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Zona Glomerulosa: The narrow subcapsular outer zone of the adrenal cortex. This zone produces a series of enzymes that convert PREGNENOLONE to ALDOSTERONE. The final steps involve three successive oxidations by CYTOCHROME P-450 CYP11B2.Adrenal Cortex: The outer layer of the adrenal gland. It is derived from MESODERM and comprised of three zones (outer ZONA GLOMERULOSA, middle ZONA FASCICULATA, and inner ZONA RETICULARIS) with each producing various steroids preferentially, such as ALDOSTERONE; HYDROCORTISONE; DEHYDROEPIANDROSTERONE; and ANDROSTENEDIONE. Adrenal cortex function is regulated by pituitary ADRENOCORTICOTROPIN.Aldosterone: A hormone secreted by the ADRENAL CORTEX that regulates electrolyte and water balance by increasing the renal retention of sodium and the excretion of potassium.Zona Fasciculata: The wide middle zone of the adrenal cortex. This zone produces a series of enzymes that convert PREGNENOLONE to cortisol (HYDROCORTISONE) via 17-ALPHA-HYDROXYPROGESTERONE.Adrenal Glands: A pair of glands located at the cranial pole of each of the two KIDNEYS. Each adrenal gland is composed of two distinct endocrine tissues with separate embryonic origins, the ADRENAL CORTEX producing STEROIDS and the ADRENAL MEDULLA producing NEUROTRANSMITTERS.Zona Reticularis: The inner zone of the adrenal cortex. This zone produces the enzymes that convert PREGNENOLONE, a 21-carbon steroid, to 19-carbon steroids (DEHYDROEPIANDROSTERONE; and ANDROSTENEDIONE) via 17-ALPHA-HYDROXYPREGNENOLONE.Aldosterone Synthase: A mitochondrial cytochrome P450 enzyme that catalyzes the 18-hydroxylation of steroids in the presence of molecular oxygen and NADPH-specific flavoprotein. This enzyme, encoded by CYP11B2 gene, is important in the conversion of CORTICOSTERONE to 18-hydroxycorticosterone and the subsequent conversion to ALDOSTERONE.Steroid 11-beta-Hydroxylase: A mitochondrial cytochrome P450 enzyme that catalyzes the 11-beta-hydroxylation of steroids in the presence of molecular oxygen and NADPH-FERRIHEMOPROTEIN REDUCTASE. This enzyme, encoded by CYP11B1 gene, is important in the synthesis of CORTICOSTERONE and HYDROCORTISONE. Defects in CYP11B1 cause congenital adrenal hyperplasia (ADRENAL HYPERPLASIA, CONGENITAL).Adrenocorticotropic Hormone: An anterior pituitary hormone that stimulates the ADRENAL CORTEX and its production of CORTICOSTEROIDS. ACTH is a 39-amino acid polypeptide of which the N-terminal 24-amino acid segment is identical in all species and contains the adrenocorticotrophic activity. Upon further tissue-specific processing, ACTH can yield ALPHA-MSH and corticotrophin-like intermediate lobe peptide (CLIP).Angiotensin II: An octapeptide that is a potent but labile vasoconstrictor. It is produced from angiotensin I after the removal of two amino acids at the C-terminal by ANGIOTENSIN CONVERTING ENZYME. The amino acid in position 5 varies in different species. To block VASOCONSTRICTION and HYPERTENSION effect of angiotensin II, patients are often treated with ACE INHIBITORS or with ANGIOTENSIN II TYPE 1 RECEPTOR BLOCKERS.Hyperaldosteronism: A condition caused by the overproduction of ALDOSTERONE. It is characterized by sodium retention and potassium excretion with resultant HYPERTENSION and HYPOKALEMIA.Interrenal Gland: Structures in fishes homologous to the cortical tissue of the mammalian adrenal gland; they are in close proximity to or imbedded in the kidney.Corticosterone: An adrenocortical steroid that has modest but significant activities as a mineralocorticoid and a glucocorticoid. (From Goodman and Gilman's The Pharmacological Basis of Therapeutics, 8th ed, p1437)Mineralocorticoids: A group of CORTICOSTEROIDS primarily associated with water and electrolyte balance. This is accomplished through the effect on ION TRANSPORT in renal tubules, resulting in retention of sodium and loss of potassium. Mineralocorticoid secretion is itself regulated by PLASMA VOLUME, serum potassium, and ANGIOTENSIN II.Cattle: Domesticated bovine animals of the genus Bos, usually kept on a farm or ranch and used for the production of meat or dairy products or for heavy labor.Potassium: An element in the alkali group of metals with an atomic symbol K, atomic number 19, and atomic weight 39.10. It is the chief cation in the intracellular fluid of muscle and other cells. Potassium ion is a strong electrolyte that plays a significant role in the regulation of fluid volume and maintenance of the WATER-ELECTROLYTE BALANCE.Receptors, Adrenomedullin: G-protein-coupled cell surface receptors for ADRENOMEDULLIN. They are formed by the heterodimerization of CALCITONIN RECEPTOR-LIKE PROTEIN and either RECEPTOR ACTIVITY-MODIFYING PROTEIN 2 or RECEPTOR ACTIVITY-MODIFYING PROTEIN 3.Adrenal Cortex Neoplasms: Tumors or cancers of the ADRENAL CORTEX.Renin: A highly specific (Leu-Leu) endopeptidase that generates ANGIOTENSIN I from its precursor ANGIOTENSINOGEN, leading to a cascade of reactions which elevate BLOOD PRESSURE and increase sodium retention by the kidney in the RENIN-ANGIOTENSIN SYSTEM. The enzyme was formerly listed as EC 3.4.99.19.Receptors, Atrial Natriuretic Factor: Cell surface proteins that bind ATRIAL NATRIURETIC FACTOR with high affinity and trigger intracellular changes influencing the behavior of cells. They contain intrinsic guanylyl cyclase activity.Adrenomedullin: A 52-amino acid peptide with multi-functions. It was originally isolated from PHEOCHROMOCYTOMA and ADRENAL MEDULLA but is widely distributed throughout the body including lung and kidney tissues. Besides controlling fluid-electrolyte homeostasis, adrenomedullin is a potent vasodilator and can inhibit pituitary ACTH secretion.Receptors, Angiotensin: Cell surface proteins that bind ANGIOTENSINS and trigger intracellular changes influencing the behavior of cells.Adrenal Gland Neoplasms: Tumors or cancer of the ADRENAL GLANDS.Cells, Cultured: Cells propagated in vitro in special media conducive to their growth. Cultured cells are used to study developmental, morphologic, metabolic, physiologic, and genetic processes, among others.Egg Proteins: Proteins which are found in eggs (OVA) from any species.Nitrendipine: A calcium channel blocker with marked vasodilator action. It is an effective antihypertensive agent and differs from other calcium channel blockers in that it does not reduce glomerular filtration rate and is mildly natriuretic, rather than sodium retentive.Atrial Natriuretic Factor: A potent natriuretic and vasodilatory peptide or mixture of different-sized low molecular weight PEPTIDES derived from a common precursor and secreted mainly by the HEART ATRIUM. All these peptides share a sequence of about 20 AMINO ACIDS.Sperm-Ovum Interactions: Interactive processes between the oocyte (OVUM) and the sperm (SPERMATOZOA) including sperm adhesion, ACROSOME REACTION, sperm penetration of the ZONA PELLUCIDA, and events leading to FERTILIZATION.Rats, Sprague-Dawley: A strain of albino rat used widely for experimental purposes because of its calmness and ease of handling. It was developed by the Sprague-Dawley Animal Company.Sugar PhosphatesHydrocortisone: The main glucocorticoid secreted by the ADRENAL CORTEX. Its synthetic counterpart is used, either as an injection or topically, in the treatment of inflammation, allergy, collagen diseases, asthma, adrenocortical deficiency, shock, and some neoplastic conditions.In Situ Hybridization: A technique that localizes specific nucleic acid sequences within intact chromosomes, eukaryotic cells, or bacterial cells through the use of specific nucleic acid-labeled probes.RNA, Messenger: RNA sequences that serve as templates for protein synthesis. Bacterial mRNAs are generally primary transcripts in that they do not require post-transcriptional processing. Eukaryotic mRNA is synthesized in the nucleus and must be exported to the cytoplasm for translation. Most eukaryotic mRNAs have a sequence of polyadenylic acid at the 3' end, referred to as the poly(A) tail. The function of this tail is not known for certain, but it may play a role in the export of mature mRNA from the nucleus as well as in helping stabilize some mRNA molecules by retarding their degradation in the cytoplasm.Microscopy, Electron: Microscopy using an electron beam, instead of light, to visualize the sample, thereby allowing much greater magnification. The interactions of ELECTRONS with specimens are used to provide information about the fine structure of that specimen. In TRANSMISSION ELECTRON MICROSCOPY the reactions of the electrons that are transmitted through the specimen are imaged. In SCANNING ELECTRON MICROSCOPY an electron beam falls at a non-normal angle on the specimen and the image is derived from the reactions occurring above the plane of the specimen.Mitochondria: Semiautonomous, self-reproducing organelles that occur in the cytoplasm of all cells of most, but not all, eukaryotes. Each mitochondrion is surrounded by a double limiting membrane. The inner membrane is highly invaginated, and its projections are called cristae. Mitochondria are the sites of the reactions of oxidative phosphorylation, which result in the formation of ATP. They contain distinctive RIBOSOMES, transfer RNAs (RNA, TRANSFER); AMINO ACYL T RNA SYNTHETASES; and elongation and termination factors. Mitochondria depend upon genes within the nucleus of the cells in which they reside for many essential messenger RNAs (RNA, MESSENGER). Mitochondria are believed to have arisen from aerobic bacteria that established a symbiotic relationship with primitive protoeukaryotes. (King & Stansfield, A Dictionary of Genetics, 4th ed)Immunohistochemistry: Histochemical localization of immunoreactive substances using labeled antibodies as reagents.Rats, Wistar: A strain of albino rat developed at the Wistar Institute that has spread widely at other institutions. This has markedly diluted the original strain.