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Endocrinology. 1980 Oct;107(4):1095-104.

Preferential release of newly synthesized prolactin granules is the result of functional heterogeneity among mammotrophs.


Pituitary cells maintained in monolayer culture for 48 h were used for double isotope labeling to study the release of newly synthesized vs. old PRL. The intracellular pathway taken by newly synthesized PRL was studied by autoradiography. For double labeling the cells were first incubated in a 14C-labeled amino acid (4 h) and then in a 3H-labeled amino acid (1 h), each followed by a 1-h chase. Total PRL (RIA) and radiolabeled PRL (immunoprecipitation) were determined in both cells and media. Thre rate of release of PRL (RIA) was stable throughout the experimental period. In unstimulated cells the ratio of 3H- to 14C-labeled PRL in the medium at the end of a 1-h incubation following the second chase was twice that in the cells at the beginning of this incubation, indicating that newly synthesized [3H]PRL was preferentially released. Stimulation with TRH resulted in increased release of older [14C]PRL. The earliest that radiolabeled (14C or 3H) PRL could be detected in the medium was 15--30 min after exposure of the cells to isotope. For autoradiography, cells were given a 5-min pulse of [3H]leucine, followed by chase periods of 30--180 min. Grain counts indicated that mammotrophs maintained in culture for 48 h transported and packaged PRL with the same time course as those preparations studied previously. Analysis of the distribution of total grains per cell in mammotrophs revealed the presence of several functional subpopulations with different numbers of total grains per cell, indicating that some cells were manufacturing and secreting PRL at a very fast rate. It is concluded that 1) preferential release of newly synthesized PRL is due to preferential discharge of newly synthesized granules, since release occurs at a time when labeled hormone is already in the granules; 2) there is no evidence that the established secretory pathway is bypassed, since transport, concentration, and granule formation occur; and 3) preferential release of newly synthesized PRL is the result of functional heterogeneity within the mammotroph population. Functional heterogeneity is illustrated by major differences in both synthetic rates and TRH responsiveness.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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