IGF-I is synthesized in the human and rat anterior pituitary glands. The present study was designed to clarify the growth-promoting action of IGF-I on mouse pituitary cells in a primary serum-free culture system. Proliferation of pituitary cells was detected by monitoring the cellular uptake of bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU). BrdU labelling in the nucleus was found in all types of secretory cells: corticotrophs, thyrotrophs, gonadotrophs (LH cells and FSH cells), somatotrophs and mammotrophs. IGF-I (75 ng/ml) stimulated the proliferation of corticotrophs and mammotrophs among the pituitary secretory cells. IGF-I receptor mRNA was detected in the cultured pituitary cells using reverse transcription (RT)-PCR, indicating that mouse pituitary cells expressed IGF-I receptors. Insulin (100 ng/ml) or IGF-I (7.5 ng/ml) failed to increase the percentage of BrdU-labelled cells. However, treatment with insulin (100 ng/ml) plus IGF-I (7.5 ng/ml) increased the percentage of BrdU- labelled cells in a synergistic-like manner. Genistein, a tyrosine kinase specific inhibitor, decreased the IGF-I-induced cell proliferation, indicating that IGF-I acts through IGF-I receptors. IGF-I mRNA was also detected in the cultured pituitary cells by RT-PCR, and its peptides were immunocytochemically detected. The present results demonstrate that all types of pituitary secretory cells have the ability to proliferate in our serum- free culture system. IGF-I synthesized in the pituitary gland may stimulate the growth of pituitary cells, in particular corticotrophs and mammotrophs, by an autocrine or paracrine mechanism.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism