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Regulation of pituitary inhibin/activin subunits and follistatin gene expression by GnRH in female rats

Regulation of pituitary inhibin/activin subunits and follistatin gene expression by GnRH in female rats

Journal of Endocrinology 210(1): 71-79

Pituitary inhibin B, activin B, and follistatin are local regulators of FSH. Activin B is a homodimeric molecule (β(B)-β(B)), while inhibin B contains an α and a β(B) subunit. The regulation of gene expression of α, β(B), and follistatin by local and endocrine hormones was examined in pituitaries from female rats and in perifused pituitary cells by RT-PCR. Ovariectomy (OVX) induced an elevation in the mRNA level of α and β(B) subunits and follistatin. Short-term (4 h) treatment of pituitary cells with GnRH decreased both the inhibin α and the inhibin/activin β(B) subunit mRNA levels, while long-term treatment (20 h) with 100 nM GnRH stimulated the expression of both subunits. In contrast, the mRNA level of follistatin was elevated after the short-term GnRH treatment. Long-term exposure of pituitary cells to estradiol and inhibin B suppressed the mRNA expression of β(B) and had no effect on the expression of α subunit and follistatin. Our results demonstrate that the increased expressions of inhibin/activin subunits and follistatin in the post-OVX period can be induced by the lack of gonadal negative feedback, resulting in a high GnRH environment in the pituitary. This study reports for the first time that GnRH administered in high doses and for a long period stimulates the gene expression of inhibin/activin subunits and thereby may contribute to the stimulatory effect of OVX on the expression of these genes.

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Accession: 036119113

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PMID: 21490134

DOI: 10.1530/joe-10-0485

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