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S. I. Naik, G. Saade, A. Detta and R. N. Clayton


A single injection of gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH) (60 ng s.c., 42·9 nmol) induced biphasic GnRH receptor regulation in normal intact adult female mice. A transient 22% receptor decrease occurred 30–60 min after injection of GnRH when peak serum decapeptide concentrations were reached (137 ± 41 (s.e.m.) ng/l). This GnRH receptor decrease occurred shortly after the peak serum LH values at 15–30 min. The subsequent rapid (within 1 h) return of GnRH receptor levels to normal suggested transient receptor occupancy by GnRH rather than true receptor loss. At 8 h after injection of GnRH a significant 35% increase in GnRH receptors was consistently observed, when serum GnRH levels were undetectable and serum LH had returned to basal levels. This receptor increase was not due to increased receptor affinity, and was prevented by a non-specific protein synthesis inhibitor.

Ovariectomy, which caused a 50% fall in GnRH receptors (59·4 ± 4·9 fmol/pituitary gland in intact controls; 26·9 ± 2·6 in ovariectomized mice) abolished the induction by GnRH of its own receptors, although the initial transient decrease occurred over the period of the acute serum LH and FSH rise. Despite a 50% reduction in GnRH receptors in ovariectomized mice, increased serum gonadotrophin levels and responsiveness to GnRH were maintained, indicating dissociation between receptor changes and gonadotrophin levels.

No GnRH receptor up-regulation was observed 8 h after a single GnRH injection (60 ng s.c.) in either intact or orchidectomized normal male mice. However, the same treatment doubled GnRH receptors in GnRH-deficient (hpg) female mice.

While GnRH appears to up-regulate its own receptors by a direct action on pituitary gonadotrophs in the GnRH-deficient mouse its action in the normal female mouse pituitary appears secondary to stimulation of a gonadal product, presumably oestrogens.

J. Endocr. (1985) 107, 41–47

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R. N. Clayton, L. C. Bailey, S. D. Abbot, A. Detta and K. Docherty


The cellular mechanisms involved in GH biosynthesis have been investigated by the measurement of steady-state levels of cytosolic GH messenger RNA (mRNA) in primary cultures of rat pituitary cells using an RNA–complementary DNA (cDNA) hybridization assay. Growth hormone mRNA–cDNA hybridization increased in a linear manner with increasing cytosol concentration. Cellular GH mRNA levels rose by an average of 2·4-fold (range, 1·6–3·3; n = five experiments) after exposure to GH-ieleasing factor (GRF(1–40); 10 nmol/l) for 3 days. Treatment with GRF increased the release of GH into the culture medium, and depleted the cellular GH content by 40%. Total GH (in the medium plus cells) after GRF treatment increased by between 1·5- and 3·8-fold, a magnitude similar to the increase in GH mRNA levels. Treatment of cells with dibutyryl adenosine 3′:5′-cyclic monophosphate (1 mmol/l) or forskolin (5 μmol/l) increased the levels of cytosolic GH mRNA by between 1·6- and 4·7-fold. These agents increased GH release into the medium, depleted cellular GH content and increased total GH in the system to the same extent as GRF (10 nmol/l). These data demonstrate that cyclic adenosine nucleotides may mediate the GRF induction of GH gene transcription. In addition, we have shown that increases in the levels of cellular GH mRNA are reflected by increased GH biosynthesis, suggesting that the regulation of hormone gene transcription is one cellular site for the control of hormone biosynthesis and, ultimately, hormone available for release.

J. Endocr. (1986) 110, 51–57