The present study was designed to investigate the role of nitric oxide (NO) in the regulation of adrenocortical function. Different NO donors, such as sodium nitroprusside (SNP), S-nitroso-L-acetyl penicillamine, diethylamine/NO complex sodium salt and diethylene-triamine NO adduct, significantly decreased corticosterone production both in unstimulated and in corticotropin-stimulated zona fasciculata adrenal cells, in a dose-dependent manner. The effect of SNP was reversed by ferrous hemoglobin. A selective inhibitor of NO synthase, L-N(G)-nitro-arginine significantly increased corticosterone secretion. The effect of SNP was not mediated by cGMP as permeable cGMP analogs did not reproduce its inhibitory effect. SNP significantly inhibited the steroidogenesis stimulated by 8Br-cAMP and 22(R)OH-cholesterol, but was ineffective when corticosterone was produced in the presence of exogenously added pregnenolone. Moreover, the conversion of [3H]cholesterol to [3H]pregnenolone and the production of pregnenolone or progesterone (assessed by RIA) were significantly decreased by SNP. Taken together, these results suggest that NO may be a negative modulator of adrenal zona fasciculata steroidogenesis.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism