The effects of ACTH, its o-nitrophenyl sulfenyl derivative (NPS-ACTH) and dibutyryl cyclic AMP (dbc AMP) on the ultrastructural morphology of adrenocortical cells of adult rats in monolayer culture have been investigated. NPS-ACTH, which has previously been shown to stimulate steroidogenesis but not cAMP synthesis in adrenal cells, induced the same characteristic transformation of mitochondrial architecture as produced by ACTH or high concentrations of dbcAMP. All three agents caused the disappearance of electron-opaque granules present in the mitochondria of unstimulated cells. It was found that these granules could be extracted with EGTA (ethylene glycol-bis(beta-aminoethyl ether) N,N,N',N'-tetraacetate). These results are discussed in the light of the known importance of calcium ions in the actions of ACTH.

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