zsj_20_1_83-89.pdf 521 KB
Transforming growth factor-alpha (TGF-alpha), a member of the epidermal growth factor (EGF) family, is produced within the mouse anterior pituitaries. However, the cell types of TGF-alpha-expressing cells and the physiological roles of TGF-a within mouse pituitary glands remain unclear. The aim of the present study was to localize TGF-alpha mRNA-expressing cells, and to clarify the involvement of TGF-alpha in estrogen-induced DNA replication in mouse anterior pituitary cells. Northern blot analysis demonstrated TGF-alpha mRNA expression in adult male and female mouse anterior pituitaries. In situ hybridization analysis of the pituitaries in these mice showed that TGF-alpha mRNA-expressing cells in the anterior pituitary are round, oval, and medium-sized. TGF-alpha mRNA was colocalized in most of the growth hormone (GH) mRNA-expressing cells, while only some of the prolactin (PRL) mRNA-expressing cells. DNA replication in the anterior pituitary cells was detected by monitoring the cellular uptake of a thymidine analogue, bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU) in a primary serum-free culture system. Estradiol-17beta (E2) and TGF-alpha treatment increased the number of BrdU-labelled mammotrophs, indicating that E2 and TGF-alpha treatment stimulates the DNA replication in mammotrophs. Immunoneutralization of TGF-alpha with anti-TGF-alpha-antibodies nullified the E2-induced increase in DNA replication. RT-PCR analysis of TGF-alpha mRNA expression in ovariectomized female mice revealed that E2 increases TGF-alpha mRNA levels. These results indicate that the TGF-alpha produced primarily in the somatotrophs mediates the stimulatory effects of estrogen on the DNA replication of pituitary cells in a paracrine or autocrine manner.
transforming growth factor-α (TGF-α)
Zoological Society of Japan
© 2003 Zoological Society of Japan
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