, Volume 7, Issue 3, pp 377–381

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

  • Rocco V. Carsia
  • Kim. I. Tilly
  • Jonathan L. Tilly
Original Articles


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.

Key Words

Adrenal gland apoptosis oligonucleosome formation internucleosomal DNA fragmentation adrenocorticotropin angiotensin II rat (Sprague-Dawley) 


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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rocco V. Carsia
    • 1
  • Kim. I. Tilly
    • 2
  • Jonathan L. Tilly
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Cell BiologyUniversity of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey-School of Osteopathic MedicineStratford
  2. 2.Vincent Center for Reproductive Biology, Department of Obstetrics and GynecologyMassachusetts General Hospital/Harvard Medical SchoolBoston

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