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Adrenal Oncocytic Neoplasm with Paradoxical Loss of Important Mitochondrial Steroidogenic Protein: The 18 kDA Translocator Protein.

  • Author(s): Ruiz-Cordero, Roberto
  • Gupta, Alia
  • Jayakumar, Arumugam R
  • Ciancio, Gaetano
  • Nielsen, Gunnlaugur Petur
  • Jorda, Merce
  • et al.
Abstract

The adrenal glands produce a variety of hormones that play a key role in the regulation of blood pressure, electrolyte homeostasis, metabolism, immune system suppression, and the body's physiologic response to stress. Adrenal neoplasms can be asymptomatic or can overproduce certain hormones that lead to different clinical manifestations. Oncocytic adrenal neoplasms are infrequent tumors that arise from cells in the adrenal cortex and display a characteristic increase in the number of cytoplasmic mitochondria. Since the rate-limiting step in steroidogenesis includes the transport of cholesterol across the mitochondrial membranes, in part carried out by the 18-kDa translocator protein (TSPO), we assessed the expression of TSPO in a case of adrenal oncocytic neoplasm using residual adrenal gland of the patient as internal control. We observed a significant loss of TSPO immunofluorescence expression in the adrenal oncocytic tumor cells when compared to adjacent normal adrenal tissue. We further confirmed this finding by employing Western blot analysis to semiquantify TSPO expression in tumor and normal adrenal cells. Our findings could suggest a potential role of TSPO in the tumorigenesis of this case of adrenocortical oncocytic neoplasm.

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