New aspects of the neuroendocrine role of PACAP

K. Köves, J. Molnár, O. Kántor, T. J. Görcs, A. Lakatos, A. Arimura

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The presence of PACAP was revealed in the anterior pituitary with RIA, HPLC, and with the demonstration of its mRNA. The level of PACAP mRNA in the anterior pituitary is the highest during the proestrous LH surge. In our immunohistochemical studies we were able to demonstrate PACAP immunoreactive cells in the anterior pituitary. The shape and the distribution of PACAP immunoreactive cells were very similar to that of the gonadotropes; however, the number of PACAP cells was less than that of LH cells. Additionally, another PACAP-positive cell population with small diameter appeared in the proestrous stage, during pregnancy and lactation. Double labeling revealed that the major part of large PACAP cells exhibited LH immunoreactivity and those with a small diameter contained PRL. It is not clear whether the pituitary- or the hypothalamic-born PACAP, or both, influence pituitary LH and PRL secretion. Icv administration of PACAP just prior to the critical period in the proestrous stage inhibited the expected ovulation and blocked the proestrus LH and PRL surge, although iv administration of PACAP had no effect. PACAP antiserum did not interfere with ovulation when icv or iv injection was used. Our results support the view that PACAP has a role in the control of LH and PRL secretion during the estrous cycle, pregnancy, and lactation. The inhibitory effect of PACAP on ovulation is mediated through the hypothalamus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)648-654
Number of pages7
JournalAnnals of the New York Academy of Sciences
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1 1996

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • History and Philosophy of Science

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