Adrenocortical Challenge Response and Genomic Analyses in Scottish Terriers With Increased Alkaline Phosphate Activity


Scottish terriers (ST) frequently have increased serum alkaline phosphatase (ALP) of the steroid isoform. Many of these also have high serum concentrations of adrenal sex steroids. The study’s objective was to determine the cause of increased sex steroids in ST with increased ALP. Adrenal gland suppression and stimulation were compared by low dose dexamethasone (LDDS), human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG) and adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) response tests. Resting plasma pituitary hormones were measured. Steroidogenesis-related mRNA expression was evaluated in six ST with increased ALP, eight dogs of other breeds with pituitary-dependent hyperadrenocorticism (HAC), and seven normal dogs. The genome-wide association of single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) with ALP activity was evaluated in 168 ST. ALP (reference interval 8–70 U/L) was high in all ST (1,054 U/L) and HAC (985 U/L) dogs. All HAC dogs and 2/8 ST had increased cortisol post-ACTH administration. All ST and 2/7 Normal dogs had increased sex steroids post-ACTH. ST and Normal dogs had similar post-challenge adrenal steroid profiles following LDDS and HCG. Surprisingly, mRNA of hydroxysteroid 17-beta dehydrogenase 2 (HSD17B2) was lower in ST and Normal dogs than HAC. HSD17B2 facilities metabolism of sex steroids. A SNP region was identified on chromosome 5 in proximity to HSD17B2 that correlated with increased serum ALP. ST in this study with increased ALP had a normal pituitary-adrenal axis in relationship to glucocorticoids and luteinizing hormone.We speculate the identified SNP and HSD17B2 gene may have a role in the pathogenesis of elevated sex steroids and ALP in ST.



hyperadrenocorticism, single nucleotide polymorphism, steroidogenesis, 17β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase 2, ALP