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Endocr J. 2006 Aug;53(4):449-59. Epub 2006 Jun 27.

Differentiation and regeneration of adrenal tissues: An initial step toward regeneration therapy for steroid insufficiency.

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Department of Medicine and Bioregulatory Science (Third Department of Internal Medicine), Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan.


In animal experiments, adrenal cortical tissue has been successfully regenerated through xenotransplantation of cloned adrenocortical cells, suggesting that the intraadrenal stem cells required for such tissue formation may be present in the adrenal cortex. Stable expression of Ad4BP/SF-1, a key factor for adrenal and gonadal development and steroidogenesis, has been shown to direct embryonic stem cells toward the steroidogenic lineage. However, this steroidogenic capacity was very limited since progesterone was only produced in the presence of an exogenous substrate. Bone marrow mesenchymal cells are thought to contain pluripotent progenitor cells, which differentiate into multiple lineages. We have demonstrated that adenovirus-mediated forced expression of SF-1 in long-term cultured bone marrow cells can produce steroidogenic cells with the capacity for de novo synthesis of various steroid hormones in response to ACTH. This discovery may represent the first step in autologous cell transplantation therapy for patients with steroid hormone deficiency.

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