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Eur J Endocrinol. 1995 Mar;132(3):292-9.

In vivo and in vitro evidence for the production of inhibin-like immunoreactivity in human adrenocortical adenomas and normal adrenal glands: relatively high secretion from adenomas manifesting Cushing's syndrome.

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  • 1Third Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of Medicine, Kyushi University, Fukuoka, Japan.


To clarify whether adrenal gland secretes inhibin in vivo in physiological or pathological conditions, we measured the levels of inhibin-like immunoreactivity (inhibin-LI) in adrenal veins (A-vein) and compared them with those in inferior vena cava (IVC) using blood samples obtained at catheterization of adrenal vein in the patients with adrenal adenoma manifesting Cushing's syndrome (Cs), aldosterone-producing adenoma, clinically non-functioning adenoma and normal adrenal gland. The tumor sides of A-veins in the patients with adenomas and also both sides of A-veins in subjects with normal adrenal glands showed significantly higher contents of inhibin-LI than their IVC. When the inhibin-LI secretion rate from adrenal gland was estimated by the difference between the levels of A-vein (tumor side) and IVC, Cs adenomas showed the highest secretion rate. Similarly, the tissue inhibin-LI content and the basal secretion rate of inhibit-LI from primary cultured cells were the highest in Cs adenomas. These findings indicated that normal adrenal glands and adrenocortical adenomas produced and secreted inhibin-LI into the general circulation in vivo and Cs adenomas have relatively high capacity for secreting inhibin-LI, and the present study provided the first in vivo evidence for adrenal inhibin-LI production in pathological conditions.

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