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Nat Med. 1997 Sep;3(9):978-83.

Adrenocortical tissue formed by transplantation of normal clones of bovine adrenocortical cells in scid mice replaces the essential functions of the animals' adrenal glands.

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Huffington Center on Aging and Department of Cell Biology, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, Texas 77030, USA.


Xenotransplanted adrenocortical tissue of clonal origin was formed in immunodeficient (scid) mice by using techniques of cell transplantation. The experiments reported here used a single clone of bovine adrenocortical cells, but 5 of 20 other randomly selected clones also formed tissue. Most adrenalectomized animals bearing transplanted cells survived indefinitely, demonstrating that the cells restored the animals' capacity to survive in the absence of sodium supplementation. Formation of well-vascularized tissue at the site of transplantation was associated with stable levels of cortisol in the blood, replacing the mouse glucocorticoid (corticosterone). Ultrastructurally, the cultured cells before transplantation had characteristics of rapidly growing cells, but tissue formed in vivo showed features associated with active steroidogenesis. These experiments show that an endocrine tissue can be derived from a single, normal somatic cell.

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