The localization of DHEA sulfotransferase in steroidogenic and steroid metabolizing tissues of the adult rhesus macaque monkey

Jr Parker C.R., M. Jian, Alan J Conley

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17 Scopus citations


Dehydroepiandrosterone sulfate is a major secretory product of the human adrenal cortex during intrauterine development as well as during adulthood. There are few animal experimental models that share this characteristic pattern of adrenal cortical steroidogenesis, which probably accounts for the relative paucity of information about the control of development and function of the adrenal androgen secretory apparatus. Adrenal androgen production in the rhesus macaque shares many similarities with that of the human. We sought to determine the tissue distribution of the enzyme DHEA sulfotransferase (DST) in the rhesus. Tissues were harvested at the time of autopsy from 7 adult monkeys (5 M, 2 F) ranging from 8 - 15 yrs old, and were fixed in 4% paraformaldehyde, embedded in paraffin, and sectioned at 5 μ thickness. Tissue sections were immunostained for DST with an anti-human liver DST antibody. DST was not detected in the testis or ovary. In the liver, immunoreactive DST was detected only in hepatocytes and in the kidney, DST was found only in the epithelial cells lining the collecting tubules. In the adrenal, DST was present in the cells of the zona reticularis but was not found in the cells of the medulla, zona fasciculata or in the very prominent zona glomerulosa. DST was most prominent in cells that were closest to the reticularis-medullary border. In most adrenals evaluated, the immunopositive cells were scattered, rather than forming a continuous band of cells around the medulla. The tissue distribution of DST in the adult rhesus macaque is qualitatively similar that observed in the adult human. These data are suggestive that the rhesus might be an excellent model for the exploration of factors that regulate adrenal androgen production during development, aging, and in response to illness and stress, all of which have been found to be associated with variations in DHEA and DHEA sulfate production in the human.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)517-522
Number of pages6
JournalEndocrine Research
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2000
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology


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