, Volume 7, Issue 3, pp 377-381

Hormonal modulation of apoptosis in the rat adrenal gland in vitro is dependent on structural integrity

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Abstract

The intact rat adrenal gland in short-term (3-h) organ culture may be amenable for the identification of factors involved in regulating adrenal cell apoptosis under defined conditions. In this model, culturing in the absence of trophic support (basal; control) triggered apoptosis in the intact rat adrenal gland; oligonucleosome formation, a measure of apoptosis, was 56.4-fold greater than that of glands snap-frozen at the start of incubation. Angiotensin II (Ang II) (100 nM) enhanced apoptosis by 67% over control. By contrast, adreno-corticotropin (ACTH) (100 nM) attenuated basal apoptosis by 59% and antagonized the enhanced apoptosis induced by Ang II back to the control level. Quartering of the glands enhanced basal oligonucleosome formation 182.2% greater than that of intact glands. Interestingly, quartering of the glands abolished the influences of Ang II and ACTH on apoptotic DNA fragmentation, but did not alter ACTH-induced corticosterone secretion. These data suggest that some level of gross adrenal structural information or compartmentalization, sufficiently disrupted by quartering, is required for the hormonal modulation of adrenal cell survival.