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Cell Tissue Res. 2014 Apr;356(1):253-60. doi: 10.1007/s00441-014-1794-z. Epub 2014 Feb 11.

Regulation of LH/FSH expression by secretoglobin 3A2 in the mouse pituitary gland.

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Biochemical Engineering, Faculty of Engineering, Yamagata University, Yonezawa, Yamagata, 992-8510, Japan.


Secretoglobin (SCGB) 3A2 was originally identified as a downstream target for the homeodomain transcription factor NKX2-1 in the lung. NKX2-1 plays a role in the genesis and expression of genes in the thyroid, lung and ventral forebrain; Nkx2-1-null mice have no thyroid and pituitary and severely hypoplastic lungs and hypothalamus. To demonstrate whether SCGB3A2 plays any role in pituitary hormone production, NKX2-1 and SCGB3A2 expression in the mouse pituitary gland was examined by immunohistochemical analysis and RT-PCR. NKX2-1 was localized in the posterior pituitary lobe, whereas SCGB3A2 was observed in both anterior and posterior lobes as shown by immunohistochemistry and RT-PCR. Expression of CCAAT-enhancer binding proteins (C/EBPs), which regulate mouse Scgb3a2 transcription, was also examined by RT-PCR. C/EBPβ, γ, δ and ζ were expressed in the adult mouse pituitary gland. SCGB3A2 was expressed in the anterior and posterior lobes from postnatal days 1 and 5, respectively and the areas where SCGB3A2 expression was found coincided with the area where FSH-secreting cells were found. Double-staining for SCGB3A2 and pituitary hormones revealed that SCGB3A2 was mainly localized in gonadotrophs in 49 % of FSH-secreting cells and 47 % of LH-secreting cells. In addition, SCGB3A2 dramatically inhibited LH and FSH mRNA expression in rat pituitary primary cell cultures. These results suggest that SCGB3A2 regulates FSH/LH production in the anterior pituitary lobe and that transcription factors other than NKX2-1 may regulate SCGB3A2 expression.

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