The role of somatostatin (SRIF) on adenohypophysial hormone secretion in starved rats was reassessed by passive immunization. Because of the absence of pulsatile GH secretion in starved rats, the effects of the injection of SRIF antiserum on GH levels can be clearly demonstrated. To determine whether starvation modifies the sensitivity of the adenohypophysis to SRIF, we measured 125I-labelled iodo-N-Tyr-SRIF binding. There was no difference in the dissociation constant (K d) nor in the maximal binding capacity (Bmax) in fed (n = 15) and starved (n = 15) animals (K d = 0·38 ± 0·09 (s.e.m.) and 0·45 ± 0·09 nmol; Bmax = 204 ± 39 and 205 ± 30 fmol/mg protein respectively).
Administration of SRIF antiserum resulted in a dose-dependent increase in plasma concentrations of GH, TSH and prolactin. The minimal effective dose of SRIF antiserum was 50 μl for GH, 100 μl for TSH and 200 μl for prolactin.
Our results show that: (1) starvation does not modify adenohypophysial SRIF-binding sites, (2) in starved male rats endogenous SRIF exerts a negative control on prolactin secretion in vivo and (3) sensitivity to endogenous SRIF seems to be different for each hypophysial cell type.
J. Endocr. (1986) 109, 169–174