Addison's Disease Research Paper

Excerpt from Research Paper :

Addison's Disease


Addison's disease is a chronic disorder of the adrenal cortex resulting in decreased production of glucocorticoids, mineralocorticoids, and androgens. There is increased secretion of adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) from the pituitary gland. Histologic examination of adrenal glands from patients with autoimmune adrenal insufficiency reveals fibrosis with a mononuclear cell infiltrate, plasma cells, and rare germinal centers. The most common cause of primary adrenal insufficiency in developed countries is autoimmunity (70% to 90%), with tuberculosis the second most common cause (10% to 20%). Addison disease can be present in 3 clinical forms: part of syndromes termed APS-1 and autoimmune polyendocrine syndrome type 2 (APS-2) and as an isolated disease. Adrenal autoantibodies are generally of the IgG class, and less frequently of the IgA and the IgM class. Antibodies directed against antigens other than P450 cytochrome enzymes have been found in some patients with isolated Addison's disease. Another study found antibodies of the IgG type directed against the ACTH receptor on adrenal cells, which blocked ACTH-induced cortisol secretion as well as ACTH-induced DNA synthesis in these cells. This was the case in 74% and 80% respec- tively, of the Addisonian patients studied, and was found in none of the healthy control subjects. This blocking effect was lost at higher titres of IgG concentration. This indicates that humoral immunity rather than cellular immunity is involved in Addison's disease.

Clinical Symptoms and Diagnosis

The diagnosis of Addison disease is made in symptomatic patients with high levels of ACTH and a deficiency of cortisol or when serum cortisol levels do not increase after…

Sources Used in Document:

Works Cited

Lovas K, Husebye E.S. (2008) Replacement therapy for Addison's disease: recent developments. Expert Opin Investig Drugs. 17(4): 497-509.

Martorell, P.M., Roep, B.O., Smit, J.W.A. (2002) Autoimmunity in Addison's Disease. The Netherlands Journal of Medicine. 60: 269.

Michels, A. & Eisenbarth G. (2010) Immunologic Endocrine Disorders. J Aller Clin. Immun 125: S226.

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