Stimulation of growth hormone and prolactin release from rat pituitary cell aggregates by bombesin- and ranatensin-like peptides is potentiated by estradiol, 5 alpha-dihydrotestosterone, and dexamethasone
The effect of the bombesin-like peptides, gastrin-releasing peptide (GRP) and neuromedin-C (NMC), and the ranatensin-like peptides, neuromedin-B (NMB), neuromedin-B30 (NMB30), and neuromedin-B32 (NMB32), on pituitary GH and PRL release was studied in perifused anterior pituitary aggregate cell cultures from 9- to 12-week-old male rats cultured in serum-free defined medium supplemented with 0.05 nM T3 and 4 nM dexamethasone (DEX). All peptides stimulated PRL and GH release. GRP and NMC stimulated hormone release in a concentration-dependent manner between 0.1-10 nM. NMB was slightly more potent than NMB30 and NMB32, but was significantly less potent than GRP and NMC. The magnitude of the PRL response to GRP and NMC inversely correlated with that of the GH response. Cultures with relatively low PRL response levels displayed high GH responses, whereas the opposite was found in cultures with high PRL response levels. The stimulatory actions of GRP, NMC, and NMB were blocked by the bombesin receptor antagonist Leu13 psi (CH2NH) Leu14-bombesin, supporting the specificity of the findings. Addition of 1 nM estradiol (E2) to the culture medium provoked an impressive (4- to 10-fold) increase in the magnitude of the GH response to NMC without changing the EC50 value (0.5 nM). In contrast, E2 significantly decreased the stimulation of GH release by rat GH-releasing factor. In the E2-treated aggregates 3 nM NMC stimulated GH release to a comparable extent as 0.1 nM GRF. 5 alpha-Dihydrotesterone (10 and 100 nM) and DEX (80 nM) also enhanced the GH response to NMC, but to a much smaller extent than E2. E2 had also a stimulatory effect on the PRL response to NMC, particularly in cultures with a low intrinsic PRL response. The PRL response to NMC was decreased by DEX and slightly augmented by 5 alpha-dihydrotestosterone. It is concluded that bombesin- and ranatensin-like peptides have a stimulatory effect on GH and PRL release at the pituitary level. Since their action on GH release is strongly potentiated by E2 and much less so by glucocorticoids, these peptides clearly distinguish their activity and specificity from that of the protagonist releasing factor GH-releasing factor, suggesting a role in sex-related differences in GH release or in the control of GH secretion during sexual maturation.