Whereas the adrenal glands of healthy ferrets produce only limited amounts of androgenic steroids, adrenocortical neoplasms that arise in neutered ferrets typically secrete androgens or their derivative, estrogen. The 17,20-lyase activity of cytochrome P450 17α-hydroxylase/17,20-lyase (P450c17) must increase to permit androgen biosynthesis in neoplastic adrenal tissue. We screened ferret adrenocortical tumor specimens for expression of cytochrome b5 (cyt b5), an allosteric regulator that selectively enhances the 17,20-lyase activity of P450c17. Cyt b5 immunoreactivity was evident in 24 of 25 (96%) adrenocortical adenomas/carcinomas from ferrets with signs of ectopic sex steroid production. Normal adrenocortical cells lacked cyt b5, which may account for the low production of adrenal androgens in healthy ferrets. other markers characteristic of gonadal somatic cells, such as luteinizing hormone receptor, aromatase, and GATA4, were coexpressed with cyt b5 in some of the tumors. We concluded that cyt b5 is upregulated during gonadectomy-induced adrenocortical neoplasia andisa marker of androgen synthetic potential in these tumors.
|Number of pages||4|
|State||Published - Jul 2008|
- Adrenal cortex neoplasms
- Luteinizing hormone receptors