Synthetic GH secretagogues (GHSs) act via a receptor (GHS-R) distinct from that of GH-releasing hormone. The GHS-R has been cloned from the pituitary and is expressed not only in the pituitary but also in specific areas of the brain, including the hypothalamus. Recent studies suggest that hypothalamic GHS-R expression is regulated by GH. This study was designed to investigate whether pituitary GHS-R expression is modulated by GH. Female Wistar-Furth rats were injected sc with either saline (control) or GC tumor cells (GC) that secrete rat GH. The tumors were allowed to develop for 1-4 weeks. At weeks 1-4, control (n = 4-8) and GC rats (n = 3-8) were killed. Pituitary GHS-R messenger RNA (mRNA) was measured by a quantitative competitive PCR assay. The endogenous GHS-R mRNA levels were measured by determining the amount of competitive template RNA required to produce equimolar amounts of native and competitive template PCR products. The mean log plasma GH levels were significantly greater in the GC rat group than in the control group at weeks 2, 3, and 4. At these times, the mean log pituitary GHS-R mRNA contents were significantly lower in the GC rat group than in the control group. No relationship could be established between log estradiol levels and GHS-R levels. These data indicate that pituitary GHS-R expression is modulated by GH.
ASJC Scopus subject areas