American Journal of Physiology vol:255 issue:3 Pt 2 pages:R407-11
Pituitary cell reaggregates from 14-day-old and adult spontaneously hypertensive rats (SHR) and Wistar-Kyoto rats (WKY) were cultured in serum-free, chemically defined medium supplemented with the thyroid hormone triiodothyronine and the glucocorticoid dexamethasone. After 1 wk in culture, aggregates were transferred into a perifusion system, and the effect of angiotensin II (ANG II) on prolactin (PRL) and growth hormone (GH) release was studied. In aggregates from adult SHR, ANG II displayed a significant and dose-dependent GH releasing activity, whereas a negligible effect or no effect was seen in aggregates from adult WKY. In contrast, no difference in the stimulation of PRL release by ANG II was found. To exclude the possibility that the enhanced GH responsiveness was secondary to longstanding hypertension, aggregates from animals in the prehypertensive stage were studied. Both the GH and PRL responses to ANG II were significantly higher in aggregates from 14-day-old SHR than in aggregates from 14-day-old WKY. These data indicate that abnormal GH and PRL responses to ANG II exist in pituitary cell aggregates from SHR long before hypertension develops. Because these differences were found in pituitary cells maintained in culture for 1 wk, they do not seem to be secondary to changes in brain regulation of pituitary function but rather are caused by factors intrinsic to the pituitary.