Expression of ACTH receptors (MC2-R and MC5-R) in the glomerulosa and the fasciculata-reticularis zones of bovine adrenal cortex

Endocr Res. Aug-Nov 1998;24(3-4):427-32. doi: 10.3109/07435809809032628.


The recent cloning of a family of melanocortin receptors (MC-R) has identified five distinct G protein- and adenylate cyclase-coupled receptors. The MC2-receptor (MC2-R) preferentially binds ACTH. It is expressed in the adrenal cortex and is hence considered to be the ACTH receptor. The MC5-receptor (MC5-R) binds ACTH and alpha-MSH and is more widely expressed. The aim of this work was to study the sites of MC5-R expression in the bovine adrenal cortex and to compare the regulation of the expression of MC2-R and MC5-R in bovine adrenocortical cells in primary culture. Analysis of the expression of MC5-R was obtained by RT-PCR, using total RNA purified from glomerulosa and fasciculata zones of bovine adrenocortical tissue. MC5-R expression could be detected in RNA from the glomerulosa zone but was undetectable in the fasciculata zone. In bovine adrenocortical cells in culture, ACTH stimulates MC5-R expression in the glomerulosa and fasciculata cells. A DNA fragment, was obtained using primers based on the bovine ACTH receptor (MC2-R) sequence. This fragment was detected in RNA from the two zones. The probe was used to quantify MC2-R by Ribonuclease Protection assay and we observed that MC2-R mRNA is 3.6-fold more abundant in glomerulosa than in fasciculata-reticularis cells.

MeSH terms

  • Adrenocorticotropic Hormone / pharmacology
  • Animals
  • Cattle
  • Cells, Cultured
  • In Situ Hybridization
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Receptors, Corticotropin / drug effects
  • Receptors, Corticotropin / genetics
  • Receptors, Corticotropin / metabolism*
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Ribonucleases
  • Tissue Distribution
  • Zona Fasciculata / cytology
  • Zona Fasciculata / metabolism*
  • Zona Glomerulosa / cytology
  • Zona Glomerulosa / metabolism*
  • Zona Reticularis / cytology
  • Zona Reticularis / metabolism*


  • RNA, Messenger
  • Receptors, Corticotropin
  • Adrenocorticotropic Hormone
  • Ribonucleases