Intracellular Recordings from Prolactin-Secreting Pituitary Cells in Culture: Evidence for a Direct Action of Estrogen on the Cell Membrane
The effects of sex steroids on the central nervous system are commonly explained according to the general scheme of steroid hormone action involving the nucleus following binding to a cytoplasmic receptor and translocation to the nucleus. However, since estrogen acts on brain and pituitary with latencies ranging from seconds and minutes to hours and days, it is unlikely that a single mechanism of action is involved. At the hypothalamic level, the short latency effect of sex steroid has been reported on the electrical activity of hypothalamic neurons (Kelly et al., 1976; Dufy et al., 1976), which is hardly compatible with the latencies required by genomic activation. Moreover, action potentials are not only a property of neurons, but also are detected in endocrine cells including normal (Taraskevich and Douglas, 1977) and clonal pituitary cells (Kidokoro, 1975), where they have been related to the secretory process.
KeywordsPituitary Cell Spike Activity Membrane Resistance Adenohypophysial Cell Prolactin Release
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