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Prolactin secretion by mixed ACTH-prolactin pituitary adenoma cells in culture

, : Prolactin secretion by mixed ACTH-prolactin pituitary adenoma cells in culture. Acta Endocrinologica 108(4): 456-463

To characterize the functional aspect of prolactin (Prl) cells coexisting with corticotroph adenomas, pituitary adenoma cells obtained from a patient with Cushing's disease and a patient with Nelson's syndrome, who were associated with hyperprolactinaemia, were cultured in monolayer and their Prl responses to various secretagogues were compared with those of prolactinoma cells in culture. Immunohistochemistry performed in one of these two adenomas demonstrated the presence of Prl-containing cells in addition to ACTH cells. When ACTH-Prl adenoma cells were exposed to ovine corticotrophin-releasing factor (CRF), a dose-dependent increase in both ACTH and Prl secretion was observed, which was blocked by coincubation with hydrocortisone. In contrast, no stimulatory effect of CRF on Prl release was observed in all of the experiments using prolactinoma cells. Thyrotrophin-releasing hormone, which consistently stimulated Prl secretion in ACTH-Prl adenomas, was effective in triggering Prl release in only 25% of the prolactinomas. Exposure of the cultured cells to lysine vasopressin, growth hormone-releasing factor and vasoactive intestinal peptide resulted in an increase in ACTH and Prl secretion in one ACTH-Prl adenoma, however, none of the prolactinomas responded to these stimuli to secrete Prl. Dopamine and somatostatin, on the other hand, uniformly suppressed Prl secretion from ACTH-Prl adenomas as well as from prolactinoma cells. These results suggest that the mode of Prl secretion by mixed ACTH-Prl pituitary adenomas is not identical to that by pure prolactinomas and is, at least in part, common to that of ACTh secretion.


PMID: 2859725

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