Archives of Physiology and Biochemistry vol:110 issue:1-2 pages:12-5
Cells displaying combined expression of different pituitary hormone genes (further referred to as 'multi-hormone mRNA cells') were identified in normal rat and mouse pituitary by single cell RT-PCR. These cells do not seem to produce or store all the respective hormones the mRNAs encode for. The cells are already developed at day 16 of embryonic life (E16) in the mouse. Different peptides, such as gamma3-melanocyte-stimulating hormone (gamma3-MSH) and gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), affect different subsets of these cells. In culture, estrogen and GnRH increase the number of 'multi-hormone mRNA cells' that contain prolactin (PRL) mRNA or mRNA of the alpha-subunit of the glycoprotein hormones (alpha-GSU) but not the number of 'multi-hormone mRNA cells' not containing PRL or alpha-GSU mRNA. 'Multi-hormone mRNA cells' may function as 'reserve cells' in which a particular hormone mRNA may be translated under a particular physiological condition demanding a rapid increase of that hormone.