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. 2009 Jun;150(6):2717-22.
doi: 10.1210/en.2008-1683. Epub 2009 Feb 26.

Cryptochrome 2 Expression Level Is Critical for Adrenocorticotropin Stimulation of Cortisol Production in the Capuchin Monkey Adrenal

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Cryptochrome 2 Expression Level Is Critical for Adrenocorticotropin Stimulation of Cortisol Production in the Capuchin Monkey Adrenal

C Torres-Farfan et al. Endocrinology. .

Abstract

Timely production of glucocorticoid hormones in response to ACTH is essential for survival by coordinating energy intake and expenditure and acting as homeostatic regulators against stress. Adrenal cortisol response to ACTH is clock time dependent, suggesting that an intrinsic circadian oscillator in the adrenal cortex contributes to modulate the response to ACTH. Circadian clock gene expression has been reported in the adrenal cortex of several species. However, there are no reports accounting for potential involvement of adrenal clock proteins on cortisol response to ACTH. Here we explored whether the clock protein cryptochrome 2 (CRY2) knockdown modifies the adrenal response to ACTH in a primate. Adrenal gland explants from adult capuchin monkey (n = 5) were preincubated for 6 h with transfection vehicle (control) or with two different Cry2 antisense and sense probes followed by 48 h incubation in medium alone (no ACTH) or with 100 nm ACTH. Under control and sense conditions, ACTH increased cortisol production, whereas CRY2 suppression inhibited ACTH-stimulated cortisol production. Expression of the steroidogenic enzymes steroidogenic acute regulatory protein and 3beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase at 48 h of incubation was increased by ACTH in control explants and suppressed by Cry2 knockdown. Additionally, we found that Cry2 knockdown decreased the expression of the clock gene brain and muscle aryl hydrocarbon receptor nuclear translocator-like protein (Bmal1) at the mRNA and protein levels. Altogether these results strongly support that the clock protein CRY2 is involved in the mechanism by which ACTH increases the expression of steroidogenic acute regulatory protein and 3beta-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase. Thus, adequate expression levels of components of the adrenal circadian clock are required for an appropriate cortisol response to ACTH.

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