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

Effects of coculture of anterior and posterior pituitary cells on the responsiveness of lactotrophs to different secretagogues.

The synthesis and release of PRL are regulated by a variety of factors that originate in the hypothalamus, peripheral tissues, or posterior pituitary (PP). We recently reported that coculture of anterior pituitary (AP) and PP cells induced an increase in both PRL cell content and the responsiveness of lactotrophs to TRH. The aim of the present study was to determine whether the augmented response to TRH is due to increased lactotroph sensitivity to this particular secretagogue or to enhancement of the releasable pool of PRL. Cells obtained from anterior pituitaries of adult male rats were plated either alone or together with PP cells at the same total density. Cells cultures were maintained in serum-free medium for 4 days and then incubated for 20 min with the designated substances. Angiotensin-II and TRH evoked a significantly larger release of PRL in AP + PP cocultures than in AP cells cultured alone; the greatest difference between the culture types was observed at the highest concentrations of both secretagogues. The stimulation of PRL release by KCl, the calcium ionophore A23187, and the phorbol ester 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate was higher in the presence of PP cells than in cultures of AP cells alone, although the magnitude of this effect was lower than that seen with PRL secretagogues. The concomitant application of A23187 and 12-O-tetradecanoylphorbol-13-acetate resulted in an increased response in both types of culture and a greater relative effect of PP cells on the evoked PRL release. In contrast to other secretagogues, oxytocin (OT) elicited a smaller response in AP + PP cocultures than in AP cultures. OT was present in significant amounts in medium from cocultures, apparently after being released from the severed neuronal terminals. When AP cultures were pretreated for 4 days with comparable concentrations of OT, the acute OT-evoked PRL release was greatly diminished. These findings suggest that coculture with PP cells increases the releasable pool of PRL in lactotrophs. The stored PRL is accessible for release by secretagogues known to act via the Ca2+ second messenger system, involving both Ca2+/calmodulin and protein kinase-C pathways. The diminished response of cocultures to OT is probably due to desensitization of lactotrophs by the residual amounts of this peptide present in the disrupted nerve endings.[1]


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