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PLoS One. 2013 Oct 3;8(10):e74596. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0074596. eCollection 2013.

Characterization of the mechanism of inhibin α-subunit gene in mouse anterior pituitary cells by RNA interference.

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State Key Laboratory of Agricultural Microbiology, Laboratory of Animal Infectious Diseases, College of Animal Science and Veterinary Medicine, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, Hubei, China ; Key Lab of Agricultural Animal Genetics, Breeding and Reproduction of Ministry of Education. College of Animal Science and Veterinary Medicine, Huazhong Agricultural University, Wuhan, Hubei, China.


Inhibin, a member of the transforming growth factor-β [TGF-β] superfamily, is a suppressor of follicle-stimulating hormone [FSH] release through pituitary-gonadal negative feedback loop to regulate follicular development. In this study, Inhibin α-subunit [Inha] gene was knocked down successfully in mice primary anterior pituitary cells at both transcriptional and translational levels by RNAi-Ready pSIREN-RetroQ-ZsGreen Vector mediated recombinant pshRNA vectors. The results indicated that inhibin silencing significantly promoted apoptosis by up-regulating Caspase-3, Bax and Bcl-2 genes without affecting p53 both at transcriptional and translational levels. Furthermore, it markedly impaired the progression of G1 phase of cell cycle and decreased the amount of cells in S phase [as detected by flow cytometry]. Inhibin silencing resulted in significant up-regulation of mRNA and protein expressions of Gondotropin releasing hormone receptors [GnRHR] and down-regulated mRNA levels of β-glycans with parellel change in the amount of its protein expression. Silencing of inhibin-a significantly increased [P<0.05] activin-β concentration without affecting FSH and LH levels in anterior pituitary cells. These findings revealed that up regulation of GnRH receptors by silencing inhibin a-subunit gene might increase the concentration of activin-β in the culture medium. Inhibin a silencing resulted in increased mRNA and protein expressions of inhibinβ which may demonstrate that both inhibin subunits co-participate in the regulation of reproductive events in anterior pituitary cells. This study concludes that inhibin is a broad regulatory marker in anterior pituitary cells by regulating apoptosis, cellular progression and simultaneously by vital fluctuations in the hormonal signaling.

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