Intracellular Signals in Pituitary Hormone Secretion

  • Barry L. Brown
  • Pauline R. M. Dobson
Part of the NATO Advanced Study Institutes Series book series (NSSA, volume 44)


The regulation of the secretion of hormones from the anterior pituitary gland depends, to a large degree, on the release of substances from the hypothalamus into the hypophysial portal vessels of the median eminence. These neural substances act in conjunction with other blood-borne substances from the periphery to regulate the function of the various anterior pituitary cells. Thus far, the only hypothalamic substances that have been unequivocally demonstrated are the peptides; thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH), luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) and somatostatin (or GHRIH). In addition, most evidence favours the supposition that dopamine is the major prolactin inhibitory factor (PIF), although there have been sporadic reports of a separate PIF (notably GABA). Dopamine acts directly on pituitary cells to inhibit prolactin secretion, it is found in the portal blood in concentrations sufficient to affect prolactin release, and its release from the hypothalamus appears to be influenced by effectors of prolactin secretion in vivo. There is also evidence for the existence of corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF), growth hormone releasing factor (GRF), and a prolactin releasing factor (PRF). This latter activity may be distinct from TRH which also stimulates prolactin secretion.


Adenylate Cyclase Prolactin Secretion Prolactin Release Growth Hormone Release Factor Pituitary Hormone Secretion 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Selected bibliography

  1. Azhar, S., and Menon, K.M.J., 1977, Cyclic nucleotide phosphodiesterases from rat anterior pituitary: Characteriseion of multiple forms and regulation by protein activator and Ca, Eur. J. Biochem., 73: 73–82.Google Scholar
  2. Barnes, G.D., Brown, B.L., Gard, T.G., Atkinson, D., and Ekins, R.P., 1978, Effect of TRH and dopamine on cyclic AMP levels in enriched mammotroph and thyrotroph cells, Mol. Cell Endocr., 12: 273–284.Google Scholar
  3. Conn, P.M., Morrell, D.V., Dufau, M.L., and Catt, K.J., 1979, Gonadotropin-releasing hormone action in cultured pituicytes: Independence of luteinizing hormone release and adenosine 3’,5’monophosphate production, Endocrinology, 104: 448–453.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. DeCamilli, P., Macconi, D., and Spada, A., 1979, Dopamine inhibits adenylate cyclase in human prolactin secreting pituitary adenomas, Nature, 278: 252–254.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Faure, N., Cronin, M.J., Martial, J.A., and Weiner, R.I., 1980, Decreased responsiveness of GH cells to the dopamine inhibition of prolactin, Endocrinology, 107: 1022–1026.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Gautvik, K.M., Iverse24 J-G., and Sand, 0., 1980, On the role of extracellular Ca for prolactin release and adenosine 3’,5’- monophosphate formation induced by thyroliberin in cultured rat pituitary cells, Life Sci., 26: 995–1005.Google Scholar
  7. Gershengorn, M.C., Marcus-Samuels. B.E., and Geras, E., 1979, Estrogens increase the number of thyrotropin-releasing hormone receptors on mammotropic cells in culture, Endocrinology, 105: 171–176.Google Scholar
  8. Gershengorn, M.C., Rebecchi, M.J., Geras, E., and Arevalo, C.O., 1980, Thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) action in mouse thyrotropic tumour cells in culture: Evidence against a role for adenosine 3’,5’ monophosphate as a mediator of TRH-stimulated thyrotropin release, Endocrinology, 107: 665–670.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Heindel, J.J., and Clement-Cormier, Y.C., 1981, Regulation of adenylate cyclase activity in GH cells by chlorpromazine and a heat-stable factor, Endocrinology, 108: 310–317.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Labrie, F., Borgeat, P., Drouin, J., Beaulieu, M., Lagace, L., Ferland, L., and Raymond, V., 1979, Mechanism of action of hypothalamic hormones in the adenohypophysis, Ann. Rev. Physiol.41:555–569.Google Scholar
  11. Naor, Z., Zor, U., Meidan, R., and Koch, Y, 1978, Sex difference in pituitary cyclic AMP response to gonadotropin-releasing hormone, Am. J. Physiol., 235: E37 - E41.Google Scholar
  12. Naor, Z., Snyder, G.., Fawcett, C.P., and McCann, S.M., 1980, Pituitary cyclic nucleotides and thyrotropin-releasing hormone action: The relationship of adenosine 3’,5’ monophosphate and guanosine 3’,5’ monophosphate to the release of thyrotropin and prolactin, Endocrinology, 106: 1304–1310.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. Ozawa, S., and Kimura, N., 1979, Membrane potential changes caused by thyrotropin-releasing hormone in the clonal GH3 cell and their relationship to secretion of pituitary hormone, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci, USA, 76: 6017–6020.Google Scholar
  14. Ray, K.P., and Wallis, M., 1981, Effects of dopamine on prolactin secretion and cyclic AMP accumulation in rat anterior pituitary gland, Biochem. J., 194: 119–128.Google Scholar
  15. Schrey, M.P., Brown, B.L., and Ekins, R.P., 1978, Studies on the role of calcium and cyclic nucleotides in the control of TSH secretion, Mol. Cell. Endocr., 11: 249–264.Google Scholar
  16. Stefanini, E., Clement-Cormier, Y.C., Vernaleone, F., Devoto, p., Marchisio, A.M., and Collu, R., 1981, Sodium-dependent interaction of benzamides with dopamine receptors in rat and dog anterior pituitary glands, Neuroendocrinology, 32: 103–107.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Taraskevich, P.S., and Douglas, W.W., 1977, Action potentials occur in cells of the normal anterior pituitary gland and are stimulated by the hypophysiotropic peptide thyrotropin-releasing hormone, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, 74: 4064–4067.Google Scholar
  18. Taraskevich, P.S., and Douglas, W.W., 1978, Catecholamines of supposed inhibitory hypophysiotropic function suppress action potentials in prolactin cells, Nature, 276: 832–834.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Thorner, M.O., Hackett, J.T., Murad, F., and MacLeod, R.M., 1980, Calcium rather than cyclic AMP as the physiological intracellular regulator of prolactin release, Neuroendocrinology, 31: 390–402.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. West, B., and Dannies, P.S, 1979, Antipsychotic drugs inhibit prolactin release from rat anterior pituitary cells in culture by a mechanism not involving the dopamine receptor,Endocrinology, 104: 877–880.PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1982

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barry L. Brown
    • 1
  • Pauline R. M. Dobson
    • 2
  1. 1.Dept. of Human Metabolism & Clinical BiochemistryUniversity of Sheffield Medical SchoolSheffieldUK
  2. 2.Dept. of BiochemistryUniversity of Nottingham Medical SchoolNottinghamUK

Personalised recommendations