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Endocrinology. 1996 Feb;137(2):533-9.

Ouabain production by cultured adrenal cells.

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Department of Cell Biology and Biochemistry, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, Lubbock 79430, USA.


The adrenal cortex releases a sodium pump inhibitor. The present studies tested whether this material was endogenous and identical to ouabain by 1) studying the production of ouabain in long term cultures of adrenocortical cells, 2) seeking evidence that ouabain might be taken up from exogenous sources by adrenocortical cells, 3) examining the release of adrenocortical cells loaded with exogenous ouabain, 4) attempting to stimulate ouabain steroidogenesis in cultured adrenocortical cells, and 5) performing further chemical analysis on ouabain immunoreactivity released by cultured adrenocortical cells. Our results indicate that ouabain immunoreactivity is present in conditioned medium from both murine Y-1 adrenocortical cultures and primary bovine adrenocortical cell (BAC) cultures. We also found that BACs bind and internalize [3H]ouabain. Bound [3H]ouabain is released from BACs by both receptor dissociation and cytoplasmic release of internalized [3H]ouabain. Only one isoform of membrane sodium, potassium-adenosine triphosphatase, alpha 1, was expressed in the adrenal. Authentic ouabain was not metabolized during membrane binding or while present intracellularly. Stimulation of steroidogenesis in Y-1 and BAC with 22R-hydroxycholesterol and 25-hydroxycholesterol was performed and confirmed increased steroidogenesis; however, there was no effect on ouabain immunoreactivity content or release. Comparison of the ouabain binding density in cultured BAC, hepatoma cells, and 3T3 fibroblasts indicated that adrenocortical cells have a high ouabain-binding capacity. HPLC studies of the ouabain immunoreactivity released by bovine adrenocortical cells indicated that essentially no authentic ouabain was secreted. The present studies confirm that both BAC and Y-1 cultures release a ouabain-like material that differs in structure from authentic plant ouabain and is not a product of cholesterol side-chain cleavage.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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