The acute effects of thyroid hormones on glucocorticoid secretion were studied. Venous blood samples were collected from male rats after they received intravenous 3,5,3'-triiodothyronine (T3) or thyroxine (T4). Zona fasciculata-reticularis (ZFR) cells were treated with adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), T3, T4, ACTH plus T3, or ACTH plus T4 at 37°C for 2 h. Corticosterone concentrations in plasma and cell media, and also adenosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate (cAMP) production in ZFR cells in the presence of 3-isobutyl-1-methylxanthine, were determined. The effects of thyroid hormones on the activities of steroidogenic enzymes of ZFR cells were measured by the amounts of intermediate steroidal products separated by thin-layer chromatography. Administration of T3 and T4 suppressed the basal and the ACTH-stimulated levels of plasma corticosterone. In ZFR cells, both thyroid hormones inhibited ACTH-stimulated corticosterone secretion, but the basal corticosterone was inhibited only with T3 >10-10 M or T4 >10-8 M. Likewise, T3 or T4 at 10-7 M inhibited the basal- and ACTH-stimulated levels of intracellular cAMP. Physiological doses of T3 and T4 decreased the activities of 3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase, 21-hydroxylase, and 11β- hydroxylase. These results suggest that thyroid hormones counteract ACTH in adrenal steroidogenesis through their inhibition of cAMP production in ZFR cells.
- Adenosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate
- P450c activity
- Zona fasciculata-reticularis cells
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