Characterization of Thyroliberin (TRH) Binding Sites and Coupling with Prolactin and Growth Hormone Secretion in Rat Pituitary Cell Lines

  • Danielle Gourdji
Part of the Biochemical Endocrinology book series (BIOEND)


The secretory response induced by the synthetic hypothalamic hormone thyroliberin (TRH) (L-pyroglutamyl-L-histidyl-L-prolineamide) (Burgus et al., 1969) on anterior pituitary involves, as in any hormone-target cell interaction, the recognition of receptors. The characterization of binding sites relevant to hormone release or synthesis or both constitutes an approach to identification of these receptors. Cell culture of homogeneous populations of target cells is a useful model system for such investigations, as demonstrated by the large body of information that has been obtained in the past few years. Indeed, since the initial discovery by Tashjian et al.(1971) of the TRH prolactin-promoting activity in GH3 and GH1 cells, the use of these or of similar rat prolactin-secreting clonal cell lines became preeminent in studying the TRH mechanism of action at the cellular level(see the reviews in Tixier-Vidal et al., 1975b, 1979a). Although they are continuously dividing, and despite some tumoral aspects of their behavior, these cell lines retained, even after several years of growing in culture, their specific differentiation: (1) They synthesize and release prolactin (PRL) and growth hormone (GH), biologically and immunologically indistinguishable from rat hormones (Tashjian et al., 1968, 1970; Gourdji et al., 1973a). (2) They respond in the same manner as normal rat pituitary cells to several drugs or hormones that are known to regulate PRL in vivo, such as estrogens (Tashjian and Hoyt, 1972; Brunet et al., 1977), CB 154 (Gourdji et al., 1973b), dopamine (Tixier-Vidal et al., 1979b), and TRH, since it has now been shown that TRH is actually a PRL-stimulating factor in a wide range of species including rat and man (cf. the review in Vale et al, 1977). Its effect on PRL is biphasic, as demonstrated in SD1 cells (Morin et al., 1975) and in GH3 cells (Dannies et al., 1976), as well as in normal rat pituitary primary culture (Vale et al., 1973): a short-term effect on PRL release (150-350% of the control) and a secondary stimulation of PRL synthesis (130-500% of the control) that involved an increase of the messenger RNA (mRNA) coding for PRL in GH3 (Evans et al., 1978). TRH also elicits an acute release of GH in GH3 B6 (Faivre-Bauman et al., 1976; Ostlund et al., 1978), GH1 (Morin and Labrie, 1975), and SDX (Gourdji et al., 1975), but in contrast to PRL, this stimulating effect is transitory and turns into a long-term inhibiting action on GH synthesis (Tashjian et al., 1971; Tashjian and Hoyt, 1972).


Pituitary Cell Prolactin Secretion Growth Hormone Release Pituitary Cell Line Induce Growth Hormone Release 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Danielle Gourdji
    • 1
  1. 1.Groupe de Neuroendocrinologie Cellulaire, Chaire de Physiologie CellulaireCollège de FranceParis 05France

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