Multiple Actions of Glucocorticoids Studied in Cell Culture Systems

  • E. Brad Thompson
  • Aniko Venetianer
  • Thomas D. Gelehrter
  • Gordon Hager
  • Darryl K. Granner
  • Michael R. Norman
  • Thomas J. Schmidt
  • Jeffrey M. Harmon


Glucocorticoids produce differing effects in various cells both in vivo and in vitro. The wide spectrum of effects of these steroids baffled endocrinologists for some time until the unifying concept of steroid- and tissue-specific receptors provided a means of recognizing those cells likely to respond (Thompson and Lippman 1974; King and Mainwaring 1974; Yamamoto and Alberts 1976). This clearing in the mystery, however, has proved to be more valuable for the sex steroids and for cells selected for resistance to growth inhibition by glucocorticoids than it has for glucocorticoid-sensitive cells and tissues in general. In fact, the majority of cells and tissues tested have been found to contain receptors for glucocorticoids. Nevertheless, specific cellular responses to these steroids remain varied, and the problem of explaining the differences in response in different cell and tissue types remains. These responses are as widely disparate as induction of a limited number of peptides or suppression of a limited number of functions (Ivarie and O’Farrell 1978) and cell lysis and death (Claman 1972; Baxter and Harris 1975). At present it is not clear whether there is a single unifying mechanism that can account for such widely differing effects. It does seem that in the vast majority of the systems studied cytoplasmic receptors seem to be required.


Glucocorticoid Receptor Glutamine Synthetase Cell Culture System Nuclear Transfer Mouse Mammary Tumor Virus 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • E. Brad Thompson
  • Aniko Venetianer
  • Thomas D. Gelehrter
  • Gordon Hager
  • Darryl K. Granner
  • Michael R. Norman
    • 1
  • Thomas J. Schmidt
  • Jeffrey M. Harmon
  1. 1.Department of Chemical PathologyKing’s College Hospital Medical SchoolLondonEngland

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