Dr. Rebecca  Cochran  Md image

Dr. Rebecca Cochran Md

1963 Memorial Pkwy Sw Ste 5
Huntsville AL 35801
256 652-2464
Medical School: Other - Unknown
Accepts Medicare: No
Participates In eRX: No
Participates In PQRS: No
Participates In EHR: No
License #: AL17492
NPI: 1467425165
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GLI1(+) progenitor cells in the adrenal capsule of the adult mouse give rise to heterotopic gonadal-like tissue. - Molecular and cellular endocrinology
As certain strains of mice age, hyperplastic lesions resembling gonadal tissue accumulate beneath the adrenal capsule. Gonadectomy (GDX) accelerates this heterotopic differentiation, resulting in the formation of wedge-shaped adrenocortical neoplasms that produce sex steroids. Stem/progenitor cells that reside in the adrenal capsule and retain properties of the adrenogonadal primordium are thought to be the source of this heterotopic tissue. Here, we demonstrate that GLI1(+) progenitors in the adrenal capsule give rise to gonadal-like cells that accumulate in the subcapsular region. A tamoxifen-inducible Cre driver (Gli1-creER(T2)) and two reporters (R26R-lacZ, R26R-confetti) were used to track the fate of GLI1(+) cells in the adrenal glands of B6D2F2 mice, a strain that develops both GDX-induced adrenocortical neoplasms and age-dependent subcapsular cell hyperplasia. In gonadectomized B6D2F2 mice GLI1(+) progenitors contributed to long-lived adrenal capsule cells and to adrenocortical neoplasms that expressed Gata4 and Foxl2, two prototypical gonadal markers. Pdgfra, a gene expressed in adrenocortical stromal cells, was upregulated in the GDX-induced neoplasms. In aged non-gonadectomized B6D2F2 mice GLI1(+) progenitors gave rise to patches of subcapsular cell hyperplasia. Treatment with GANT61, a small-molecule GLI antagonist, attenuated the upregulation of gonadal-like markers (Gata4, Amhr2, Foxl2) in response to GDX. These findings support the premise that GLI1(+) progenitor cells in the adrenal capsule of the adult mouse give rise to heterotopic tissue.Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Adrenocortical zonation, renewal, and remodeling. - Frontiers in endocrinology
The adrenal cortex is divided into concentric zones. In humans the major cortical zones are the zona glomerulosa, zona fasciculata, and zona reticularis. The adrenal cortex is a dynamic organ in which senescent cells are replaced by newly differentiated ones. This constant renewal facilitates organ remodeling in response to physiological demand for steroids. Cortical zones can reversibly expand, contract, or alter their biochemical profiles to accommodate needs. Pools of stem/progenitor cells in the adrenal capsule, subcapsular region, and juxtamedullary region can differentiate to repopulate or expand zones. Some of these pools appear to be activated only during specific developmental windows or in response to extreme physiological demand. Senescent cells can also be replenished through direct lineage conversion; for example, cells in the zona glomerulosa can transform into cells of the zona fasciculata. Adrenocortical cell differentiation, renewal, and function are regulated by a variety of endocrine/paracrine factors including adrenocorticotropin, angiotensin II, insulin-related growth hormones, luteinizing hormone, activin, and inhibin. Additionally, zonation and regeneration of the adrenal cortex are controlled by developmental signaling pathways, such as the sonic hedgehog, delta-like homolog 1, fibroblast growth factor, and WNT/β-catenin pathways. The mechanisms involved in adrenocortical remodeling are complex and redundant so as to fulfill the offsetting goals of organ homeostasis and stress adaptation.
Toying with fate: Redirecting the differentiation of adrenocortical progenitor cells into gonadal-like tissue. - Molecular and cellular endocrinology
Cell fate decisions are integral to zonation and remodeling of the adrenal cortex. Animal models exhibiting ectopic differentiation of gonadal-like cells in the adrenal cortex can shed light on the molecular mechanisms regulating steroidogenic cell fate. In one such model, prepubertal gonadectomy (GDX) of mice triggers the formation of adrenocortical neoplasms that resemble luteinized ovarian stroma. Transcriptomic analysis and genome-wide DNA methylation mapping have identified genetic and epigenetic markers of GDX-induced adrenocortical neoplasia. Members of the GATA transcription factor family have emerged as key regulators of cell fate in this model. Expression of Gata4 is pivotal for the accumulation of gonadal-like cells in the adrenal glands of gonadectomized mice, whereas expression of Gata6 limits the spontaneous and GDX-induced differentiation of gonadal-like cells in the adrenal cortex. Additionally, Gata6 is essential for proper development of the adrenal X-zone, a layer analogous to the fetal zone of the human adrenal cortex. The relevance of these observations to developmental signaling pathways in the adrenal cortex, to other animal models of altered adrenocortical cell fate, and to human diseases is discussed.Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Novel markers of gonadectomy-induced adrenocortical neoplasia in the mouse and ferret. - Molecular and cellular endocrinology
Gonadectomy (GDX) induces sex steroid-producing adrenocortical tumors in certain mouse strains and in the domestic ferret. Transcriptome analysis and DNA methylation mapping were used to identify novel genetic and epigenetic markers of GDX-induced adrenocortical neoplasia in female DBA/2J mice. Markers were validated using a combination of laser capture microdissection, quantitative RT-PCR, in situ hybridization, and immunohistochemistry. Microarray expression profiling of whole adrenal mRNA from ovariectomized vs. intact mice demonstrated selective upregulation of gonadal-like genes including Spinlw1 and Insl3 in GDX-induced adrenocortical tumors of the mouse. A complementary candidate gene approach identified Foxl2 as another gonadal-like marker expressed in GDX-induced neoplasms of the mouse and ferret. That both "male-specific" (Spinlw1) and "female-specific" (Foxl2) markers were identified is noteworthy and implies that the neoplasms exhibit mixed characteristics of male and female gonadal somatic cells. Genome-wide methylation analysis showed that two genes with hypomethylated promoters, Igfbp6 and Foxs1, are upregulated in GDX-induced adrenocortical neoplasms. These new genetic and epigenetic markers may prove useful for studies of steroidogenic cell development and for diagnostic testing.Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ireland Ltd. All rights reserved.
Conditional mutagenesis of Gata6 in SF1-positive cells causes gonadal-like differentiation in the adrenal cortex of mice. - Endocrinology
Transcription factor GATA6 is expressed in the fetal and adult adrenal cortex and has been implicated in steroidogenesis. To characterize the role of transcription factor GATA6 in adrenocortical development and function, we generated mice in which Gata6 was conditionally deleted using Cre-LoxP recombination with Sf1-cre. The adrenal glands of adult Gata6 conditional knockout (cKO) mice were small and had a thin cortex. Cytomegalic changes were evident in fetal and adult cKO adrenal glands, and chromaffin cells were ectopically located at the periphery of the glands. Corticosterone secretion in response to exogenous ACTH was blunted in cKO mice. Spindle-shaped cells expressing Gata4, a marker of gonadal stroma, accumulated in the adrenal subcapsule of Gata6 cKO mice. RNA analysis demonstrated the concomitant upregulation of other gonadal-like markers, including Amhr2, in the cKO adrenal glands, suggesting that GATA6 inhibits the spontaneous differentiation of adrenocortical stem/progenitor cells into gonadal-like cells. Lhcgr and Cyp17 were overexpressed in the adrenal glands of gonadectomized cKO vs control mice, implying that GATA6 also limits sex steroidogenic cell differentiation in response to the hormonal changes that accompany gonadectomy. Nulliparous female and orchiectomized male Gata6 cKO mice lacked an adrenal X-zone. Microarray hybridization identified Pik3c2g as a novel X-zone marker that is downregulated in the adrenal glands of these mice. Our findings offer genetic proof that GATA6 regulates the differentiation of steroidogenic progenitors into adrenocortical cells.
Biochar produced from anaerobically digested fiber reduces phosphorus in dairy lagoons. - Journal of environmental quality
This study evaluated the use of biochar produced from anaerobic digester dairy fiber (ADF) to sequester phosphorus (P) from dairy lagoons. The ADF was collected from a plugged flow digester, air-dried to <8% water content, and pelletized. Biochar was produced by slow pyrolysis in a barrel retort. The potential of biochar to reduce P in the anaerobic digester effluent (ADE) was assessed in small-scale filter systems through which the effluent was circulated. Biochar sequestered an average of 381 mg L P from the ADE, and 4 g L ADF was captured as a coating on the biochar. There was an increase of total (1.9 g kg), Olsen (763 mg kg), and water-extractable P (914 mg kg) bound to the biochar after 15 d of filtration. This accounted for a recovery of 32% of the P in the ADE. The recovered P on the biochar was analyzed using P nuclear magnetic resonance for P speciation, which confirmed the recovery of inorganic orthophosphate after liquid extraction of the biochar and the presence of inextractable Ca-P in the solid state. The inorganic phosphate was sequestered on the biochar through physical and weak chemical bonding. Results indicate that biochar could be a beneficial component to P reduction in the dairy system.Copyright © by the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America, Inc.
GATA4 is a critical regulator of gonadectomy-induced adrenocortical tumorigenesis in mice. - Endocrinology
In response to gonadectomy certain inbred mouse strains develop sex steroidogenic adrenocortical neoplasms. One of the hallmarks of neoplastic transformation is expression of GATA4, a transcription factor normally present in gonadal but not adrenal steroidogenic cells of the adult mouse. To show that GATA4 directly modulates adrenocortical tumorigenesis and is not merely a marker of gonadal-like differentiation in the neoplasms, we studied mice with germline or conditional loss-of-function mutations in the Gata4 gene. Germline Gata4 haploinsufficiency was associated with attenuated tumor growth and reduced expression of sex steroidogenic genes in the adrenal glands of ovariectomized B6D2F1 and B6AF1 mice. At 12 months after ovariectomy, wild-type B6D2F1 mice had biochemical and histological evidence of adrenocortical estrogen production, whereas Gata4(+/-) B6D2F1 mice did not. Germline Gata4 haploinsufficiency exacerbated the secondary phenotype of postovariectomy obesity in B6D2F1 mice, presumably by limiting ectopic estrogen production in the adrenal glands. Amhr2-cre-mediated deletion of floxed Gata4 (Gata4(F)) in nascent adrenocortical neoplasms of ovariectomized B6.129 mice reduced tumor growth and the expression of gonadal-like markers in a Gata4(F) dose-dependent manner. We conclude that GATA4 is a key modifier of gonadectomy-induced adrenocortical neoplasia, postovariectomy obesity, and sex steroidogenic cell differentiation.
Template-based fabrication of SrTiO3 and BaTiO3 nanotubes. - Inorganic chemistry
In response to the growing need for metal oxide nanotubes and nanowires for nanoelectronic applications, polycrystalline titanate nanotubes are synthesized in this work at near-ambient conditions without the application of an external electric field or pre-existing solids. Nanotubes of complicated metal oxides including strontium titanate and barium titanate are fabricated inside anodic aluminum oxide (AAO) templates from aqueous solutions using a simple, inexpensive, reproducible, and environmentally friendly procedure. The deposition solution is prepared by dissolving ammonium hexafluorotitanate and strontium nitrate in a boric acid solution at a pH of 2.5. The typical lengths of SrTiO(3) nanotubes are 5-30 microm, with an average diameter of approximately 250 nm, which is defined by the pore diameter of the AAO template. After annealing at 800 degrees C in air, the resulting nanotubes are polycrystalline cubic SrTiO(3). The Sr:Ti ratio in the nanotube is controlled by the hydrolysis of TiF(6)(2-) ions, and the concentration of Sr(2+) and stoichiometric SrTiO(3) nanotubes can be obtained. As an additional controlling factor, the surface properties of the AAO can be modified by (octadecyl)trichlorosilane. Barium titanate is also prepared in a similar manner with barium nitrate and ammonium hexafluorotitanate as precursors. The polycrystalline cubic BaTiO(3) nanotubes are 12-30 microm long and approximately 250 nm in diameter.
Airway remodeling measured by multidetector CT is increased in severe asthma and correlates with pathology. - Chest
To prospectively apply an automated, quantitative three-dimensional approach to imaging and airway analysis to assess airway remodeling in asthma patients.Using quantitative software (Pulmonary Workstation, version 0.139; VIDA Diagnostics; Iowa City, IA) that enables quantitative airway segment measurements of low-dose, thin-section (0.625 to 1.25 mm), multidetector-row CT (MDCT) scans, we compared airway wall thickness (WT) and wall area (WA) in 123 subjects participating in a prospective multicenter cohort study, the National Institutes of Health Severe Asthma Research Program (patients with severe asthma, n = 63; patients with mild-to-moderate asthma, n = 35); and healthy subjects, n = 25). A subset of these subjects underwent fiberoptic bronchoscopy and endobronchial biopsies (n = 32). WT and WA measurements were corrected for total airway diameter and area: WT and WA, respectively.Subjects with severe asthma had a significantly greater WT% than patients with mild-to-moderate asthma and healthy subjects (17.2 +/- 1.5 vs 16.5 +/- 1.6 [p = 0.014] and 16.3 +/- 1.2 [p = 0.031], respectively) and a greater WA percentage (WA%) compared to patients with mild-to-moderate asthma and healthy subjects (56.6 +/- 2.9 vs 54.7 +/- 3.3 [p = 0.005] and 54.6 +/- 2.4 [p = 0.003], respectively). Both WT% and WA% were inversely correlated with baseline FEV(1) percent predicted (r = -0.39, p < 0.0001 and r = -0.40, p < 0.0001, respectively) and positively correlated with response to a bronchodilator (r = 0.28, p = 0.002 and r = 0.35, p < 0.0001, respectively). The airway epithelial thickness measure on the biopsy sample correlated with WT% (r = 0.47; p = 0.007) and WA% (r = 0.52; p = 0.003). In the same individual, there is considerable regional heterogeneity in airway WT.Patients with severe asthma have thicker airway walls as measured on MDCT scan than do patients with mild asthma or healthy subjects, which correlates with pathologic measures of remodeling and the degree of airflow obstruction. MDCT scanning may be a useful technique for assessing airway remodeling in asthma patients, but overlap among the groups limits the diagnostic value in individual subjects.
Epithelial cell proliferation contributes to airway remodeling in severe asthma. - American journal of respiratory and critical care medicine
Despite long-term therapy with corticosteroids, patients with severe asthma develop irreversible airway obstruction.To evaluate if there are structural and functional differences in the airway epithelium in severe asthma associated with airway remodeling.In bronchial biopsies from 21 normal subjects, 11 subjects with chronic bronchitis, 9 subjects with mild asthma, and 31 subjects with severe asthma, we evaluated epithelial cell morphology: epithelial thickness, lamina reticularis (LR) thickness, and epithelial desquamation. Levels of retinoblastoma protein (Rb), Ki67, and Bcl-2 were measured, reflecting cellular proliferation and death. Terminal deoxynucleotidyl-mediated dUTP nick end labeling (TUNEL) was used to study cellular apoptosis.Airway epithelial and LR thickness was greater in subjects with severe asthma compared with those with mild asthma, normal subjects, and diseased control subjects (p=0.009 and 0.033, respectively). There was no significant difference in epithelial desquamation between groups. Active, hypophosphorylated Rb expression was decreased (p=0.002) and Ki67 was increased (p<0.01) in the epithelium of subjects with severe asthma as compared with normal subjects, indicating increased cellular proliferation. Bcl-2 expression was decreased (p<0.001), indicating decreased cell death suppression. There was a greater level of apoptotic activity in the airway biopsy in subjects with severe asthma as compared with the normal subjects using the TUNEL assay (p=0.002), suggesting increased cell death.In subjects with severe asthma, as compared with subjects with mild asthma, normal subjects, and diseased control subjects, we found novel evidence of increased cellular proliferation in the airway contributing to a thickened epithelium and LR. These changes may contribute to the progressive decline in lung function and airway remodeling in patients with severe asthma.

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