, Volume 14, Issue 3, pp 363-368

Regulation of chicken embryonic growth hormone secretion by corticosterone and triiodothyronine

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We reported that growth hormone (GH)-secreting cells differentiated by d 16 of chick embryonic development and that these somatotrophs were responsive to GH-releasing hormone and thyrotropin-releasing hormone. The present, experiments evaluated effects of corticosterone and triiodothyronine (T3) on embryonic GH secretion. Anterior pituitary cells from embryonic day (e) 16, e18, and e20 were subjected to reverse hemolytic plaque assays (RHPAs) for GH in the absence or presence of corticosterone or T3. Corticosterone increased GH secretion from embryonic somatotrophs, an effect particularly evident on e16 and e18. T3 decreased GH secretion on e16, while no effect of T3 was significant on e18 or e20. Next, pituitary cells were subjected to RHPAs with T3 and corticosterone alone or in combination. Combined treatment with these hormones suppressed GH secretion from e16, e18, and e20 somatotrophs to levels below those found under basal conditions. We conclude that corticosterone can stimulate GH secretion in vitro at all embryonic ages tested. Furthermore, T3 can suppress basal GH secretion on e16, and the combination of T3 and corticosterone can suppress GH secretion at all ages. These findings indicate that GH secretion during the end of chicken embryonic development may be regulated by the interactions of endogenous glucocorticoids and thyroid hormones that increase prior to hatching.