We have shown recently that leptin modulates at least two aspects of anterior pituitary LH release in ruminants: basal and GnRH-mediated release. To test the hypothesis that leptin directly affects basal and GHRH-mediated GH secretion from the adenohypophysis, we examined the effects of various doses of recombinant ovine leptin (oleptin) on perifused adenohypophyseal (AP) explants and compared responses of tIssues from control and fasted cows. Ten mature, ovariectomized and estradiol-implanted cows were assigned to one of two dietary groups: (1) normal-fed (n=5) and (2) fasted for 72 h (n=5). At the end of the fasting period, cows were euthanized and pituitaries were collected. Adenohypophyseal explants were perifused for a total of 6.5 h, including a 2-h treatment at 2.5 h with Krebs-Ringer bicarbonate buffer containing 0, 5, 10, 50, or 100 ng/ml oleptin, and a challenge with GHRH at 4.5 h. All doses of oleptin greater than 5 ng/ml decreased (P<0.01) basal GH secretion compared with controls in tIssues collected from normal-fed cows. In contrast, GH release from AP explants from fasted cows treated with the lowest dose of oleptin was 28% (P<0.002) higher than control explants, but larger doses had no effect. Leptin caused an inversely related, dose-dependent increase in GHRH-mediated GH release in tIssues from normal-fed cows. Marked increases (P<0.01-P<0.001) in GH release were observed for the 5 and 10 ng/ml oleptin, with lesser (P<0.08) and no effects observed at the 50 and 100 ng/ml doses respectively. In fasted cows, oleptin had no stimulatory effect on GHRH-induced GH release. Results show that leptin can act directly at the anterior pituitary level to modulate GH release, and this effect is dependent upon nutritional history.
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