International Adrenal Cortex Conference “Adrenal 2010”
Wednesday, June 16, 2010 -
Friday, June 18, 2010
Location: San Diego, California Description: This conference provided a forum for both new and established investigators to present their most recent work, highlighting new findings relevant to adrenal physiology, biochemistry and molecular biology, genetics, and medicine. It was anticipated that these discoveries would provide a framework for further understanding of the function of the adrenal gland and its contributions to health and disease.
Mutations in the HSD3B2 gene cause 3β-HSD deficiency. The HSD3B2 gene provides instructions for making the 3β-HSD enzyme. This enzyme is found in the gonads and adrenal glands . The 3β-HSD enzyme is involved in the production of many hormones, including cortisol , aldosterone , androgens, and estrogen. Cortisol has numerous functions such as maintaining energy and blood sugar levels, protecting the body from stress, and suppressing inflammation. Aldosterone is sometimes called the salt-retaining hormone because it regulates the amount of salt retained by the kidney. The retention of salt affects fluid levels and blood pressure. Androgens and estrogen are essential for normal sexual development and reproduction.
The fetal adrenal cortex lacks expression of the enzyme early on, thus mineralocorticoids (. aldosterone ) and glucocorticoids (. cortisol ) cannot be synthesized. This is significant because cortisol induces type II pneumocytes of the lungs to synthesize and secrete pulmonary surfactant ; without pulmonary surfactant to reduce the alveolar surface tension , premature neonates may die of neonatal respiratory distress syndrome . If delivery is unavoidable (. because of placental abruption , or pre-eclampsia / HELLP syndrome ), then glucocorticoids (. cortisol) can be administered.