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

A calcium binding protein, calbindin-D9k, is mainly regulated by estrogen in the pituitary gland of rats during estrous cycle.

As a member of family of cytosolic calcium binding proteins, Calbindin-D9k (CaBP-9k) is expressed in female reproductive system and regulated by steroid hormones, estrogen (E2) and progesterone (P4), but its expression and role in pituitary gland have not been elucidated yet. Thus, in this study, we elucidated the expression of CaBP-9k mRNA and protein in pituitary gland of rats. During estrous cycle of rats, pituitary CaBP-9k level fluctuated, and its mRNA was highly elevated during an E2-dominant stage (proestrus and estrus), whereas its level disappeared at a P4-dominant stage (metestrus and diestrus). In parallel with CaBP-9k mRNA, an increased level of CaBP-9k protein was observed during proestrus and estrus, suggesting that pituitary CaBP-9k may be up-regulated by E2. In addition, spatial CaBP-9k expression was attested by immunohistochemistry. Pituitary CaBP-9k protein was localized in the cytoplasm of a specific cell type in the anterior lobe, and the positive cells were abundant at proestrus and estrus. The CaBP-9k-positive cells were mainly localized in the acidophils producing growth hormones and prolactin. To verify hormonal regulation of pituitary CaBP-9k in this tissue, immature rats were treated with a physiological dose of E2 in the absence or presence P4 for 3 days. In a time-dependent experiment, pituitary CaBP-9k protein was induced at 48 h after the final E2 injection. A significant increase in CaBP-9k protein was caused by E2, whereas P4 antagonized E2-stimulated CaBP-9k expression as similarly observed in the uterus. Taken together, these results indicated for the first time that pituitary CaBP-9k expression is regulated during estrous cycle, and its expression is mainly controlled by E2 and antagonized by P4, suggesting that pituitary CaBP-9k in female rats may be involved in the central function of the reproduction system.[1]


  1. A calcium binding protein, calbindin-D9k, is mainly regulated by estrogen in the pituitary gland of rats during estrous cycle. Nguyen, T.H., Lee, G.S., Ji, Y.K., Choi, K.C., Lee, C.K., Jeung, E.B. Brain Res. Mol. Brain Res. (2005) [Pubmed]
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