Is there a hormonal network in Tetrahymena? A systematic investigation of hormonal effects on the hormone content

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The effect of six hormones (histamine, serotonin, insulin, epidermal growth factor (EGF), oxytocin and gonadotropin) was studied on the hormone (histamine, serotonin, adrenocorticotropic hormone [ACTH], endorphin and triiodothyronine [T3]) content of Tetrahymena. The hormones were given in 10 -9 or 10-12 M concentrations or as 0.1 and 0.001 I.U. ml-1 (in the case of oxytocin and gonadotropin) for 1 h. The hormones in picomolar concentration, i.e. at levels which can be present also in natural conditions, influence the amount of other hormones inside the cell. Their effect is not a general one: it is individual, the level of one of the hormones was elevated, while that of the others diminished under the effect of the same hormonal stimulus. Insulin was the only hormone, which influenced the concentration of other hormones in one direction, elevating them. This effect could have a role in the life-saving property of this hormone in Tetrahymena, but the hormones were not studied from this point of view. Usually there is no difference between the effect of the two concentrations used, but there are situations when the effect of the two concentrations is opposite. This means that there is a possible concentration dependence and this could influence differently the cells which are far from or near to the secretor cell. Considering earlier observations, the duration of the treatment can also influence the result. The results give new data to the hormonal regulation at unicellular level (which can be the base of regulation at higher evolutionary levels) and point to the possibility of a hormonal network.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)303-308
Number of pages6
JournalCell biochemistry and function
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1 2008



  • Endocrine evolution
  • Hormonal interactions
  • Hormonal regulation
  • Phylogeny
  • Tetrahymena

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology

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