygote, Hydronephrosis: co, Male, Mice, Mice-Mutant-Strains: gd, ph, Microscopy-Electron, Phenotype, SUPPORT-NON-U-S-GOVT, SUPPORT-U-S-GOVT-NON-P-H-S, SUPPORT-U-S-GOVT-P-H-S

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J Endocrinol 1994 Apr;141(1):33-43


CA42363/CA/NCI, DK17947/DK/NIDDK, NCICA-34196/CA/NCI


A spontaneous autosomal recessive mutation causing disordered morphogenesis of the adrenal cortex has been identified in DW/J inbred strain mice and named adrenocortical dysplasia (acd). The acd mutant gene has been mapped just proximal to oligosyndactyly (Os) and esterase-1 (Es-1) in the central region of chromosome 8. Both male and female acd/acd mice are characterized by reduced survival, retarded growth, skin hyperpigmentation, poorly developed pelage and focal ureteral blockage leading to hydronephrosis. Morphometric measurements showed that acd/acd cortical cells and nuclei were increased sevenfold in volume; nuclei often showed a variety of inclusions. Cortical cells of acd/acd mice contained large numbers of mitochondria, smooth endoplasmic reticulum and lipid droplets characteristic of steroidogenic cells. While cortical X-zones failed to develop in acd/acd adrenals, medullary cells and nuclei were unaffected by mutant gene action. Resting serum corticosterone levels in female, but not male, mutant mice were significantly lower than in +/? normal littermates, whereas ACTH levels were significantly elevated in mutants of both sexes. Serum aldosterone levels were normal in acd/acd mice. Functional studies of adrenals cultured in vitro revealed that acd/acd adrenals secreted reduced amounts of corticosterone per pair of glands under both basal and ACTH-stimulated conditions. However, correction of the corticosterone secretion data to mg cortical mass in culture showed that the mutant cortical tissue secreted the same amount of glucocorticoid as did their +/? normal littermate glands. We conclude that the acd mutant gene acts in an unknown fashion to cause a fundamental defect in cellular proliferation in the adrenal cortex, leading to compensatory marked hypertrophy of cortical cells and grossly enlarged nuclei. The role of acd action in adrenal cortical development remains to be established.

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