Mechanism of Action of ACTH in the Adrenal Cortex
Cells in the anterior lobe of the pituitary are the origin of the 39-residue peptide hormone corticotropin (ACTH1–39). The most sensitive known biological activity of this hormone is the stimulation of corticosteroidogenesis in zona fasciculata cells in the adrenal cortex. ACTH1–39, however, has many other biological actions most notably in the liver, brain and adipose tissue1. Furthermore it is thought that different peptide fragments of ACTH1–39 may elicit tissue dependent actions which involve both cyclic AMP-dependent and independent mechanisms. In this paper the possibility that different populations of receptors for ACTH may exist in adrenocortical cells, both capable of eliciting steroidogenesis to the same extent, but through different mechanisms, is considered.
KeywordsAdrenal Cortex Adrenocortical Cell ACTH Action Zona Fasciculata Cell Secondary Effector
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