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  • Author: JL Barclay x
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JD Curlewis, DH Kusters, JL Barclay, and ST Anderson

RT-PCR followed by 5'- and 3'- rapid amplification of cDNA ends was used to clone and sequence ovine prolactin-releasing peptide (PrRP). The cDNA was characterised by short 5'- and 3'-untranslated regions and a GC-rich (71%) coding region. The nucleotide and deduced amino acid sequences for the coding region showed 95.6 and 94.9% identity with bovine PrRP but the amino acid sequence of PrRP31 was conserved between these species. Northern blot analysis and RT-PCR showed that, as in the rat, the peptide was more abundantly expressed in the brainstem than the hypothalamus. However, in the ovine hypothalamus, PrRP mRNA expression was more widespread than in the rat, with expression detected in both rostral and caudal parts of the mediobasal hypothalamus. The effects of synthetic ovine PrRP on prolactin secretion both in vitro and in vivo were also examined. In primary cultures of sheep pituitary cells, PrRP significantly (P<0.01) increased prolactin concentrations in the culture medium but the response was not observed in every experiment and was only seen when pituitary glands were dispersed with collagenase rather than trypsin. PrRP was much less potent than TRH which caused a significant (P<0.01) two- to threefold increase in prolactin concentrations in every experiment. Intravenous (10 and 50 nmol) or intracerebroventricular (10 and 50 nmol) injection of PrRP had no significant effect on either plasma prolactin concentration or pulsatile LH secretion whereas intravenous injection of TRH (10 nmol) produced a highly significant (P<0.01) and more than sevenfold stimulation of plasma prolactin concentrations. In conclusion, these results suggest that PrRP is unlikely to be an important prolactin-releasing factor in this species.