Project A06 – 1st funding period

Stem cell cells with regenerative capacity in the adult adrenal cortex

Principal Investigators

PhD. Charlotte Steenblock
Department of Internal Medicine III,
University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus Dresden,
Technische Universität Dresden

Prof. Dr. med. Stefan R. Bornstein
Department of Internal Medicine III, Endicrinology
University Hospital Carl Gustav Carus Dresden,

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PhD Cynthia Andoniadou
Medizinische Klinik und Poliklinik III,
Universitätsklinikum Carl Gustav Carus Dresden,
Technische Universität Dresden

Scientific Staff

Alice Santambrogio – PhD Student
Ilona Berger – PhD Student

Project Description

Project A06 deals with the adrenal response to stress. It aims to characterize stem/progenitors with regenerative capacity of the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis and the adrenal medulla and the functional role of signal transduction mechanisms in these processes. Thus, they focus on the regeneration and stress adaptation mechanisms in the HPA axis and the adrenal medulla and the potential involvement of progenitors in maladaptation, which will be of clinical importance.


(I) Characterization of progenitors of the HPA axis in vitro.

(II) Characterization of adrenocortical progenitors in the adrenal’s response to stress.

(III) Establishing the role of different signalling pathways on stem cell populations of the HPA axis.


Characterization of Sox2 positive stem cells in the adrenal and their role in stress: Alice Santambrogio, Sep. 2017-Aug. 2020.

The influence of stress on signaling pathways in stem-like cells of the adrenal gland: Ilona Berger, Feb. 2018-Jan. 2021.

The influence of obesity and diabetes on the function of adult stem cells of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis: Martin Werdermann, Oct. 2017-Sep. 2018.


Balyura M, Gelfgat E, Steenblock C, Androutsellis-Theotokis A, Ruiz-Babot G, Guasti L, Werdermann M, Ludwig B, Bornstein T, Schally AV, Brennand A, Bornstein SR. Expression of progenitor markers is associated with the functionality of a bioartificial adrenal cortex. PLoS One. 2018;13(3):e0194643.

Langton K, Gruber M, Masjkur J, Steenblock C, Peitzsch M, Meinel J, Lenders J, Bornstein S, Eisenhofer G. Hypertensive crisis in pregnancy due to a metamorphosing pheochromocytoma with postdelivery Cushing’s syndrome. Gynecol Endocrinol. 2018;34(1):20-24.