Cell transplantation techniques have been applied to the study of the biology of the adrenal cortex and to adrenocortical cell proliferation, differentiation, and senescence. Primary bovine adrenocortical cells, primary human adrenocortical cells and genetically modified bovine adrenocortical cells have been transplanted. Successful methods include transplantation of cells beneath the kidney capsule and several subcutaneous cell transplantation procedures. In successful transplants the cells form a functional vascularized tissue structure that allows the host animals to survive adrenalectomy. We show here that subcutaneous cell transplantation does not depend on embedding cells in collagen gel before introduction into the host animal. Subcutaneous transplants secrete both cortisol and aldosterone. However, the variability of plasma aldosterone levels indicates that the factors that determine glomerulosa-type and fasciculata-type cell function in transplant tissues are not well understood.
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