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Issue 135 Spring 2020

Endocrinologist > Spring 2020 > Hot topics

Glucocorticoid and mineralocorticoid receptors in postnatal growth

Colin Farquharson | Hot topics


Glucocorticoids work with the immune system to treat a wide range of health problems. Their use, however, is associated with a number of side effects, including growth retardation and skeletal frailty. The mechanisms by which they induce growth retardation are unclear. This study determined whether the observed growth retardation was dependent on activation of both the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) and the mineralocorticoid receptor (MR).

Faught & Vijayan studied ubiquitous GR- or MR-knockout zebrafish with or with hydrocortisone during early postnatal life. In the absence of GR, hydrocortisone exposure led to protein accumulation, indicating that MR activation led to an anabolic response. Conversely, hydrocortisone-mediated reduction in body mass and protein content required activation of both GR and MR, as activation of GR alone did not lead to reduced protein content.

This is the first study to show that activation of both GR and MR is required for glucocorticoid-induced growth suppression during postnatal development.

Read the full article in Journal of Endocrinology 244 261−271

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