Endocrine Pathology

, 3:4 | Cite as

New approaches in human adrenocortical pathology: Assessment of adrenocortical function in surgical specimen of human adrenal glands

  • Hironobu Sasano


In adrenocortical pathology, it is important to localize the sites of steroid biosynthesis in order to obtain a better understanding of steroid metabolism. Previous morphological techniques, including light- and electron-microscopical examination, histochemistry, and immunohisto-chemistry of steroids, as well as biochemical studies, could not satisfactorily demonstrate which types of cortical cells produce which steroid hormones. Recent purification and characterization of specific steroidogenic enzymes, such as cytochrome P-450, that are involved in adrenal steroid biosynthesis have made it possible to generate specific antibodies and DNA probes against the enzymes that catalyze specific reaction(s) in the complicated biochemical cascade of steroidogenesis. By employing these antibodies and DNA probes, it has became possible to detect the expression of specific steroidogenic enzymes in surgically resected human adrenal cortex and its disorders. This can indicate the site(s) of specific steroid hormone(s) catalyzed by the expressed enzymes.


Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia Endocrine Pathology Volume Zona Glomerulosa Zona Fasciculata Steroidogenic Enzyme 
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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc. 1992

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hironobu Sasano
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PathologyTohoku University School of MedicineMiyagi-kenJapan

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