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Endocrinology. 1991 Mar;128(3):1459-64.

Growth hormone (GH) receptors in clonal osteoblast-like cells mediate a mitogenic response to GH.

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Department of Physiology and Pharmacology, University of Queensland, Australia.


GH receptors have not hitherto been demonstrated or characterized on osteoblasts. In this study we report the characterization of functional GH receptors on the clonal rat osteoblast-like cell line UMR 106.06. The receptors have a typical somatogenic specificity, with high affinity for human GH, 10-fold lower affinity for rat GH, and very poor affinity for rat PRL. The affinity for rat GH is 1.2 +/- 0.4 x 10(9) M-1, and there are approximately 9000 receptors per cell. GH binding increased over several hours when incubations were carried out in serum free minimal essential medium, but binding reduced rapidly when incubations were carried out in Tris-NaCl-Mg++, HEPES, or bicarbonate buffer, suggesting a critical dependence of receptor expression on nutritional factors. Rat GH stimulated proliferation of UMR 106.06 cells in a dose-dependent fashion with a maximum 43 +/- 2% stimulation above control and half-maximal effect at a final hormone concentration of 15 +/- 3 ng/ml. A proliferative response was not observed at low cell density, suggestive of a requirement for a threshold concentration of autocrine mediators or density-dependent receptor expression. A monoclonal antibody (MAb 263) which blocks GH binding to a subset (type 1) of rat hepatic GH receptors did not block binding to osteoblast GH receptors, and did not block the proliferative response. Thus, the proliferative response appears to be mediated by a class of GH receptors not blocked by MAb 263 and possibly related to the type 2 hepatic GH receptors. RNA was extracted from UMR 106.06 cells and a second osteoblast-like cell line UMR 201. Hybridization to a 32P-labeled complementary DNA probe to the rabbit hepatic growth hormone receptor revealed two major labelled bands (3.5 and 1.2 kilobases) and one minor band (2.4 kilobases) in both cell types. In summary, GH receptors are present in clonal osteoblast-like cells, and the receptors mediate a proliferative response to GH. The UMR 106.06 cells provide a valuable model system for studying the mechanism of GH action.

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