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

Growth hormone-releasing hormone-producing and dopaminergic neurones in the mouse arcuate nucleus are independently regulated populations.

Differentiation of hypophysiotropic neurones that regulate the secretion of growth hormone (GH) and prolactin is influenced by GH and prolactin. Genetic GH and prolactin deficiency in mutant rodent models such as the Ames dwarf (df/df) mouse results in an increase in the number of GH-stimulatory GH- releasing hormone (GHRH) neurones and a reduction of prolactin-inhibitory tuberoinfundibular dopaminergic (TIDA) neurones in the arcuate nucleus during postnatal development. The present study tested the hypothesis that these concomitant changes in numbers of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH)- and GHRH-immunoreactive neurones in df/df hypothalamus might represent a neuronal population of fixed number that undergoes a partial change in phenotype during postnatal development. To evaluate this possibility, the postnatal reduction of the df/df TIDA population was prevented by administering prolactin neonatally to preserve TH phenotype; dwarf and normal sibling mice were treated with daily injections of ovine prolactin or vehicle starting at postnatal day 12 and continuing for 30 days. Following this treatment, numbers of arcuate neurones containing GHRH or TH, or both, were quantified using immunocytochemistry. It was hypothesized that prolactin preservation of TH-immunoreactive cell number would be accompanied by either a decrease in the GHRH- producing population or an increase in numbers of cells producing both TH and GHRH. In prolactin-treated normal (DF/df) mice, numbers of arcuate TH-immunoreactive neurones were similar to those in vehicle-treated normals. Numbers of TH-positive neurones in prolactin-treated dwarfs were higher than in vehicle-treated dwarfs, and did not differ from numbers in DF/df. Numbers of GHRH-immunoreactive cells in vehicle-treated df/df were higher than in vehicle-treated DF/df, and were not different in prolactin-treated groups of either dwarf or normal mice. Neurones containing both TH and GHRH constituted 15% of the TH population, and 76% of the GHRH population, in control normal mice; in control dwarfs, double-labelled cells were 9.3% of TH and 9.9% of GHRH. Numbers of cells immunoreactive for both TH and GHRH were not affected by prolactin treatment in either mouse type. These results demonstrate that the increase in number of GHRH- expressing neurones in the df/df arcuate nucleus does not occur at the expense of the TH phenotype, and that this increase is not influenced by prolactin feedback. Although coexpression of TH and GHRH in a subpopulation indicates that TIDA and GHRH populations are not exclusive, they appear to be influenced independently by prolactin and GH signals during development.[1]


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