Mediatory role of calcium and guanosine 3', 5'-monophosphate in adrenocorticotropin-induced steroidogenesis by adrenal cells

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Science  23 Mar 1979:
Vol. 203, Issue 4386, pp. 1259-1261
DOI: 10.1126/science.34216


When incubated in a calcium-free medium, isolated rat fasciculata cells showed neither an increase in the concentration of guanocine 3',5'-monophosphate (cyclic GMP) nor an increase in corticosterone production in response to adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH). In response to submaximum and maximum steroidogenic concentrations of ACTH, corticosterone formation was directly proportional to increases in calcium concentration ranging from 0 to 2.5 mM. Higher concentration of calcium, however, inhibited maximal ACTH-induced steroidogenesis. In the absence of ACTH, calcium did not stimulate cyclic GMP accumulation and corticosterone formation. ACTH-induced corticosterone synthesis, preceded by an increase in cyclic GMP, was restored when ACTH and calcium were both present in the medium. Cyclic GMP or dibutryl cyclic GMP-induced steroidogenesis was substantially reduced in the absence of calcium, but in contrast to the ACTH effect a significant amount of corticosterone formation occurred without calcium. It is proposed that at the physiological concentrations of the hormone, calcium regulates the transduction of information between hormone receptors and guanylate cyclase.