Categories: Endocrinology

Why does Addison disease cause hyperpigmented skin?

 Addison disease => autoimmune destruction of adrenal glands

The destruction results in less cortisol production by adrenals. This causes an increase in ACTH by the pituitary. ACTH is derived from pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC).

MECHANISM: POMC is also a precursor molecule for melanocyte stimulating hormone (MSH); hence increase melanocyte production.

 

 

REFERENCES

  1. Husebye E, Lovas K. Pathogenesis of primary adrenal insufficiency. Best Pract Res Clin Endocrinol Metab. 2009 Apr. 23(2):147-57.
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Dr. C Humphreys

Internal Medicine

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