Nav: Home

The first step in generating an artificial adrenal gland

January 30, 2018

In a new study, published in Cell Reports, researchers from Queen Mary University of London used cells derived from urine to take the first step in generating an artificial adrenal gland, which could help develop future treatments for adrenal gland disorders.

The adrenal glands, located on the top of each kidney, are responsible for releasing different hormones. Adrenal gland disorders occur when the adrenal glands produce too much or too little of these hormones, which can affect growth, development, and metabolism.

Lead author Dr Leonardo Guasti from Queen Mary's William Harvey Research Institute said: "It is a first step in generating an artificial adrenal gland which would benefit all patients with adrenal insufficiency. Regenerative medicine application for adrenal disorders have been neglected compared to other endocrine fields, such as the word-wide effort to generate functional endocrine pancreas to cure type-I diabetes. This study closes this gap."

In the research, the authors describe for the first time the generation of steroid-producing cells (named human inducible steroidogenic cells, hiSCs) from skin, blood and urine of healthy donors and patients with congenital adrenal disorders. This process is generally called reprogramming.

hiSCs were used to model adrenal diseases in a dish and provided a platform to test interventions for new personalised treatments. The viability of hiSCs in vivo was also tested through implantation experiments in mice.

Reprogramming was achieved by forcing the expression of a single protein (a transcription factor) and the activation of two signalling pathways. The newly generated hiSCs expressed the enzymes responsible for steroid production and crucially were responsive to physiological stimuli, such as the secretion of corticol upon ACTH stimulation.

The steroid profile of hiSCs generated from patients with a monogenic adrenal disorder (congenital adrenal hyperplasia) was altered, in keeping with their profile at diagnosis. When the non-mutated gene was re-introduced into these cells, the steroid profile was back to normal, and similar to that observed in hiSCs obtained from healthy donors.

Dr Leonardo Guasti added: "It represents an entirely new concept for the study of the adrenal gland as the ability to generate donor-specific and functional adrenal-like cells will facilitate the next generation of cell-based treatments for adrenal insufficiency, the modelling of adrenal specific diseases, and the testing of personalised interventions on cells derived from patients."
-end-
Research paper: 'Modeling Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia and Testing Interventions for Adrenal Insufficiency Using Donor-Specific Reprogrammed Cells' by Ruiz-Babot et al. Cell Reports. doi 10.1016/j.celrep.2018.01.003

Queen Mary University of London

Related Hormones Articles:

Puberty hormones trigger changes in youthful learning
A University of California, Berkeley, study of mice reveals, for the first time, how puberty hormones might impede some aspects of flexible youthful learning.
Female hormones may trigger headache in girls battling migraine
Changes in female hormones may trigger headaches in adolescent girls, but their effect may depend on age and their stage of pubertal development, according to a new study from researchers at University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.
Transporter of thyroid hormones is crucial for the embryonal development of the brain
Thyroid hormones are very important for the development of the brain.
Single enzyme controls 2 plant hormones
Scientists at Washington University in St. Louis have isolated the first enzyme shown to be capable of controlling the levels of two distinct plant hormones, involved both in normal growth and in responses to infections.
Female brains change in sync with hormones
In parallel to rising estrogen levels, the hippocampus increases in volume.
Snake venom composition could be related to hormones and diet
Many people are afraid of snakes, but scientists are now revealing insights about their venoms that could give even ophidiophobes an appreciation for the animals.
Sex hormones skew outcomes in clinical trials -- here's how
Clinical research often excludes females from their trials under the assumption that 'one size fits all,' that a painkiller or antidepressant will be equally effective in subjects of either sex, but a growing number of scientists are criticizing this approach.
Breakthrough: Microbes protect plants with plant hormones
Researchers from the Department of Plant and Environmental Sciences at University of Copenhagen have for the first time demonstrated that the production of a plant hormone by a beneficial microbe is protecting a plant from a pathogenic microbe by inducing plant resistance.
Researchers identify new route for release of steroid hormones
Little is known about the mechanisms that regulate the release of steroid hormones from endocrine tissues.
Taming hot flashes without hormones: What works, what doesn't
Some three-quarters of American women have menopausal hot flashes, but many cannot use hormones for medical reasons or choose not to.

Related Hormones Reading:

Cooking for Hormone Balance: A Proven, Practical Program with Over 125 Easy, Delicious Recipes to Boost Energy and Mood, Lower Inflammation, Gain Strength, and Restore a Healthy Weight
by Magdalena Wszelaki (Author)

Aroused: The History of Hormones and How They Control Just About Everything
by Randi Hutter Epstein M.D. (Author)

The Essential Oil Hormone Solution: Reset Your Hormones in 14 Days with the Power of Essential Oils
by Dr. Mariza Snyder (Author)

Dr. Colbert's Hormone Health Zone: Lose Weight, Restore Energy, Feel 25 Again!
by Don Colbert (Author)

Balance Your Hormones, Balance Your Life: Achieving Optimal Health and Wellness through Ayurveda, Chinese Medicine, and Western Science
by Claudia Welch (Author)

Hormones
by Anthony W. Norman (Author), Helen L. Henry (Author)

What You Must Know About Women's Hormones: Your Guide to Natural Hormone Treatments for PMS, Menopause, Osteoporis, PCOS, and More
by Pamela Wartian Smith (Author)

Essential Gut & Hormone Wellness: Finding Balance Naturally
by Teri A Ringham (Author)

The Hormone Fix: Burn Fat Naturally, Boost Energy, Sleep Better, and Stop Hot Flashes, the Keto-Green Way
by Anna Cabeca DO OBGYN (Author), JJ Virgin (Foreword)

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Bias And Perception
How does bias distort our thinking, our listening, our beliefs... and even our search results? How can we fight it? This hour, TED speakers explore ideas about the unconscious biases that shape us. Guests include writer and broadcaster Yassmin Abdel-Magied, climatologist J. Marshall Shepherd, journalist Andreas Ekström, and experimental psychologist Tony Salvador.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#513 Dinosaur Tails
This week: dinosaurs! We're discussing dinosaur tails, bipedalism, paleontology public outreach, dinosaur MOOCs, and other neat dinosaur related things with Dr. Scott Persons from the University of Alberta, who is also the author of the book "Dinosaurs of the Alberta Badlands".