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J Endocrinol Invest. 1996 Jan;19(1):6-11.

Expression and localization of inhibin/activin and activin receptors in GH3 cells, a rat pituitary adenocarcinoma cell line.

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Department of Cell and Neurobiology, University of Southern California School of Medicine, Los Angeles 90033, USA.


Inhibins and activins are members of the transforming growth factor beta (TGF beta) superfamily. Since TGF beta has been shown to be a potent proliferation-inhibiting agent for the pituitary adenocarcinoma cell line, GH3, we determined whether this cell line (a) transcribes mRNAs coding for inhibin/activin subunits (alpha and beta A) and activin receptors I, II, and IIB; and (b) produces inhibin and/or activin proteins. Messenger RNAs for the alpha- and beta A-subunits of inhibin and activin receptors I, II, and IIB in GH3 cells were detected and localized using the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) analysis and in situ hybridization, respectively. The identity of the RT-PCR products was confirmed by DNA sequencing of PCR products. Immunocytochemically, inhibin and activin were localized in these cells. Our findings indicate that messenger RNAs encoding inhibin alpha- and beta A-subunits and activin receptors I, II, and IIB were expressed, and inhibin/activin proteins were produced, by GH3 cells, imply that these gonadal growth factors may have paracrine/autocrine functions in rat pituitary adenocarcinoma. Further, these observation suggest that these growth factors may be involved in regulating the growth and differentiational of rat pituitary adenocarcinoma cells.

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