Main Researcher: Cecilie Melau, PhD
Other Researchers: John Erik Nielsen, Hanne Frederiksen, Anna-Maria Andersson, Anders Juul, Anne Jørgensen
Objective: To characterize normal and
dysregulated human fetal adrenal endocrine function followed by the establishment
of a dynamic ex vivo culture model for congenital adrenal hyperplasia.
Description: The human fetal adrenal is a steroid hormone producing organ that plays an
important role in sexual differentiation of fetal gonads as well as in the
overall endocrine function of the fetus. We hypothesize that both normal and
dysregulated adrenal steroidogenesis in the human fetus can be investigated
using a novel ex vivo tissue culture approach. The main aim of this
project is to increase the understanding of adrenal function in human fetal
development and establish a much needed model for normal fetal adrenals and for
fetal congenital adrenal hyperplasia in which effects of manipulations on steroidogenesis
can be examined.
Output: Characterization of the normal expression pattern of steroidogenic
enzymes and determination of steroid metabolites in human fetal adrenals from 1st
and 2nd trimester is almost completed. In addition, the establishment
of specific culture conditions for human fetal adrenal ex vivo culture
model has been initiated.
Publications: A manuscript characterizing normal
human fetal adrenal endocrine function during 1st and 2nd
trimester is in preparation.