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J Endocrinol. 2001 Jul;170(1):259-65.

Autocrine role of adrenomedullin in the human adrenal cortex.

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Department of Endocrinology, Division of General and Developmental Medicine, St Bartholomew's and The Royal London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary and Westfield College, London EC1A 7BE, UK.


Previous studies from our laboratory have reported that adrenomedullin is synthesised in rat zona glomerulosa cells. In the present studies, it was found that the human adrenocortical cell line H295R expresses the gene encoding adrenomedullin, and that immunoreactive adrenomedullin is released into the culture medium. Furthermore, it was found that secretion of adrenomedullin is regulated by angiotensin II and forskolin. Studies on the actions of adrenomedullin and calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) revealed a stimulatory effect of adrenomedullin, but not of CGRP, on aldosterone and cortisol secretion. These data suggest that adrenomedullin is not acting by a CGRP receptor-mediated mechanism in the H295R cell line. Adrenomedullin was also found to increase cAMP production, suggesting that in the adrenal, as in other cell types, cAMP is a second messenger for adrenomedullin action. However, the effects of adrenomedullin were not fully mimicked by forskolin, possibly suggesting a role for an additional second messenger. The presence of mRNA encoding both the putative adrenomedullin receptors, L1 and calcitonin receptorlike receptor/receptor-associated modulatory protein 2 (CRLR/RAMP-2), was demonstrated in H295R cells, but RAMP-1 was not detected, suggesting that these cells do not express the CGRPI receptor CRLR/RAMP-1. Taken together, these data have demonstrated that adrenomedullin is synthesised and secreted by H295R cells. The observed rate of adrenomedullin synthesis suggests that this peptide exerts a paracrine/autocrine effect in this adrenocortical cell line, probably acting through a specific adrenomedullin receptor, to stimulate steroidogenesis and increase aldosterone synthase expression.

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