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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Human GnRH-secreting cultured neurons express activin betaA subunit mRNA and secrete dimeric activin A.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the expression of activin betaA-subunit mRNA and the secretion of activin A in/from cultured GnRH-secreting neuronal cells cloned from human olfactory epithelium (FNC-B4), which showed biochemical and antigenic properties of GnRH-secreting neurons. DESIGN: FNC-B4 cells were cultured in basal and conditioned media. METHODS: Reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RTR-PCR) evaluated the expression of activin betaA-subunit mRNA. By using a specific ELISA, dimeric activin A concentrations were measured in culture media, in the absence or presence of carvone or forskolin and with different doses of progesterone, GnRH, and estradiol. RESULTS: RT-PCR experiments performed on total RNA isolated from FNC-B4 cells, using specific primers for the activin betaA gene, showed a 787bp DNA band corresponding to the betaA gene. FNC-B4 cells secreted activin A, and the highest accumulation in conditioned medium was achieved after 3h culture: the addition of forskolin, but not of carvone, was able to stimulate the release of activin A from cultured neuronal cells (P<0.01). When progesterone or GnRH was added, a significant accumulation of activin A was observed (P<0.01), while estradiol administration did not significantly affect activin A secretion. CONCLUSION: To date, this is the only study, in an in vitro human model reporting, that GnRH-secreting neuronal cells expressed activin betaA-subunit mRNA, and released dimeric activin A in culture medium. The expression and secretion of activin suggests that in these cells activin A might exert its action by autocrine/paracrine mechanisms.[1]


  1. Human GnRH-secreting cultured neurons express activin betaA subunit mRNA and secrete dimeric activin A. Florio, P., Vannelli, G.B., Luisi, S., Barni, T., Zonefrati, R., Falaschi, C., Bifulco, G., Genazzani, A.R., Petraglia, F. Eur. J. Endocrinol. (2000) [Pubmed]
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