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Endocrinology. 1993 May;132(5):2262-70.

Novel expression of human chorionic gonadotropin/luteinizing hormone receptor gene in brain.

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Department of Obstetrics/Gynecology, University of Louisville School of Medicine, Kentucky 40292.


LH from anterior pituitary and hCG from placenta bind to a common receptor in gonadal and nongonadal reproductive tissues. There have been numerous examples suggesting that the brain may also contain hCG/LH receptors, yet there has been no evidence for their existence so far. We now demonstrate by reverse transcription-nested polymerase chain reaction and northern blotting that the rat brain contains hCG/LH receptor mRNA. A major receptor transcript of 2.6 kilobases and minor transcripts of 1.8 and 4.4 kilobases were found. Western immunoblotting, ligand blotting, and covalent receptor cross-linking studies have shown that rat brain also contains an 80-kilodalton receptor protein that can bind hCG and hLH, but not hFSH. Rat testis used as a positive control showed a higher abundance of multiple transcripts and an 80-kilodalton receptor protein that can bind [125I]hCG. Rat liver used as a negative control did not contain any receptor transcripts or protein. In situ hybridization, dot blotting, immunocytochemistry, and topical autoradiography have revealed that hCG/LH receptors are present in rat hippocampus; dentate gyrus; hypothalamus; cerebellum; choroid plexus; ependymal cells of third, fourth, and lateral ventricles; cortex; brainstem; bovine hypothalamus; and human area postrema. These novel findings could potentially explain numerous previous observations and suggest new possibilities concerning the regulation of brain functions by hCG and LH.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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