Benutzerspezifische Werkzeuge

Summary English

The Hedgehog (Hh) signalling pathway is an evolutionarily conserved pathway required for embryonic growth and patterning, but also functions in adult tissue homeostasis through effects on progenitor cells. Inappropriate activation of the Hh pathway is frequently associated with cancer development, especially in cells that require Hh for their proliferation and maintenance. Hh signalling is critical for adrenal organogenesis and also seems to persist in the adult adrenal gland. However, whether Hedgehog signalling has important functions in the adult adrenal remains to be determined. Considering its essential role in adrenal gland development and its tumourigenic effect on diverse organs, it is possible that Hh deregulation is associated with adrenal hyperplasia and even adrenal tumour formation. Furthermore, our preliminary data suggest that Hh proteins regulate steroid hormone production in both Drosophila and in vertebrate cell lines. Therefore, we aim to define the role of the Hh pathway in adrenal gland hyperplasia, tumour formation and in the modulation of steroidogenesis. Understanding in how Hedgehog functions in the adrenal gland in health and disease will enable the development of new treatment strategies for adrenal pathologies.