ISSN 1470-3947 (print) | ISSN 1479-6848 (online)

Endocrine Abstracts (2008) 16 P58

Characterization and differentiation of chromospheres isolated from bovine adrenal medulla

Kuei-Fang Chung1, Flavie Sicard2, Vladimir Vukicevic1, Linda Gebauer1, Stefan R Bornstein1 & Monika Ehrhart-Bornstein1

1Carl Gustav Carus University Medical School, Medical Clinic III, Dresden, Germany; 2CEA, Grenoble, France.

Chromaffin cells from adrenal medulla are the main source of epinephrine and norepinephrine hormones which are known to mediate so called fight-or-flight response to multiple environmental stress conditions. Chromaffin cells together with sympathetic neurons share the same sympathoadrenal cell lineage, but in contrast to neurons they maintain their proliferation during whole life span. However, little is known about chromaffin cells regeneration in an adult adrenal medulla.

In this study, we focused on isolation and characterization of progenitor cells from an adult bovine adrenal medulla. In the selective conditions, similar to the neuronal progenitors, freshly isolated chromaffin cells in primary culture formed spheres which will be further referred as chromospheres. In addition, chromospheres expressed several progenitor markers including nestin and Sox1. In adult adrenal medulla, adrenocortical cells are in close contact with chromaffin cells. Moreover, DHEA and DHEAS, hormones secreted by zona reticularis, are suggested to influence the adrenal medulla function and regeneration. Therefore, we assessed whether these hormones may directly impact the differentiation potential of cells from chromospheres. Stimulation with DHEAS and BMP-4, factor known to drive neuronal differentiation, induced β-III-tubulin expression suggesting that these factors may promote neuronal fate. In contrary, stimulation with DHEA and dexamethasone induced PNMT mRNA expression which is known to promote chromaffin cells differentiation. Taken together, these data show that cells from choromospheres have differential potential in their response to androgen stimulations which may influence their differentiation.

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