Aging of the human adrenal cortex.

Peter J. Hornsby

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

15 Scopus citations

Abstract

The most striking age-related change in the human adrenal cortex is the decline in secretion of dehydroepiandrosterone and its sulfate, steroids synthesized by the inner zone of the cortex, the zona reticularis. Because these steroids are of essentially unknown function, the importance of this age-related change is the subject of considerable debate. It is likely that the age-related change in these steroids results from loss of zona reticularis cells or impairment of their function. During aging, cumulative damage to the zona reticularis could occur through ischemia-related infarcts and other causes of cell death. Cellular senescence could contribute to a loss of the ability of the tissue to replace lost cells. In contrast, feedback mechanisms that regulate adrenocortical growth cause compensatory local tissue hyperplasias called nodules. The effect of imperfect repair of damage combined with compensatory overgrowth in the form of nodules leads to an increasingly abnormal tissue architecture.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)re6
JournalScience of aging knowledge environment : SAGE KE
Volume2004
Issue number35
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1 2004

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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