Message Number: FHL5366 | New FHL Archives Search
From: Sukie Crandall
Date: 2008-07-02 22:45:17 UTC
Subject: [ferrethealth] abstract: adrenal disease


Vet Pathol. 2008 Jul;45(4):439-42.
Cytochrome b5 Expression in Gonadectomy-induced Adrenocortical
Neoplasms of the Domestic Ferret (Mustela putorius furo).
Wagner S, Kiupel M, Peterson RA 2nd, Heikinheimo M, Wilson DB.
Department of Pediatrics, Box 8208, Washington University School of
Medicine, 660 S. Euclid Ave., St. Louis, MO 63110 (USA).

Whereas the adrenal glands of healthy ferrets produce only limited
amounts of androgenic steroids, adrenocortical neoplasms that arise in
neutered ferrets typically secrete androgens or their derivative,
estrogen. The 17,20-lyase activity of cytochrome P450 17alpha-
hydroxylase/17,20-lyase (P450c17) must increase to permit androgen
biosynthesis in neoplastic adrenal tissue. We screened ferret
adrenocortical tumor specimens for expression of cytochrome b(5) (cyt
b(5)), an allosteric regulator that selectively enhances the 17,20-
lyase activity of P450c17. Cyt b(5) immunoreactivity was evident in 24
of 25 (96%) adrenocortical adenomas/carcinomas from ferrets with signs
of ectopic sex steroid production. Normal adrenocortical cells lacked
cyt b(5), which may account for the low production of adrenal
androgens in healthy ferrets. Other markers characteristic of gonadal
somatic cells, such as luteinizing hormone receptor, aromatase, and
GATA4, were coexpressed with cyt b(5) in some of the tumors. We
concluded that cyt b(5) is upregulated during gonadectomy-induced
adrenocortical neoplasia and is a marker of androgen synthetic
potential in these tumors.

PMID: 18587089


Adrenal growths begin in response to the body not being able to turn
off too much Luteinizing Hormone production and Follicle Stimulating
Hormone (which is increased by the same things such as neutering and
too much light exposure , or more correctly too few hours of complete
darkness -- so now you know why whole ferrets are less likely to get
adrenal growths and why you need to provide a lot of hours of complete
darkness if possible) also appears to educe bone mass and might
contribute to the adrenal growths as well.

There is a lot more on this topic in the FHL Archives.

(BTW, the light color that is least worrisome is amber; it has the
least negative effect on the body's production of its own melatonin.
The most worrisome is blue followed by green which is why the green
equipment lights which became ubiquitous about 15 years ago would be
better replaced by amber lights by manufacturers. When there is too
little circulating melatonin the body the amounts of LH and FSH
production increase and that is bad. Just remember that enough
complete darkness can be the body's friend.)

Estrogens and Androgens (like testosterone) are found in both genders,
just in different proportions and bodies can turn them back and forth
into each other. Multiple tissues can produce such sex hormones
including gonads, adrenals, and fat. Each grouping serves a number
of functions in the body with dozens known for the androgens and
hundreds known for the estrogens.

Sukie (not a vet)

Recommended ferret health links:

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