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J Endocrinol. 2002 Sep;174(3):473-83.

Influence of steroids and GnRH on biosynthesis and secretion of secretogranin II and chromogranin A in relation to LH release in LbetaT2 gonadotroph cells.

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MRC Human Reproductive Sciences Unit, Centre for Reproductive Biology, 37 Chalmers Street, Edinburgh EH3 9ET, UK.


The granin proteins secretogranin II (SgII) and chromogranin A (CgA) are commonly found associated with LH and/or FSH within specialised secretory granules in gonadotroph cells, and it is possible that they play an important role in the differential secretion of the gonadotrophins. In this study we have examined the regulation of the biosynthesis and secretion of SgII and CgA, in relation to LH secretion, in the LbetaT2 mouse pituitary gonadotroph cell line. Three experiments were carried out to investigate the effects of oestradiol (E2) and dexamethasone (Dex) in the presence and absence of GnRH (experiment 1), differing GnRH concentrations (experiment 2) and alterations in GnRH pulse frequency (experiment 3). In experiment 1, exposure to E2, Dex or E2+Dex, either with or without GnRH treatment, resulted in increased LH secretion. Steroids alone had no effect on LHbeta mRNA levels, but in the presence of GnRH LHbeta mRNA levels were increased in Dex- and E2+Dex-treated cells. GnRH receptor (GnRH-R) mRNA levels were up-regulated by Dex and E2+Dex, but were unaffected by GnRH. There were no steroid-induced changes in SgII or CgA mRNA, but increased levels of CgA mRNA were observed after GnRH treatment in cells cultured in the presence of Dex. In experiment 2, increasing concentrations of GnRH resulted in increases in LH secretion that were inversely dose-dependent. No changes in LHbeta, GnRH-R or SgII mRNA levels were observed, but there were dose-dependent increases in CgA mRNA levels. In experiment 3, GnRH was given as either 1 pulse/day or 4 pulses/day for 3 days. Both pulse regimes resulted in increased LH, SgII and CgA secretion compared with controls during the first 15 min pulse on day 3. Exposure to GnRH at 4 pulses/day increased LH and SgII secretion compared with controls during all 4 pulses, but secretion of both proteins was reduced during pulses 2-4 compared with pulse 1. CgA secretion also increased due to GnRH in pulse 1, but was decreased by GnRH treatment during pulse 2, and unchanged by GnRH during pulses 3 and 4. Total daily secretion of LH and SgII from cells given 1 pulse/day of GnRH increased compared with controls on all three treatment days, while total CgA secretion increased in response to GnRH on days 2 and 3 only. Intracellular levels of SgII, but not LH, decreased after GnRH treatment. In contrast, intracellular CgA was increased, but only after 4 pulses/day of GnRH. Levels of LHbeta, but not SgII, mRNA were increased by both pulse regimes, while CgA mRNA levels increased after 1 pulse/day of GnRH. These results indicate that there is a close correlation between the GnRH-stimulated release of LH and SgII from LbetaT2 cells, suggesting that SgII may have an influential role in the regulated secretion of LH, possibly by inducing LH aggregation to facilitate trafficking into secretory granules. CgA secretion does not appear to be closely associated with that of LH, but CgA expression does appear to be regulated by GnRH, which may indicate involvement in the control of LH secretion, possibly by influencing the proportion of LH in the different types of secretory granules.

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