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Transplantation of Adrenal Cortical Progenitor Cells Enriched by Nile Red

  • James C.Y. Dunn
    Correspondence
    To whom correspondence and reprint requests should be addressed at Department of Surgery and Department of Bioengineering, Division of Pediatric Surgery, Biomedical Engineering Interdepartmental Program, University of California, 709818, 10833 Le Conte Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90095-7098.
    Affiliations
    Department of Surgery and Department of Bioengineering, Division of Pediatric Surgery, Biomedical Engineering Interdepartmental Program, University of California, Los Angeles, California
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  • Yinting Chu
    Affiliations
    Department of Surgery and Department of Bioengineering, Division of Pediatric Surgery, Biomedical Engineering Interdepartmental Program, University of California, Los Angeles, California
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  • Harry H. Qin
    Affiliations
    Department of Surgery and Department of Bioengineering, Division of Pediatric Surgery, Biomedical Engineering Interdepartmental Program, University of California, Los Angeles, California
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  • Tatiana Zupekan
    Affiliations
    Department of Surgery and Department of Bioengineering, Division of Pediatric Surgery, Biomedical Engineering Interdepartmental Program, University of California, Los Angeles, California
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      Background

      The adrenal cortex may contain progenitor cells useful for tissue regeneration. Currently there are no established methods to isolate these cells.

      Material and Methods

      Murine adrenal cells were sorted into a Nile-red-bright (NRbright) and a Nile-red-dim (NRdim) population of cells according to their degree of cholesterol content revealed by Nile red fluorescence. The cells were transplanted under the renal capsule to determine their ability for regeneration.

      Results

      The NRbright cells contained an abundance of lipid droplets, whereas the NRdim cells contained little. The NRbright cells expressed Sf1 and the more differentiated adrenal cortical genes, including Cyp11a1, Cyp11b1, and Cyp11b2, whereas the NRdim cells expressed Sf1 but not the more differentiated adrenal cortical genes. After 56 d of implantation in unilateral adrenalectomized mice, the NRdim cells expressed Sf1 and the more differentiated adrenal cortical genes, whereas the NRbright cells ceased to express Sf1 as well as the more differentiated adrenal cortical genes. NRdim cells also proliferated in the presence of basic fibroblast growth factor.

      Conclusions

      The population of NRdim cells contained adrenal cortical progenitor cells that can proliferate and give rise to differentiated daughter cells. These cells may be useful for adrenal cortical regeneration.

      Key Words

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