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JM Conlon, JB Kim, A Johansson, and S Kikuyama

Electrospray mass spectrometry coupled with reverse-phase HPLC was used to identify peptides in the molecular mass range 3000-6000 Da in extracts of the pancreata of the clawed frog Xenopus laevis (Anura: Pipidae) and the red-bellied newt Cynops pyrrhogaster (Caudata: Salamandridae). Amino acid sequences of insulins, peptides derived from the post-translational processing of proglucagons and pancreatic polypeptide were determined by automated Edman degradation. Three molecular forms of insulin were isolated from the tetraploid organism X. laevis that represent insulin-1 and insulin-2, as deduced from the nucleotide sequences of previously characterized cDNAs, and a third form which differed from insulin-2 by the single amino acid substitution Asp(21)-->Glu in the B-chain. The amino acid sequence of Xenopus preproglucagons (genes 1 and 2 ) may be deduced from the nucleotide sequences of cDNAs but the pathways of post-translation processing of the precursors are not known. Two molecular forms of glucagon with 36 amino acids, derived from genes 1 and 2 and representing glucagon-29 extended from its C terminus by different heptapeptides, and five molecular forms of glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) were isolated. The GLPs represent proglucagon-(77-113), -(122-158) and -(160-191) from gene 1, and proglucagon-(77-113) and -(160-191) from gene 2. A single molecular form of insulin, glucagon-36, a C-terminally alpha-amidated GLP-1 with 30 amino acid residues, a 33 amino acid residue GLP-2 and pancreatic polypeptide were isolated from the pancreatic extract of the diploid organism C. pyrrhogaster. This study has illustrated the power of electrospray mass spectrometry for the rapid and reliable identification of peptides in chromatographic fractions without the need to use radioimmunoassay, radioreceptor assay or bioassay.

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N David Åberg, Inger Johansson, Maria A I Åberg, Johan Lind, Ulf E Johansson, Christiana M Cooper-Kuhn, H Georg Kuhn, and Jörgen Isgaard

IGF-I treatment has been shown to enhance cell genesis in the brains of adult GH- and IGF-I-deficient rodents; however, the influence of GH therapy remains poorly understood. The present study investigated the effects of peripheral recombinant bovine GH (bGH) on cellular proliferation and survival in the neurogenic regions (subventricular zone (SVZ), and dentate gyrus of the hippocampus), as well as the corpus callosum, striatum, parietal cortex, and piriform cortex. Hypopituitarism was induced in female rats by hypophysectomy, and the rats were supplemented with thyroxine and cortisone acetate. Subsequently, the rats received daily s.c. injections of bGH for either 6 or 28 days respectively. Following 5 days of peripheral bGH administration, the number of bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU)-positive cells was increased in the hippocampus, striatum, parietal cortex, and piriform cortex after 6 and 28 days. In the SVZ, however, BrdU-positive cells increased only after 28 days of bGH treatment. No significant change was observed in the corpus callosum. In the hippocampus, after 28 days of bGH treatment, the number of BrdU/NeuN-positive cells was increased proportionally to increase the number of BrdU-positive cells. 3H-thymidine incorporation in vitro revealed that 24 h of bGH exposure was sufficient to increase cell proliferation in adult hippocampal progenitor cells. This study shows for the first time that 1) peripheral bGH treatment increased the number of newborn cells in the adult brain and 2) bGH exerted a direct proliferative effect on neuronal progenitor cells in vitro.

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P. Södersten, P. Eneroth, T. Hansson, A. Mode, D. Johansson, B. Näslund, T. Liang, and J.-Å. Gustafsson


Sexual behaviour was induced in castrated male rats with oestradiol-17β- or testosterone-filled constant-release implants. Testosterone-induced sexual behaviour was unaffected by treatment with the 5α-reductase inhibitor 17β-N,N-diethylcarbamoyl-4-aza-5α-androstan-3-one (4-MA; 16·7 mg/day) but treatment with the aromatization inhibitor 1,4,6-androstatriene-3,17-dione (ATD; 10 mg/day) prevented testosterone from inducing the behaviour. Sexual behaviour could be activated in castrated rats treated with testosterone plus ATD by treatment with 4-MA or with implants filled with a low dose of oestradiol. Lordosis behaviour induced in ovariectomized rats with testosterone-filled implants and progesterone was blocked by ATD treatment and could not be activated with 4-MA but oestradiol implants restored the display of lordosis in the testosterone plus ATD-treated females. 4-MA inhibited the in-vitro formation of [14C]5α-dihydrotestosterone from [14C]testosterone by combined preoptic and hypothalamic tissue at all doses tested and a high dose of oestradiol exerted a similar effect. The results suggest that androgen aromatization is required for testosterone-activated female sexual behaviour but not for testosterone-activated male sexual behaviour. It is suggested that oestradiol normally acts to control the sexual behaviour of male rats by modifying neural androgen metabolism.

J. Endocr. (1986) 111, 455–462