open access

Vol 82, No 4 (2023)
Original article
Submitted: 2022-08-04
Accepted: 2022-09-10
Published online: 2022-09-27
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Sex differences in adrenal cortex beta-catenin immunolocalisation of the Saharan gerbil, Libyan jird (Meriones libycus, Lichtenstein, 1823)

N. Aknoun-Sail12, Y. Zatra312, I. Sahut-Barnola4, A. Benmouloud125, A. Kheddache126, M. Khaldoun12, S. Charallah12, F. Khammar12, A. Martinez4, Z. Amirat1
·
Pubmed: 36165897
·
Folia Morphol 2023;82(4):830-840.
Affiliations
  1. Arid Zones Research Laboratory (LRZA), Faculty of Biological Sciences, University of Sciences and Technology Houari Boumediene (USTHB), Algiers, Algeria
  2. Faculty of Sciences, University of Algiers I Benyoucef Benkhedda, Algiers, Algeria
  3. Nature and Life Sciences Faculty, Saad Dahlab University of Blida (USDB 1), Blida, Algeria
  4. Génétique, Reproduction et Développement (GReD), Centre National de La Recherche Scientifique CNRS, Institut National de La Santé and de La Recherche Médicale (INSERM), Université Clermont-Auvergne (UCA), France
  5. Department of Biology, Faculty of Sciences, M’Hamed Bougara University of Boumerdes (UMBB), Algeria
  6. Department of Biological and Agricultural, University Mouloud Mammeri Tizi Ouzou (UMMTO), Tizi Ouzou, Algeria

open access

Vol 82, No 4 (2023)
ORIGINAL ARTICLES
Submitted: 2022-08-04
Accepted: 2022-09-10
Published online: 2022-09-27

Abstract

Background: The adrenal cortex provides adequate steroidogenic responses to
environmental changes. However, in desert rodents, the adrenocortical activity
varies according to several factors especially sex, age, and seasonal variations.
Herein, we examined the sex differences in the adrenal cortex activity and explored
the involvement of sex hormones in the regulation of this function in Libyan jird
Meriones libycus.
Materials and methods: Twenty-four adult male and female animals weighing
109–110 g were captured in the breeding season and equally assigned into
control and gonadectomised groups. Animal euthanasia was performed 50 days
after the gonadectomy. Adrenal gland was processed for structural and immunohistochemistry
study of b-catenin, whereas plasma was used for cortisol assay.
Results: The results showed that female adrenal gland weight was heavier than
male and gonadectomy reduced this dimorphism. The adrenal cortex thickness
was greater in the female than in the male, mainly due to significant development
of the zona fasciculata. Females presented higher cell density in fasciculata and
reticularis zones. The plasma cortisol was higher in females than in males. The
immunolocalisation of beta-catenin showed that the expression was particularly
glomerular in both sexes. However, in the female, the immunostaining was present
in the zona reticularis while it was absent in the control male. Orchiectomy
reduced zona glomerulosa cell density and induced hypertrophy of zona reticularis
characterised by strong beta-catenin immunoreactivity.

Conclusions: Results indicated that sex hormones had a major role in the regulation
of the Saharan gerbil’s adrenal homeostasis by modulating beta-catenin
signalling. Androgens seem to inhibit the Wnt-beta-catenin pathway and oestrogens
are activators of the adrenal inner zones.

Abstract

Background: The adrenal cortex provides adequate steroidogenic responses to
environmental changes. However, in desert rodents, the adrenocortical activity
varies according to several factors especially sex, age, and seasonal variations.
Herein, we examined the sex differences in the adrenal cortex activity and explored
the involvement of sex hormones in the regulation of this function in Libyan jird
Meriones libycus.
Materials and methods: Twenty-four adult male and female animals weighing
109–110 g were captured in the breeding season and equally assigned into
control and gonadectomised groups. Animal euthanasia was performed 50 days
after the gonadectomy. Adrenal gland was processed for structural and immunohistochemistry
study of b-catenin, whereas plasma was used for cortisol assay.
Results: The results showed that female adrenal gland weight was heavier than
male and gonadectomy reduced this dimorphism. The adrenal cortex thickness
was greater in the female than in the male, mainly due to significant development
of the zona fasciculata. Females presented higher cell density in fasciculata and
reticularis zones. The plasma cortisol was higher in females than in males. The
immunolocalisation of beta-catenin showed that the expression was particularly
glomerular in both sexes. However, in the female, the immunostaining was present
in the zona reticularis while it was absent in the control male. Orchiectomy
reduced zona glomerulosa cell density and induced hypertrophy of zona reticularis
characterised by strong beta-catenin immunoreactivity.

Conclusions: Results indicated that sex hormones had a major role in the regulation
of the Saharan gerbil’s adrenal homeostasis by modulating beta-catenin
signalling. Androgens seem to inhibit the Wnt-beta-catenin pathway and oestrogens
are activators of the adrenal inner zones.

Get Citation

Keywords

adrenal cortex, gonadectomy, sex differences, structure, beta-catenin, Meriones libycus

About this article
Title

Sex differences in adrenal cortex beta-catenin immunolocalisation of the Saharan gerbil, Libyan jird (Meriones libycus, Lichtenstein, 1823)

Journal

Folia Morphologica

Issue

Vol 82, No 4 (2023)

Article type

Original article

Pages

830-840

Published online

2022-09-27

Page views

836

Article views/downloads

740

DOI

10.5603/FM.a2022.0084

Pubmed

36165897

Bibliographic record

Folia Morphol 2023;82(4):830-840.

Keywords

adrenal cortex
gonadectomy
sex differences
structure
beta-catenin
Meriones libycus

Authors

N. Aknoun-Sail
Y. Zatra
I. Sahut-Barnola
A. Benmouloud
A. Kheddache
M. Khaldoun
S. Charallah
F. Khammar
A. Martinez
Z. Amirat

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