Dr. David Breault
Elucidating the homeostatic mechanisms underlying cellular renewal and tissue remodeling is essential to our understanding of organogenesis and regeneration. The adrenal cortex is an ideal system to investigate these questions given its continuous remodeling in response to physiological cues as well as its enormous regenerative capacity following systemic treatment with glucocorticoids. Moreover, important clinical consequences result from the dysregulation of adrenocortical homeostasis that arise from conditions such as congenital adrenal hyperplasia (CAH) (among the most common genetic disorders), Cushing’s syndrome, adrenocortical cancer and hyperaldosteronism, a major cause of hypertension. Despite the fact that proper adrenal function is paramount for organism survival, surprisingly little is known regarding the mechanisms underlying its formation and maintenance and limited tools exist to investigate these questions.