We studied a 45-yr old woman with food-dependent Cushing's syndrome. Plasma cortisol levels were subnormal (4-47nmol/L) after an overnight fast and increased after a mixed meal to values between 500-1000 nmol/L. There was a close correlation between circulating gastric inhibitory polypeptide (GIP) and cortisol levels during normal food intake (r = 0,92; P < 0.0002). Plasma corticotropin (ACTH) levels were undetectable. Nonfasting plasma cortisol levels were not suppressed by low or high doses of dexamethasone. Plasma ACTH and cortisol levels did not increase after human CRH administration, but fasting plasma cortisol levels increased after ACTH treatment. The infusion of GIP increased plasma cortisol levels to 7.8 times above baseline. Radiological and cholesterol uptake studies pointed to a unilateral adrenal adenoma. Treatment with octreotide initially prevented the meal-induced increases in cortisol and GIP levels and decreased urinary cortisol excretion. Unilateral adrenalectomy was performed. Cortisol production by cultured adrenal adenoma cells from the patient was stimulated by GIP and ACTH. In situ hybridization studies using a GIP receptor probe showed an abundant expression of GIP receptor messenger ribonucleic acid in the adrenocortical adenoma. We conclude that food-dependent Cushing's syndrome results from the expression of GIP receptors on adrenocortical adenoma cells.

doi.org/10.1210/jc.81.9.3168, hdl.handle.net/1765/56724
Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Department of Surgery

de Herder, W., Hofland, L., Usdin, T., de Jong, F., Uitterlinden, P., van Koetsveld, P., … Lamberts, S. (1996). Food-dependent Cushing's syndrome resulting from abundant expression gastric inhibitory polypeptide receptors in adrenal adenoma cells. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, 81(9), 3168–3172. doi:10.1210/jc.81.9.3168