Isolated Adrenal Cells: Adrenocorticotropic Hormone, Calcium, Steroidogenesis, and Cyclic Adenosine Monophosphate

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Science  10 Mar 1972:
Vol. 175, Issue 4026, pp. 1131-1133
DOI: 10.1126/science.175.4026.1131


Corticosterone production by isolated adrenal cells in response to adrenocorticotropic hormone is reduced when the cells are incubated in a medium that contains no calcium. This reduction is associated with an equal reduction of accumulation of cyclic adenosine monophosphate. Production of corticosterone and accumulation of cyclic adenosine monophosphate are increased when the calcium concentration in the medium is increased (from zero to 7.65 millimolar). This is in contrast to the situation in "subcellular membrane fragments" of adrenal tissue where high calcium in the medium (> 1.0 millimolar) inhibits cyclic adenosine monophosphate accumulation. We propose that adenyl cyclase in the intact plasma membrane is located in a compartment wherein calcium concentration is low and remains unaffected by the concentration of calcium in the extracellular space. It is proposed that, as the concentration of calcium in the incubation medium is increased from zero to 7.65 millimolar, the strength of the signal generated by the interaction of adrenocorticotropic hormone with its receptor and transmitted to the adenyl cyclase compartment is proportionately increased.