Luteinizing Hormone and GATA4 Action in the Adrenocortical Tumorigenesis of Gonadectomized Female Mice

M Doroszko, M Chrusciel, J Stelmaszewska, T Slezak, Adolfo Rivero Müller, Artur Padzik, S Anisimowicz, S Wolczynski, I Huhtaniemi, J Toppari, NA Rahman

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Background/Aims: Physiological role of luteinizing hormone (LH) and its receptor (LHCGR) in adrenal remains unknown. In inhibin-alpha/Simian Virus 40 T antigen (SV40Tag) (inh alpha/Tag) mice, gonadectomy-induced (OVX) elevated LH triggers the growth of transcription factor GATA4 (GATA4)-positive adrenocortical tumors in a hyperplasia-adenoma-adenocarcinoma sequence. Methods: We investigated the role of LHCGR in tumor induction, by crossbreeding inha/Tag with Lhcgr knockout (LuRKO) mice. By knocking out Lhcgr and Gata4 in C alpha 1 adrenocortical cells (Lhcgr-ko, Gata4-ko) we tested their role in tumor progression. Results: Adrenal tumors of OVX inha/Tag mice develop from the hyperplastic cells localized in the topmost layer of zona fasciculata. OVX inha/Tag/LuRKO only developed SV40Tag positive hyperplastic cells that were GATA4 negative, cleaved caspase-3 positive and did not progress into adenoma. In contrast to Lhcgr-ko, Gata4-ko Ca1 cells presented decreased proliferation, increased apoptosis, decreased expression of Inha, SV40Tag and Lhcgr tumor markers, as well as up-regulated adrenal-and down-regulated sex steroid gene expression. Both Gata4-ko and Lhcgr-ko Ca1 cells had decreased expression of steroidogenic genes resulting in decreased basal progesterone production. Conclusion: Our data indicate that LH/LHCGR signaling is critical for the adrenal cell reprogramming by GATA4 induction prompting adenoma formation and gonadal-like phenotype of the adrenocortical tumors in inha/Tag mice. (C) 2017 The Author(s) Published by S. Karger AG, Basel
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)1064–1076
Number of pages13
JournalCellular Physiology and Biochemistry
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2017
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • GATA4
  • Adrenocortical tumors
  • Molecular mechanisms

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