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Mol Cell Endocrinol. 2011 Apr 10;336(1-2):206-12. doi: 10.1016/j.mce.2010.11.012. Epub 2010 Nov 20.

Adrenocortical stem and progenitor cells: unifying model of two proposed origins.

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  • 1University of Michigan, 109 Zina Pitcher Place, 1528 Biomedical Science Research Building, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, United States.


The origins of our understanding of the cellular and molecular mechanisms by which signaling pathways and downstream transcription factors coordinate the specification of adrenocortical cells within the adrenal gland have arisen from studies on the role of Sf1 in steroidogenesis and adrenal development initiated 20 years ago in the laboratory of Dr. Keith Parker. Adrenocortical stem/progenitor cells have been predicted to be undifferentiated and quiescent cells that remain at the periphery of the cortex until needed to replenish the organ, at which time they undergo proliferation and terminal differentiation. Identification of these stem/progenitor cells has only recently been explored. Recent efforts have examined signaling molecules, including Wnt, Shh, and Dax1, which may coordinate intricate lineage and signaling relationships between the adrenal capsule (stem cell niche) and underlying cortex (progenitor cell pool) to maintain organ homeostasis in the adrenal gland.

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