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J Neurooncol. 1999 Feb;41(3):197-204.

Significance of growth hormone-releasing hormone receptor mRNA in non-neoplastic pituitary and pituitary adenomas: a study by RT-PCR and in situ hybridization.

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Department of Neurosurgery, Kitasato University School of Medicine, Sagamihara, Kanagawa, Japan.


This study examined the expression of human growth hormone-releasing hormone receptor (GHRH-R) mRNA in both non-neoplastic pituitary tissues and pituitary adenomas by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and in situ hybridization (ISH). RT-PCR analysis showed that all of the non-neoplastic pituitaries and all GH-producing adenomas, one prolactinoma and one third of the non-functioning adenomas expressed GHRH-R mRNA. ISH demonstrated that all of GH-producing adenomas and two prolactinomas expressed GHRH-R mRNA. The expression of GHRH-R mRNA in GH-producing adenomas was greater than that in the other adenomas by RT-PCR and ISH. GHRH-R mRNA detected by ISH was observed only in GH cells from the pituitary gland of a young girl. In pituitary adenomas, a diffuse signal was observed in the cytoplasm of all of the GH-producing adenomas and in two prolactinomas. Expression of GHRH-R mRNA was not seen in normal prolactin cells, or in any adenomas other than GH-producing adenomas and a few prolactinomas. These results suggest that GHRH-R mRNA plays a role mainly in the function of GH-producing adenomas but may also play a role in function of some prolactinomas.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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