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Insulin-like growth factors enhance steroidogenic enzyme and corticotropin receptor messenger ribonucleic acid levels and corticotropin steroidogenic responsiveness in cultured human adrenocortical cells


Insulin-like growth factors enhance steroidogenic enzyme and corticotropin receptor messenger ribonucleic acid levels and corticotropin steroidogenic responsiveness in cultured human adrenocortical cells



Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism 81(11): 3892-3897



ISSN/ISBN: 0021-972X

PMID: 8923834

DOI: 10.1210/jcem.81.11.8923834

In several species, including the human fetus, insulin-like growth factors (IGF-I and IGF-II) have been reported to modulate adrenal steroidogenesis, thus contributing to adrenal cortical differentiation. In the present study, we examined the long term effects of IGF-I and -II on human adult adrenal fasciculata-reticularis cells cultured in a chemically defined medium and compared them to the effects of insulin, human GH, and ACTH. Treatment for 3 days with IGF-I or -II at nanomolar concentrations or with insulin at micromolar concentrations slightly increased the production of androstenedione, cortisol, and dehydroepiandrosterone about 1.5-fold over that by control cells. Moreover, the acute steroidogenic response to ACTH of cells pretreated with IGF-I, IGF-II, or insulin was 3- to 6-fold higher than that of control cells. For each hormone, these effects of IGF-I and -II were dose dependent between 0.1-26 nmol/L (1-200 ng/mL). The secretion of androstenedione was more potently stimulated than that of dehydroepiandrosterone and cortisol, and this effect was more clearly yielded by pretreatment with IGF-II than with IGF-I or insulin. Human GH had no effect on these cells. In cells treated with IGF-I or -II, the messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA) levels of cytochrome P450 17 alpha-hydroxylase and of 3 beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase were increased, and the abundance of ACTH receptor mRNA was also slightly enhanced, but the mRNA of cytochrome P450 cholesterol side-chain cleavage enzyme was unchanged. In conclusion, IGFs enhance the steroidogenesis and ACTH responsiveness of human adrenocortical cells in culture. We speculate, that by this mechanism, IGFs may contribute to clinical states with hyperandrogenemia.

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Accession: 008888224

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