Publications by authors named "Kei Omata"

46 Publications

Cellular Senescence in Human Aldosterone-Producing Adrenocortical Cells and Related Disorders.

Biomedicines 2021 May 18;9(5). Epub 2021 May 18.

Department of Pathology, Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine, Sendai 980-8575, Japan.

In situ cortisol excess was previously reported to promote cellular senescence, a cell response to stress, in cortisol-producing adenomas (CPA). The aim of this study was to explore senescence pathways in aldosterone-producing cells and related disorders, and the influence of aldosterone overproduction on in situ senescence. We analyzed 30 surgical cases of aldosterone-producing adenoma (APA), 10 idiopathic hyperaldosteronism (IHA) and 19 normal adrenals (NA). CYP11B2 and senescence markers p16 and p21 were immunolocalized in all those cases above and results were correlated with histological/endocrinological findings. In the three cohorts examined, the zona glomerulosa (ZG) was significantly more senescent than other corticosteroid-producing cells. In addition, the ZG of adjacent non-pathological adrenal glands of APA and IHA had significantly higher p16 expression than adjacent non-pathological zona fasciculata (ZF), reticularis (ZR) and ZG of NA. In addition, laboratory findings of primary aldosteronism (PA) were significantly correlated with p21 status in -mutated tumors. Results of our present study firstly demonstrated that non-aldosterone-producing cells in the ZG were the most senescent compared to other cortical zones and aldosterone-producing cells in PA. Therefore, aldosterone production, whether physiological or pathological, could be maintained by suppression of cell senescence in human adrenal cortex.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3390/biomedicines9050567DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8158118PMC
May 2021

Pathology of Aldosterone Biosynthesis and its Action.

Tohoku J Exp Med 2021 ;254(1):1-15

Department of Pathology, Tohoku University, Graduate School of Medicine.

Aldosterone plays pivotal roles in renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system in order to maintain the equilibrium of liquid volume and electrolyte metabolism. Aldosterone action is mediated by both mineralocorticoid receptor and 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 2 (11β-HSD2). Its excessive actions directly induced tissue injuries in its target organs such as myocardial and vascular fibrosis in addition to chronic kidney diseases. Excessive aldosterone actions were also reported to be involved in unbalanced electrolyte metabolism in inflammatory bowel disease and development of pulmonary diseases. Hyperaldosteronism is tentatively classified into primary and secondary types. Primary aldosteronism is more frequent and has been well known to result in secondary hypertension with subsequent cardiovascular damages. Primary aldosteronism is also further classified into distinctive subtypes and among those, aldosterone-producing adenoma is the most frequent one accounting for the great majority of unilateral primary aldosteronism cases. In bilateral hyperaldosteronism, aldosterone-producing diffuse hyperplasia and aldosterone-producing micronodules or nodules are the major subtypes. All these aldosterone-producing lesions were reported to harbor somatic mutations including KCNJ5, CACNA1D, ATP1A1 and ATP2B3, which were all related to excessive aldosterone production. Among those mutations above, somatic mutation of KCNJ5 is the most frequent in aldosterone-producing adenoma and mostly composed of clear cells harboring abundant aldosterone synthase expression. In contrast, CACNA1D-mutated aldosterone-producing micronodules or aldosterone-producing nodules were frequently detected not only in primary aldosteronism patients but also in the zona glomerulosa of normal adrenal glands, which could eventually lead to an autonomous aldosterone production resulting in normotensive or overt primary aldosteronism, but their details have remained unknown.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1620/tjem.254.1DOI Listing
January 2021

The Genotype-Based Morphology of Aldosterone-Producing Adrenocortical Disorders and Their Association with Aging.

Endocrinol Metab (Seoul) 2021 Feb 24;36(1):12-21. Epub 2021 Feb 24.

Department of Pathology, Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine, Sendai, Japan.

Primary aldosteronism (PA) is the most common cause of secondary hypertension, and is associated with an increased incidence of cardiovascular events. PA itself is clinically classified into the following two types: unilateral PA, mostly composed of aldosteroneproducing adenoma (APA); and bilateral hyperaldosteronism, consisting of multiple aldosterone-producing micronodules (APMs) and aldosterone-producing diffuse hyperplasia. Histopathologically, those disorders above are all composed of compact and clear cells. The cellular morphology in the above-mentioned aldosterone-producing disorders has been recently reported to be closely correlated with patterns of somatic mutations of ion channels including KCNJ5, CACNA1D, ATP1A1, ATP2B3, and others. In addition, in non-pathological adrenal glands, APMs are frequently detected regardless of the status of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system (RAAS). Aldosterone-producing nodules have been also proposed as non-neoplastic nodules that can be identified by hematoxylin and eosin staining. These non-neoplastic CYP11B2-positive nodules could represent possible precursors of APAs possibly due to the presence of somatic mutations. On the other hand, aging itself also plays a pivotal role in the development of aldosterone-producing lesions. For instance, the number of APMs was also reported to increase with aging. Therefore, recent studies indicated the novel classification of PA into normotensive PA (RAAS-independent APM) and clinically overt PA.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3803/EnM.2021.101DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7937858PMC
February 2021

The Potential of Computed Tomography Volumetry for the Surgical Treatment in Bilateral Macronodular Adrenal Hyperplasia: A Case Report.

Tohoku J Exp Med 2021 02;253(2):143-150

Division of Nephrology, Endocrinology and Vascular Medicine, Tohoku University Hospital.

Although adrenal resection is a major option to control hypercortisolemia in patients with bilateral macronodular adrenal hyperplasia, a predictive method for postoperative cortisol production has not been established. A 53-year-old man with ulcerative colitis was referred to our hospital for bilateral multiple adrenal nodules and hypertension. Physical and endocrinological examination revealed inappropriate cortisol production and suppressed secretion of adrenocorticotropic hormone with no typical signs of Cushing's syndrome. Imaging analysis revealed bilateral adrenal nodular enlargement, the nodules of which had the radiological features of adrenocortical adenomas without inter-nodular heterogeneity. In addition, computed tomography volumetry demonstrated that the left adrenal gland (70 mL) accounts for three quarters of the total adrenal volume (93 mL). The patient was diagnosed as subclinical Cushing's syndrome due to bilateral macronodular adrenal hyperplasia, and subsequently underwent a left laparoscopic adrenalectomy with the estimation of 75% decrease in the cortisol level based on the adrenal volume. The surgical treatment ultimately resulted in control of the cortisol level within the normal range, which was compatible to our preoperative prediction. However, regardless of the sufficient cortisol level, ulcerative colitis was exacerbated after the surgery, which needed a systemic therapy for remission. This case indicates successful surgical control of hypercortisolemia based on computed tomography volumetry in bilateral macronodular adrenal hyperplasia, as well as the perioperative exacerbation risk for inflammatory diseases in Cushing's syndrome. We report the potential utility of computed tomography volumetry as a quantitative method with retrospective evaluation of our historical cases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1620/tjem.253.143DOI Listing
February 2021

Gender differences in human adrenal cortex and its disorders.

Mol Cell Endocrinol 2021 04 11;526:111177. Epub 2021 Feb 11.

Department of Pathology, Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine, Japan. Electronic address:

The adrenal cortex plays pivotal roles in the maintenance of blood volume, responsiveness to stress and the development of gender characteristics. Gender differences of human adrenal cortex have been recently reported and attracted increasing interests. Gender differences occur from the developing stage of the adrenal, in which female subjects had more activated stem cells with higher renewal capacity resulting in gender-associated divergent structures and functions of cortical zonations of human adrenal. Female subjects generally have the lower blood pressure with the lower renin levels and ACE activities than male subjects. In addition, HPA axis was more activated in female than male, which could possibly contribute to gender differences in coping with various stressful events in our life. Of particular interest, estrogens were reported to suppress RAAS but activate HPA axis, whereas androgens had opposite effects. In addition, adrenocortical disorders in general occur more frequently in female with more pronounced adrenocortical hormonal abnormalities possibly due to their more activated WNT and PRK signaling pathways with more abundant activated adrenocortical stem cells present in female adrenal glands. Therefore, it has become pivotal to clarify the gender influence on both clinical and biological features of adrenocortical disorders. We herein reviewed recent advances in these fields.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.mce.2021.111177DOI Listing
April 2021

Aldosterone-induced cardiac damage in primary aldosteronism depends on its subtypes.

Endocr Connect 2021 Jan;10(1):29-36

Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Tohoku University Hospital, Sendai, Miyagi, Japan.

Objectives: This study compared cardiac function, morphology, and tissue characteristics between two common subtypes of primary aldosteronism (PA) using a 3T MR scanner.

Design: A retrospective, single-center, observational study.

Methods: We retrospectively reviewed 143 consecutive patients with PA, who underwent both adrenal venous sampling and cardiac magnetic resonance. We acquired cine, late gadolinium enhancement, and pre- and postcontrast myocardial T1-mapping images.

Results: PA was diagnosed as unilateral aldosterone-producing adenoma (APA) in 70 patients and bilateral hyperaldosteronism (BHA) in 73. The APA group showed significantly higher plasma aldosterone concentration (PAC) and aldosterone to renin rate (ARR) than the BHA group. After controlling for age, sex, antihypertensive drugs, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, and disease duration, the parameters independently associated with APA were: left ventricular end-diastolic volume index (EDVI: adjusted odds ratio (aOR) = 1.06 (95% CI: 1.030-1.096), P < 0.01), end-systolic volume index (ESVI: 1.06 (1.017-1.113), P < 0.01), stroke index (SI: 1.07 (1.020-1.121), P < 0.01), cardiac index (CI: 1.001 (1.000-1.001), P < 0.01), and native T1 (1.01 (1.000-1.019), P = 0.038). Weak positive correlations were found between PAC and EDVI (R = 0.28, P < 0.01), ESVI (0.26, P < 0.01), and SI (0.18, P = 0.03); and between ARR and EDVI (0.25, P < 0.01), ESVI (0.24, P < 0.01), and native T1 (0.17, P = 0.047).

Conclusions: APA is associated with greater LV volumetric parameters and higher native T1 values, suggesting a higher risk of volume overload and myocardial damage.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1530/EC-20-0504DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7923132PMC
January 2021

Histopathological Analysis of Tumor Microenvironment and Angiogenesis in Pheochromocytoma.

Front Endocrinol (Lausanne) 2020 10;11:587779. Epub 2020 Nov 10.

Department of Pathology, Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine, Sendai, Japan.

Pheochromocytomas (PHEOs) are relatively rare catecholamine-producing tumors derived from adrenal medulla. Tumor microenvironment (TME) including neoangiogenesis has been explored in many human neoplasms but not necessarily in PHEOs. Therefore, in this study, we examined tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (CD4 and CD8), tumor associated macrophages (CD68 and CD163), sustentacular cells (S100p), and angiogenic markers (CD31 and areas of intratumoral hemorrhage) in 39 cases of PHEOs in the quantitative fashion. We then compared the results with pheochromocytoma of the adrenal gland scaled score (PASS), grading system for pheochromocytoma and paraganglioma (GAPP) and the status of intra-tumoral catecholamine-synthesizing enzymes (TH, DDC, and PNMT) as well as their clinicopathological factors. Intratumoral CD8 (p = 0.0256), CD31 (p = 0.0400), and PNMT (p = 0.0498) status was significantly higher in PHEOs with PASS <4 than PASS ≧4. In addition, intratumoral CD8 lymphocytes were also significantly more abundant in well-than moderately differentiated PHEO according to GAPP score (p = 0.0108) and inversely correlated with tumor size (p = 0.0257). Intratumoral CD68 cells were significantly higher in PHEOs with regular or normal histological patterns than those not (p = 0.0370) and inversely correlated with tumor size (p = 0.0457). The status of CD163 was significantly positively correlated with that of CD8 positive cells (p = 0.0032). The proportion of intratumoral hemorrhage areas was significantly higher in PHEOs with PASS ≧4 (p = 0.0172). DDC immunoreactivity in tumor cells was significantly positively correlated with PASS score (p = 0.0356) and TH status was significantly higher in PHEOs harboring normal histological patterns (p = 0.0236) and cellular monotony (p = 0.0219) than those not. Results of our present study did demonstrate that abundant CD8 and CD68 cells could represent a histologically low-scored tumor. In particular, PHEOs with increased intratumoral hemorrhage should be considered rather malignant. In addition, abnormal catecholamine-producing status of tumor cells such as deficient PNMT and TH and increased DDC could also represent more aggressive PHEOs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fendo.2020.587779DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7685215PMC
May 2021

Recent Advances in Histopathological and Molecular Diagnosis in Pheochromocytoma and Paraganglioma: Challenges for Predicting Metastasis in Individual Patients.

Front Endocrinol (Lausanne) 2020 27;11:587769. Epub 2020 Oct 27.

Department of Pathology, Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine, Sendai, Japan.

Pheochromocytomas and paragangliomas (PHEO/PGL) are rare but occasionally life-threatening neoplasms, and are potentially malignant according to WHO classification in 2017. However, it is also well known that histopathological risk stratification to predict clinical outcome has not yet been established. The first histopathological diagnostic algorithm for PHEO, "PASS", was proposed in 2002 by Thompson et al. Another algorithm, GAPP, was then proposed by Kimura et al. in 2014. However, neither algorithm has necessarily been regarded a 'gold standard' for predicting post-operative clinical behavior of tumors. This is because the histopathological features of PHEO/PGL are rather diverse and independent of their hormonal activities, as well as the clinical course of patients. On the other hand, recent developments in wide-scale genetic analysis using next-generation sequencing have revealed the molecular characteristics of pheochromocytomas and paragangliomas. More than 30%-40% of PHEO/PGL are reported to be associated with hereditary genetic abnormalities involving > 20 genes, including , and others. Such genetic alterations are mainly involved in the pathogenesis of pseudohypoxia, , and kinase signaling, and other intracellular signaling cascades. In addition, recurrent somatic mutations are frequently detected and overlapped with the presence of genetic alterations associated with hereditary diseases. In addition, therapeutic strategies specifically targeting such genetic abnormalities have been proposed, but they are not clinically applicable at this time. Therefore, we herein review recent advances in relevant studies, including histopathological and molecular analyses, to summarize the current status of potential prognostic factors in patients with PHEO/PGL.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fendo.2020.587769DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7652733PMC
May 2021

Intratumoral heterogeneity of the tumor cells based on in situ cortisol excess in cortisol-producing adenomas; ∼An association among morphometry, genotype and cellular senescence∼.

J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol 2020 11 28;204:105764. Epub 2020 Sep 28.

Department of Pathology, Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine, Japan. Electronic address:

Cortisol-producing adrenocortical adenomas (CPAs) are associated with ACTH-independent Cushing's syndrome and histologically composed of two cellular subtypes: compact (lipid-poor) and clear (lipid-rich) tumor cells. However, the details of hormonal and biological activities of these tumor cells have remained unknown, especially in CPAs. CPAs frequently harbored unique histological features different from those of aldosterone-producing adenomas (APAs) including a senescent phenotype. Therefore, we explored the association between morphological features and the immunoreactivity of steroidogenic enzymes in CPAs with different genotypes and compared them with cellular senescence markers as well as clinicopathological factors of the cases. Hormonal activities (3βHSD, CYP21A, CYP17A1, CYP11B1 and DHEA-ST) and cellular senescence markers (p16, p21 and Ki-67) within different morphological features (clear and compact) were evaluated in 40 CPAs. CPA genotypes (PRKACA, GNAS and CTNNB1) were examined by Sanger sequencing and then compared them with the factors above. p21 immunoreactivity was significantly positively correlated with that of CYP21A (p = 0.0110), CYP17A1 (p = 0.0356) and DHEA-ST (p = 0.0420) but inversely with tumor size (p = 0.0015). CYP21A (p = 0.0016), CYP11B1 (p = 0.0001), CYP17A1 (p < 0.0001) and p16 (p = 0.0137) immunoreactivity were all significantly higher in compact cells than those in clear cells. CYP17A1 (p = 0.0056) and 3βHSD (p = 0.0437) immunoreactivity was significantly higher in PRKACA-mutated than wild type CPAs. p16 immunoreactivity and serum DHEA-S level were both significantly higher in GNAS-mutated than PRKACA-mutated (p = 0.0250) and wild type (p = 0.0180) CPAs. Results of our present study did demonstrate that compact tumor cells were hormonally active and more senescent than clear tumor cells in CPAs. PRKACA- and GNAS-mutated tumor cells were more hormonally active and senescent than those without mutations despite the similar morphological features. We herein proposed a novel histological classification of the tumor cell subtypes based on in situ cortisol excess, genotypes and the status of cell senescence in CPAs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jsbmb.2020.105764DOI Listing
November 2020

Prevalence of Somatic Mutations in Aldosterone-Producing Adenomas in Japanese Patients.

J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2020 11;105(11)

Department of Pathology, Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine, Sendai, Japan.

Context: Results of previous studies demonstrated clear racial differences in the prevalence of somatic mutations among patients with aldosterone-producing adenoma (APA). For instance, those in East Asian countries have a high prevalence of somatic mutations in KCNJ5, whereas somatic mutations in other aldosterone-driving genes are rare.

Objectives: To determine somatic mutation prevalence in Japanese APA patients using an aldosterone synthase (CYP11B2) immunohistochemistry (IHC)-guided sequencing approach.

Method: Patients with a unilateral form of primary aldosteronism who underwent adrenalectomy at the Tohoku University Hospital were studied. Based on CYP11B2 immunolocalization of resected adrenals, genomic DNA was isolated from the relevant positive area of 10% formalin-fixed, paraffin-embedded tissue of the APAs. Somatic mutations in aldosterone-driving genes were studied in APAs by direct Sanger sequencing and targeted next-generation sequencing.

Results: CYP11B2 IHC-guided sequencing determined APA-related somatic mutations in 102 out of 106 APAs (96%). Somatic KCNJ5 mutation was the most frequent genetic alteration (73%) in this cohort of Japanese patients. Somatic mutations in other aldosterone-driving genes were also identified: CACNA1D (14%), ATP1A1 (5%), ATP2B3 (4%), and CACNA1H (1%), including 2 previously unreported mutations. KCNJ5 mutations were more often detected in APAs from female patients compared with those from male patients [95% (36/38) vs 60% (41/68); P < 0.0001].

Conclusion: IHC-guided sequencing defined somatic mutations in over 95% of Japanese APAs. While the dominance of KCNJ5 mutations in this particular cohort was confirmed, a significantly higher KCNJ5 prevalence was detected in female patients. This study provides a better understanding of genetic spectrum of Japanese APA patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1210/clinem/dgaa595DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7947976PMC
November 2020

The Effect of Extracellular Calcium Metabolism on Aldosterone Biosynthesis in Physiological and Pathological Status.

Horm Metab Res 2020 Jun 13;52(6):448-453. Epub 2020 May 13.

Department of Pathology, Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine, Sendai, Japan.

Primary aldosteronism (PA) was reported to frequently harbor not only cardiovascular diseases but also some metabolic disorders including secondary calcium metabolic diseases. Recently, the potential association between aldosterone producing cells and systemic calcium metabolism has been proposed. For instance, PA is frequently associated with hypercalciuria or hypocalcemia, which subsequently stimulates parathyroid hormone (PTH) secretion. This altered calcium metabolism in PA patients could frequently result in secondary osteoporosis and fracture in some patients. On the other hand, extracellular calcium itself directly acts on adrenal cortex and has been also proposed as an independent regulator of aldosterone biosynthesis in human adrenals. However, it is also true that both PTH and vitamin D pathways stimulate endocrine functions of adrenal cortical adenomas to co-secret both aldosterone and cortisol. Therefore, it has become pivotal to explore the potential crosstalk between aldosterone and systemic calcium metabolism. We herein reviewed recent advances in these fields.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/a-1157-0511DOI Listing
June 2020

Unique Sex Steroid Profiles in Estrogen-Producing Adrenocortical Adenoma Associated With Bilateral Hyperaldosteronism.

J Endocr Soc 2020 Feb 23;4(2):bvaa004. Epub 2020 Jan 23.

Division of Nephrology, Endocrinology and Vascular Medicine, Tohoku University Hospital, Sendai, Miyagi, Japan.

Because of its rarity, our understanding of steroidogenesis in estrogen-producing adrenocortical adenoma, including the response to adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) stimulation, remains limited. A 65-year-old man was referred to us because of primary aldosteronism and a right adrenal tumor. Endocrinological evaluations revealed secondary hypogonadism due to hyperestrogenemia. Adrenal venous sampling (AVS) and subsequent liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry (LC-MS/MS) indicated bilateral hyperaldosteronism and a right estrogen-producing adrenocortical tumor. He subsequently underwent right unilateral adrenalectomy, which resulted in clinical remission of hypogonadism. Subsequent histopathological analysis identified a right estrogen-producing adrenocortical adenoma and multiple, concomitant adrenocortical micronodules. Sequential evaluation of steroid profiles using LC-MS/MS revealed unique hormone production, including adrenal androgens, and less responsiveness to ACTH in the right estrogen-producing adrenocortical adenoma as compared to the nonneoplastic adrenal cortex. This case study revealed unique profiles of steroid production in estrogen-producing adrenocortical adenoma associated with concomitant primary aldosteronism. Sequential steroid profiling analysis using LC-MS/MS in combination with AVS can contribute to the diagnosis of various adrenal disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1210/jendso/bvaa004DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7031070PMC
February 2020

Histological Characterization of Aldosterone-producing Adrenocortical Adenomas with Different Somatic Mutations.

J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2020 03;105(3)

Department of Pathology, Tohoku University Graduate School of Medicine, Sendai, Japan.

Context: Aldosterone-producing adrenocortical adenomas (APAs) are mainly composed of clear (lipid rich) and compact (eosinophilic) tumor cells. The detailed association between these histological features and somatic mutations (KCNJ5, ATP1A1, ATP2B3, and CACNA1D) in APAs is unknown.

Objective: To examine the association between histological features and individual genotypes in APAs.

Methods: Examination of 39 APAs subjected to targeted next-generation sequencing (11 KCNJ5, 10 ATP1A1, 10 ATP2B3, and 8 CACNA1D) and quantitative morphological and immunohistochemical (CYP11B2 and CYP17A1) analyses using digital imaging software.

Results: KCNJ5- and ATP2B3-mutated APAs had clear cell dominant features (KCNJ5: clear 59.8% [54.4-64.6%] vs compact 40.2% (35.4-45.6%), P = .0022; ATP2B3: clear 54.3% [48.2-62.4 %] vs compact 45.7% (37.6-51.8 %), P = .0696). ATP1A1- and CACNA1D-mutated APAs presented with marked intratumoral heterogeneity. A significantly positive correlation of immunoreactivity was detected between CYP11B2 and CYP17A1 in tumor cells of KCNJ5-mutated APAs (P = .0112; ρ = 0.7237), in contrast, significantly inverse correlation was detected in ATP1A1-mutated APAs (P = .0025; ρ = -0.8667).

Conclusion: KCNJ5-mutated APAs, coexpressing CYP11B2 and CYP17A1, were more deviated in terms of zonation-specific differentiation of adrenocortical cells than ATP1A1- and ATP2B3-mutated APAs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1210/clinem/dgz235DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7048684PMC
March 2020

The crosstalk between aldosterone and calcium metabolism in primary aldosteronism: A possible calcium metabolism-associated aberrant "neoplastic" steroidogenesis in adrenals.

J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol 2019 10 24;193:105434. Epub 2019 Jul 24.

Department of Pathology, Tohoku University, Graduate School of Medicine, Japan. Electronic address:

Intracellular calcium (Ca) levels play pivotal roles in aldosterone biosynthesis. Several somatic mutations of ion channels associated with aldosterone over-production were reported to result in over-inflow of Ca ion. Recently, the main regulators of extracellular Ca including VDR, CaSR and PTH1R were also reported to regulate steroidogenesis including aldosterone production. Therefore, not only intracellular but also extracellular Ca levels could regulate aldosterone biosynthesis. In addition, primary aldosteronism (PA) is clinically associated with not only more frequent cardiovascular events but also secondary metabolic disorders including abnormal calcium metabolism, osteoporosis and others. However, the details of Ca metabolic abnormalities associated with, including the potential correlation between those abnormalities and aldosterone overproduction, have remained virtually unknown. Therefore, in this study, we first immunolocalized Ca metabolism-related receptors (CaSR, VDR and PTH1R) in normal adrenal glands (NAs), aldosterone-producing adenomas (APAs) and cortisol-producing adenoma (CPA). We then compared the findings with clinicopathological parameters of these patients and the patterns of KCNJ5 somatic mutation of the tumors among APA patients. In vitro study was also performed to further explore the potential effects of extracellular Ca, PTH, Vitamin D and ionophore on aldosterone production. Ca metabolism-related receptors were predominantly localized in aldosterone-producing cells (ZG and APA) in both immunohistochemistry and qRT-PCR analysis. CYP11B2 mRNA was significantly increased by CaCl treatment and further by adding ionophore. All the key enzymes related to aldosterone and cortisol biosynthesis including CYP11B2, CYP17A1 and CYP11B1 were upregulated by PTH treatment in this model and PTH could serve as a co-stimulator of ANG II to increase CYP11B2 expression. VDR mRNA levels were positively correlated with those of CYP11B2, CYP17A1 and CYP11B1 in APA tumor tissues and significantly higher in KCNJ5 mutated APAs than wild type. CYP11B1 levels were also significantly increased by VitD treatment. PTH1R mRNA levels were positively correlated with those of CYP17A1 and CYP11B1, both involved in cortisol production. In addition, the status of VDR was correlated with TRACP-5b levels, and that of PTH1R with serum Ca levels as well as urinary Ca excretion, respectively. Results of our present study did firstly demonstrate that aldosterone-producing cells were more sensitive to the fluctuations of extracellular Ca levels and Ca metabolism could directly influence steroidogenesis, especially "neoplastic" co-secretion of aldosterone and cortisol in APA patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.jsbmb.2019.105434DOI Listing
October 2019

3T MRI evaluation of regional catecholamine-producing tumor-induced myocardial injury.

Endocr Connect 2019 May;8(5):454-461

Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Tohoku University Hospital, Sendai, Miyagi, Japan.

Objective: Regional differences in cardiac magnetic resonance, which can reveal catecholamine-induced myocardial injury in patients with pheochromocytoma, have not yet been assessed using 3T magnetic resonance imaging. We evaluated these differences using myocardial T1-mapping and strain analysis.

Design And Methods: We retrospectively reviewed 16 patients newly diagnosed with catecholamine-producing tumors (CPT group) and 16 patients with essential hypertension (EH group), who underwent cardiac magnetic resonance imaging between May 2016 and March 2018. We acquired 3T magnetic resonance cine and native T1-mapping images and performed feature-tracking-based strain analysis in the former.

Results: Global cardiac function, morphology, global strain and peak strain rate were similar, but end-diastolic wall thickness differed between groups (CPT vs EH: 10.5 ± 1.7 vs 12.6 ± 2.8 mm; P < 0.05). Basal, but not apical, circumferential strain was significantly higher in the CPT than the EH group (19.4 ± 3.2 vs 16.8 ± 3.6 %; P < 0.05). Native T1 values were significantly higher in CPT than in EH patients, in both the basal septum (1307 ± 48 vs 1241 ± 45 ms; P < 0.01) and the apical septum (1377 ± 59 vs 1265 ± 58 ms; P < 0.01) mid-walls. In the CPT, but not in the EH group, native T1 values in the apical wall were significantly higher than those in the basal wall (P < 0.01).

Conclusion: 3T magnetic resonance-based T1-mapping can sensitively detect subclinical catecholamine-induced myocardial injury; the influence of catecholamines may be greater in the apical than in the basal wall.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1530/EC-18-0553DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6479192PMC
May 2019

Genetic Characteristics of Aldosterone-Producing Adenomas in Blacks.

Hypertension 2019 04;73(4):885-892

From the Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology (K.N., W.E.R.), University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Somatic mutations have been identified in aldosterone-producing adenomas (APAs) in genes that include KCNJ5, ATP1A1, ATP2B3, and CACNA1D. Based on independent studies, there appears to be racial differences in the prevalence of somatic KCNJ5 mutations, particularly between East Asians and Europeans. Despite the high cardiovascular disease mortality of blacks, there have been no studies focusing on somatic mutations in APAs in this population. In the present study, we investigated genetic characteristics of APAs in blacks using a CYP11B2 (aldosterone synthase) immunohistochemistry-guided next-generation sequencing approach. The adrenal glands with adrenocortical adenomas from 79 black patients with primary aldosteronism were studied. Seventy-three tumors from 69 adrenal glands were confirmed to be APAs by CYP11B2 immunohistochemistry. Sixty-five of 73 APAs (89%) had somatic mutations in aldosterone-driver genes. Somatic CACNA1D mutations were the most prevalent genetic alteration (42%), followed by KCNJ5 (34%), ATP1A1 (8%), and ATP2B3 mutations (4%). CACNA1D mutations were more often observed in APAs from males than those from females (55% versus 29%, P=0.033), whereas KCNJ5 mutations were more prevalent in APAs from females compared with those from males (57% versus 13%, P<0.001). No somatic mutations in aldosterone-driver genes were identified in tumors without CYP11B2 expression. In conclusion, 89% of APAs in blacks harbor aldosterone-driving mutations, and unlike Europeans and East Asians, the most frequently mutated aldosterone-driver gene was CACNA1D. Determination of racial differences in the prevalence of aldosterone-driver gene mutations may facilitate the development of personalized medicines for patients with primary aldosteronism.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.118.12070DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6416065PMC
April 2019

Corrigendum: Similar Neural Correlates of Planning and Execution to Inhibit Continuing Actions.

Front Neurosci 2018 11;12:1024. Epub 2019 Jan 11.

Department of Biofunctional Imaging, Medical Photonics Research Center, Hamamatsu University School of Medicine, Hamamatsu, Japan.

[This corrects the article DOI: 10.3389/fnins.2018.00951.].
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnins.2018.01024DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6338090PMC
January 2019

Similar Neural Correlates of Planning and Execution to Inhibit Continuing Actions.

Front Neurosci 2018 12;12:951. Epub 2018 Dec 12.

Department of Biofunctional Imaging, Medical Photonics Research Center, Hamamatsu University School of Medicine, Hamamatsu, Japan.

Inhibition of action is involved in stopping a movement, as well as terminating unnecessary movement during performance of a behavior. The inhibition of single actions, known as response inhibition (Inhibition of the urge to respond before or after actions) has been widely investigated using the go/no-go task and stop signal task. However, few studies focused on phase and volition-related inhibition after an action has been initiated. Here, we used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to investigate the neural correlates of planning and execution underlying the voluntary inhibition of ongoing action. We collected fMRI data while participants performed a continuous finger-tapping task involving voluntary and involuntary (externally directed) inhibition, and during the initiation of movement. The results revealed areas of significantly greater activation during the preparation of inhibition of an ongoing action during voluntary inhibition, compared with involuntary inhibition, in the supplementary (SMA) and pre-supplementary motor areas, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, inferior frontal gyrus (IFG), inferior parietal lobe, bilateral globus pallidus/putamen, bilateral insula and premotor cortex. Focusing on the period of execution of inhibition of ongoing actions, an event-related fMRI analysis revealed significant activation in the SMA, middle cingulate cortex, bilateral insula, right IFG and inferior parietal cortex. Additional comparative analyses suggested that brain activation while participants were planning to inhibit an ongoing action was similar to that during planning to start an action, indicating that the same neural substrates of motor planning may be recruited even when an action is ongoing. The present finding that brain activation associated with inhibiting ongoing actions was compatible with that seen in response inhibition (urge to stop before/after actions) suggests that common inhibitory mechanisms for motor movement are involved in both actual and planned motor action, which makes our behavior keep going seamlessly.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnins.2018.00951DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6315197PMC
December 2018

Somatic mutations in adrenocortical carcinoma with primary aldosteronism or hyperreninemic hyperaldosteronism.

Endocr Relat Cancer 2019 02;26(2):217-225

Division of Metabolism, Endocrinology & Diabetes, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA.

Several somatic mutations specific to aldosterone-producing adenomas (APAs) have been described. A small proportion of adrenocortical carcinomas (ACCs) are associated with hyperaldosteronism, either primary aldosteronism or hyperreninemic hyperaldosteronism. However, it is unknown whether they harbor mutations of the same spectrum as APAs. The objective of this study is to describe the clinical phenotype and molecular genotype of ACCs with hyperaldosteronism, particularly the analysis for common APA-associated genetic changes. Patients were identified by retrospective chart review at a specialized referral center and by positive staining for CYP11B2 of tissue microarrays. Twenty-five patients with ACC and hyperaldosteronism were initially identified by retrospective chart review, and tissue for further analysis was available on 13 tumors. Seven patients were identified by positive staining for CYP11B2 in a tissue microarray, of which two were already identified in the initial chart review. Therefore, a total number of 18 patients with a diagnosis of ACC and features of either primary aldosteronism or hyperreninemic hyperaldosteronism were therefore included in the final study. Mutational status for a select list of oncogenes, tumor suppressor genes and genes known to carry mutations in APAs were analyzed by next-generation sequencing. Review of clinical data suggested autonomous aldosterone production in the majority of cases, while for some cases, hyperreninemic hyperaldosteronism was the more likely mechanism. The mutational landscape of ACCs associated with hyperaldosteronism was not different from ACCs with a different hormonal phenotype. None of the ACCs harbored mutations of known APA-associated genes, suggesting an alternative mechanism conferring aldosterone production.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1530/ERC-18-0385DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7065382PMC
February 2019

Tumor Cell Subtypes Based on the Intracellular Hormonal Activity in KCNJ5-Mutated Aldosterone-Producing Adenoma.

Hypertension 2018 09;72(3):632-640

From the Department of Pathology (Y.Y., K.I., Y.N., H.S.).

Aldosterone-producing adenomas (APAs) harbor marked intratumoral heterogeneity in terms of morphology, steroidogenesis, and genetics. However, an association of biological significance of morphologically identified tumor cell subtypes and genotypes is virtually unknown. KCNJ5 mutation is most frequently detected and generally considered a curable phenotype by adrenalectomy. Therefore, to explore the biological significance of KCNJ5 mutation in APA based on intracellular hormonal activities, 35 consecutively selected APAs (n=18; KCNJ5 mutated, n=17; wild type) were quantitatively examined in the whole tumor areas by newly developed digital image analysis incorporating their histological and ultrastructural features (14 cells from 2 KCNJ5-mutated APAs and 15 cells from 1 wild type) and CYP11B2 immunoreactivity. Results demonstrated that KCNJ5-mutated APAs had significantly lower nuclear/cytoplasm ratio and more abundant clear cells than wild type. CYP11B2 immunoreactivity was not significantly different between these genotypes, but a significant correlation was detected between the proportion of clear cells and CYP11B2 immunoreactivity in all of the APAs examined. CYP11B2 was predominantly immunolocalized in clear cells in KCNJ5-mutated APAs. Quantitative ultrastructural analysis revealed that KCNJ5-mutated APAs had significantly more abundant and smaller-sized mitochondria with well-developed cristae than wild type, whereas wild type had more abundant lipid droplets per unit area despite the small number of the cases examined. Our results did provide the novel insights into the morphological features of APA based on their biological significance. KCNJ5-mutated APAs were characterized by predominance of enlarged lipid-rich clear cells possibly resulting in increased neoplastic aldosterone biosynthesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.118.10907DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6759988PMC
September 2018

Cellular and Genetic Causes of Idiopathic Hyperaldosteronism.

Hypertension 2018 10;72(4):874-880

Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology (W.E.R.), and Department of Medicine (W.E.R.), University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

Primary aldosteronism affects ≈5% to 10% of hypertensive patients and has unilateral and bilateral forms. Most unilateral primary aldosteronism is caused by computed tomography-detectable aldosterone-producing adenomas, which express CYP11B2 (aldosterone synthase) and frequently harbor somatic mutations in aldosterone-regulating genes. The cause of the most common bilateral form of primary aldosteronism, idiopathic hyperaldosteronism (IHA), is believed to be diffuse hyperplasia of aldosterone-producing cells within the adrenal cortex. Herein, a multi-institution cohort of 15 IHA adrenals was examined with CYP11B2 immunohistochemistry and next-generation sequencing. CYP11B2 immunoreactivity in adrenal glomerulosa harboring non-nodular hyperplasia was only observed in 4/15 IHA adrenals suggesting that hyperplasia of CYP11B2-expressing cells may not be the major cause of IHA. However, the adrenal cortex of all IHA adrenals harbored at least 1 CYP11B2-positive aldosterone-producing cell cluster (APCC) or micro-aldosterone-producing adenomas. The number of APCCs per case (and individual APCC area) in IHA adrenals was significantly larger than in normotensive controls. Next-generation sequencing of DNA from 99 IHA APCCs demonstrated somatic mutations in genes encoding the L-type calcium voltage-gated channel subunit α 1-D ( CACNA1D, n=57; 58%) and potassium voltage-gated channel subfamily J-5 ( KCNJ5, n=1; 1%). These data suggest that IHA may result from not only hyperplasia but also the accumulation or enlargement of computed tomography-undetectable APCC harboring somatic aldosterone-driver gene mutations. The high prevalence of mutations in the CACNA1D L-type calcium channel provides a potential actionable therapeutic target that could complement mineralocorticoid blockade and inhibit aldosterone overproduction in some IHA patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1161/HYPERTENSIONAHA.118.11086DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6207209PMC
October 2018

Catecholamine-Synthesizing Enzymes in Pheochromocytoma and Extraadrenal Paraganglioma.

Endocr Pathol 2018 Dec;29(4):302-309

Division of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Tohoku Medical and Pharmaceutical University, 1-15-1 Fukumuro, Miyagino-ku, Sendai, 983-8536, Japan.

In chromaffin cells, tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), aromatic L-amino acid decarboxylase (AADC), dopamine β-hydroxylase (DBH), and phenylethanolamine N-methyltransferase (PNMT) are mainly involved in catecholamine synthesis. In this study, we evaluated the association between the status of catecholamine-synthesizing enzymes and histopathological features of pheochromocytoma and extraadrenal paraganglioma with special emphasis upon their postoperative clinical behavior. Immunohistochemical evaluation of TH, DBH, AADC, PNMT, Ki 67, and S-100 was performed in 29 pheochromocytoma and 10 extraadrenal paraganglioma and one lymph node harboring metastatic pheochromocytoma. Among these cases, metastasis was subsequently developed in three cases. Urinary normetanephrine (U-NM) levels were significantly higher in clinical metastatic cases than non-metastatic ones. Ki 67 labeling index was significantly higher in both clinical metastatic cases and the Adrenal Gland Scaled Score (PASS) score of ≧ 4 cases than PASS < 4 cases, although this score was originally used in pheochromocytoma. H-score of AADC and DBH were significantly lower in PASS ≧ 4 cases than those with < 4 cases, and in the cases associated with intratumoral necrosis (n = 4), the presence of spindle shaped tumor cells (n = 4), and large nests of cells or diffuse growth (n = 5). Lower status of intratumoral AADC could be related to poor differentiation of tumor cells in both catecholamine production and morphology and could be related to aggressive biological behavior of both pheochromocytoma and extraadrenal paraganglioma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s12022-018-9544-5DOI Listing
December 2018

Targeted Molecular Characterization of Aldosterone-Producing Adenomas in White Americans.

J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2018 10;103(10):3869-3876

Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Context: Somatic mutations have been identified in more than half of aldosterone-producing adenomas (APAs) through mutation hotspot sequencing. The underlying pathogenesis of inappropriate aldosterone synthesis in the remaining population is still unknown.

Objective: To investigate the prevalence and spectrum of somatic mutations in APAs using an aldosterone synthase (CYP11B2) immunohistochemistry (IHC)‒guided next-generation sequencing (NGS) approach.

Methods: Formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded adrenal tissue from white American patients with primary aldosteronism who underwent adrenalectomy at the University of Michigan was used. Genomic DNA was isolated from 75 APAs (identified by CYP11B2 IHC). NGS was performed to identify somatic mutations by sequencing the entire coding region of a panel of genes mutated in APAs.

Results: Somatic mutations were identified in 66 of 75 APAs (88%). Of the APAs with somatic mutations, six were smaller than coexisting CYP11B2-negative adrenocortical adenomas. The most frequently mutated gene was KCNJ5 (43%), followed by CACNA1D (21%), ATP1A1 (17%), ATP2B3 (4%), and CTNNB1 (3%). In addition to identification of previously reported mutations, we identified five previously unreported mutations (two in KCNJ5, one in ATP1A1, one in ATP2B3, and one in CACNA1D genes). KCNJ5 mutations were more frequent in women (70% vs 24% in men).

Conclusion: Comprehensive NGS of CYP11B2-expressing adrenal tumors identified somatic mutations in aldosterone-driving genes in 88% of APAs, a higher rate than in previous studies using conventional approaches.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1210/jc.2018-01004DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6179168PMC
October 2018

Effects of surgical treatment for acromegaly on knee MRI structural features.

Endocr J 2018 Oct 13;65(10):991-999. Epub 2018 Jul 13.

Division of Nephrology, Endocrinology and Vascular Medicine, Tohoku University Hospital, Sendai, Japan.

Acromegalic arthropathy is a common complication of acromegaly and harms the quality of life of the patients even after acromegaly is in long-term remission. A recent study demonstrated by knee MRI the characteristic structural features of acromegalic arthropathy. However, the effects of treatment for acromegaly on such structural features are almost unknown. This study was undertaken to analyze the effects of transsphenoidal surgery (TSS) on acromegalic arthropathy and elucidate whether knee MRI findings are reversible or irreversible. We analyzed 22 patients with acromegaly (63.7% females, median age 58 years) by knee MRI at diagnosis. Out of these 22 patients, 16 who underwent TSS (68.9% female, median age 58 years) were also subjected to knee MRI 2 months after TSS. As for X-ray undetectable findings, MRI detected synovial thickening, bone marrow lesion, ligament injury and meniscus injury in 22.7%, 22.7%, 4.7% and 59.1% of the patients, respectively. With respect to the 16 patients who underwent TSS, clinical and structural improvements were observed respectively in 100%, 66.7% and 66.7% of the patients who showed knee joint pain, synovial thickening and bone marrow lesion before TSS. However, no patient showed structural improvement of meniscus injury after TSS. In acromegalic arthropathy, synovial thickening and bone marrow lesions are reversible while meniscus injury is irreversible. Because all those findings are associated with the exacerbation of arthropathy, they may be therapeutic targets for preventing the progression of arthropathy by endocrinological and orthopedic intervention.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1507/endocrj.EJ18-0108DOI Listing
October 2018

Progress in the Management of Primary Aldosteronism.

Am J Hypertens 2018 04;31(5):522-531

Division of Nephrology, Endocrinology and Vascular Medicine, Department of Medicine, Tohoku University Hospital, Sendai, Miyagi, Japan.

Primary aldosteronism (PA) is now considered as one of leading causes of secondary hypertension, accounting for 5-10% of all hypertensive patients and more strikingly 20% of those with resistant hypertension. Importantly, those with the unilateral disease could be surgically cured when diagnosed appropriately. On the other hand, only a very limited portion of those suspected to have PA has been screened, diagnosed, or treated to date. With current advancement in medical technologies and genetic research, expanding knowledge of PA has been accumulated and recent achievements have also been documented in the care of those with PA. This review is aimed to have focused description on updated topics of the following; importance of PA screening both in the general and specialized settings and careful interpretation of screening data, recent achievements in hormone assays and sampling methods and their clinical relevance, and expanding knowledge on PA genetics. Improvement in workup processes and novel treatment options, as well as better understanding of the PA pathogenesis based on genetic research, might be expected to result in increased cure and better care of the patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/ajh/hpy018DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5905601PMC
April 2018

Aldosterone-Producing Cell Clusters Frequently Harbor Somatic Mutations and Accumulate With Age in Normal Adrenals.

J Endocr Soc 2017 Jul 12;1(7):787-799. Epub 2017 May 12.

Department of Pathology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan 48109.

Context: Aldosterone synthase (CYP11B2) immunohistochemistry and next-generation sequencing (NGS) have revealed the frequent presence of aldosterone-producing cell clusters (APCCs) harboring somatic mutations in aldosterone-regulating genes in adrenals from Americans without defined hypertension status.

Objective: Determine the frequency and somatic mutation status of APCCs in a Japanese nonhypertensive cohort.

Design Setting Patients And Interventions: Adrenals from 837 consecutive autopsies at a Japanese institution, Tohoku University Hospital, were screened to select 107 unilateral adrenal glands from nonhypertensive patients. APCC score (APCC number/adrenal cortex area per case) was assessed by CYP11B2 immunohistochemistry. DNA from all APCCs and adjacent adrenal cortex was subjected to NGS using two panels targeting aldosterone-regulating genes.

Primary Outcome Measure: APCC frequency and somatic mutation spectrum.

Results: In 107 adrenals, 61 APCCs were detected (average of 0.6 APCCs per gland). APCC score was positively correlated with age ( = 0.50, < 0.0001). NGS demonstrated high confidence somatic mutations in 21 of 61 APCCs (34%). Notably, 16 of 21 APCCs (76%) harbored somatic mutations in , the most frequently mutated gene in our previous studies of APCCs in Americans and CYP11B2-positive micronodules in cross-sectional imaging (computed tomography) negative primary aldosteronism (PA), whereas no APCCs harbored mutations in , the most frequently mutated gene in aldosterone-producing adenoma. APCC score was significantly lower than our previous cohort of unilateral computed tomography-negative PA.

Conclusions: APCCs are frequent in nonhypertensive Japanese adrenals, accumulate with age, and frequently harbor somatic mutations (most commonly in ). The role of APCCs in PA pathobiology and non-PA hypertension warrants further investigation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1210/js.2017-00134DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5686701PMC
July 2017

Aldosterone-Producing Cell Clusters in Normal and Pathological States.

Horm Metab Res 2017 Dec 4;49(12):951-956. Epub 2017 Dec 4.

Department of Molecular and Integrative Physiology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI, USA.

Primary aldosteronism (PA) significantly increases the risk of cardiovascular complications, and early diagnosis and targeted treatment based on its pathophysiology is warranted. Next-generation sequencing (NGS) has revealed recurrent somatic mutations in aldosterone-driving genes in aldosterone-producing adenoma (APA). By applying CYP11B2 (aldosterone synthase) immunohistochemistry and NGS to adrenal glands from normal subjects and PA patients, we and others have shown that CYP11B2-positive cells make small clusters, termed aldosterone-producing cell clusters (APCC), beneath the adrenal capsule, and that APCC harbor somatic mutations in genes mutated in APA. We have shown that APCC are increased in CT-negative PA adrenals, while others showed potential progression from APCC to micro APA through mutations. These results suggest that APCC are a key factor for understanding the origin of PA, and further investigation on the relation between APCC and PA is highly needed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1055/s-0043-122394DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5770278PMC
December 2017

Histopathological Classification of Cross-Sectional Image-Negative Hyperaldosteronism.

J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2017 04;102(4):1182-1192

Department of Pathology, and.

Context: Approximately half of patients with primary aldosteronism (PA) have clinically evident disease according to clinical (hypertension) and/or laboratory (aldosterone and renin levels) findings but do not have nodules detectable in routine cross-sectional imaging. However, the detailed histopathologic, steroidogenic, and pathobiological features of cross-sectional image-negative PA are controversial.

Objective: To examine histopathology, steroidogenic enzyme expression, and aldosterone-driver gene somatic mutation status in cross-sectional image-negative hyperaldosteronism.

Methods: Twenty-five cross-sectional image-negative cases were retrospectively reviewed. In situ adrenal aldosterone production capacity was determined using immunohistochemistry (IHC) of steroidogenic enzymes. Aldosterone-driver gene somatic mutation status (ATP1A1, ATP2B3, CACNA1D, and KCNJ5) was determined in the CYP11B2 immunopositive areas [n = 35; micronodule, n = 32; zona glomerulosa (ZG), n = 3] using next-generation sequencing after macrodissection.

Results: Cases were classified as multiple adrenocortical micronodules (MN; n = 13) or diffuse hyperplasia (DH) of ZG (n = 12) based upon histopathological evaluation and CYP11B2 IHC. Aldosterone-driver gene somatic mutations were detected in 21 of 26 (81%) of CYP11B2-positive cortical micronodules in MN; 17 (65%) mutations were in CACNA1D, 2 (8%) in KCNJ5, and 1 each (4% each) in ATP1A1 and ATP2B. One of 6 (17%) of nodules in DH harbored somatic aldosterone-driver gene mutations (CACNA1D); however, no mutations were detected in CYP11B2-positive nonnodular DH areas.

Conclusion: Morphologic evaluation and CYP11B2 IHC enabled the classification of cross-sectional image-negative hyperaldosteronism into MN and DH. Somatic mutations driving aldosterone overproduction are common in micronodules of MN, suggesting a histological entity possibly related to aldosterone-producing cell cluster development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1210/jc.2016-2986DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5460723PMC
April 2017

Genetic and Histopathologic Intertumor Heterogeneity in Primary Aldosteronism.

J Clin Endocrinol Metab 2017 06;102(6):1792-1796

Center for Adrenal Disorders, Division of Endocrinology, Diabetes and Hypertension, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02115.

Context: Whether primary aldosteronism (PA) is the consequence of a monoclonal or multiclonal process is unclear.

Case Description: A 48-year-old man with severe bilateral PA refractory to medical therapy underwent unilateral adrenalectomy of the dominant adrenal. Although computed tomography showed three left-sided cortical nodules, postsurgical histopathology and genetic analysis revealed five different adrenocortical adenomas. Two zona fasciculata (ZF)-like aldosterone-producing adenomas (APAs) each harbored distinct known somatic KCNJ5 mutations (L168R and T158A). A zona glomerulosa-like APA harbored a known CACNA1D G403R somatic mutation, whereas a zona reticularis-like adenoma, which was grossly black in pigmentation with histologic characteristics more associated with cortisol-producing adenomas, expressed CYP11B2, CYP17, and DHEA-ST by immunohistochemistry (IHC) and harbored no known somatic mutations. The fifth adenoma was ZF-type, negative for CYP11B2 and CYP17 IHC, and harbored no known somatic mutations.

Conclusions: This case highlights complex intertumor heterogeneity in histology, steroidogenesis, and somatic mutations in multiple adrenocortical adenomas arising in a single patient with PA. These findings suggest that the syndrome of PA can involve heterogeneous and multiclonal functional adrenal adenomas.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1210/jc.2016-4007DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5470766PMC
June 2017
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