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Michael Waterman
Faculty Member
Last active: 2/12/2015

Developmental expression of bovine adrenocortical steroid hydroxylases. Regulation of P-450(17 alpha) expression leads to episodic fetal cortisol production.

Lund J, Faucher DJ, Ford SP, Porter JC, Waterman MR, Mason JI
J Biol Chem. 1988 263 (31): 16195-201

PMID: 3263367

The developmental expression of adrenocortical steroid hydroxylases was studied in bovine fetuses from 40 to 280 days gestational age. The expression of P-450(17 alpha) is first detected at a gestational age of 50 days and reaches a maximum at 60-70 days. The expression of P-450(17 alpha) then declines and is nondetectable at a gestational age of 100 days. P-450(17 alpha) is not expressed again until about 240 days, i.e. shortly before birth (approximately 280 days). P-450scc, P-450c21, P-450(11 beta) and adrenodoxin were present in fetal adrenals throughout gestation. This "on-off-on" pattern of P-450(17 alpha) expression during fetal development was associated with a corresponding episodic production of cortisol. Immunoreactive corticotropin (ACTH) levels in fetal plasma were elevated in small fetuses (corresponding to less than or equal to 100 days) and in near-term fetuses (corresponding to greater than 250 days) compared with those in mid-gestation fetuses. In primary culture, adrenal cells from mid-gestation fetuses contained no detectable P-450(17 alpha) but rapidly responded to ACTH with an increase in P-450(17 alpha) protein and mRNA. The tissue specificity of the developmental patterns is emphasized by the fact that both P-450(17 alpha) and P-450scc were detectable throughout the development of the fetal testes, whereas only P-450scc was detectable in fetal bovine ovary prior to 200 days. Thus, in fetal bovine adrenal it appears that ACTH is the major regulatory factor effecting the intermittent presence of P-450(17 alpha), whereas the presence of the other steroid hydroxylases is either regulated by additional factors or shows a much different sensitivity to ACTH.

MeSH Terms (13)

Adrenal Cortex Animals Blotting, Northern Blotting, Western Cattle Cells, Cultured Corticosterone Electrophoresis, Polyacrylamide Gel Fetus Gestational Age Hydrocortisone Steroid 17-alpha-Hydroxylase Steroid Hydroxylases

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