Differential expression of GATA-4 and GATA-6 in fetal and adult mouse and human adrenal tissue

Sanne Kiiveri, Jianqi Liu, Mia Westerholm-Ormio, Naoko Narita, David B. Wilson, Raimo Voutilainen, Markku Heikinheimo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

64 Scopus citations


Earlier work implicates transcription factors GATA-4 and GATA-6 in murine adrenal function. We have now studied their expression during mouse and human adrenal development in detail. GATA-4 and GATA-6 mRNAs and protein are readily detectable from embryonic d 14 and gestational wk 19 onwards in the mouse and human adrenal cortex, respectively. In the postnatal adrenal, GATA-4 expression is down-regulated, whereas GATA-6 mRNA and protein continue to be expressed. To clarify the significance of GATA-4 for early adrenocortical development, Gata4-/- ES cells were injected into eight-cell-stage embryos derived from ROSA26 mice, a transgenic line expressing β-galactosidase in all cell types, including the adrenocortical cells. The resultant chimeric embryos were stained with X-gal to discriminate ES cell- and host-derived tissue. Gata4-/- cells contributed to adrenocortical cells in these chimeras, and these cells also expressed GATA-6. Taken together, our findings suggest that GATA-6 expression is needed throughout adrenal development from fetal to adult age. GATA-4, on the other hand, may serve a role in the fetal adrenal gene regulation, although it is not essential for early adrenocortical differentiation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3136-3143
Number of pages8
Issue number8
StatePublished - 2002


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