Secretion of PRL in sheep is affected by photoperiod being highest during the spring and summer, lowest in fall and winter. The objectives of this study were to determine if 1) the production of variant forms of PRL, and 2) immuno-and bioactivities of PRL (iPRL and bPRL) differ during times of the year selected to represent periods of low, transitional and high PRL secretion. Twelve mature rams were maintained on pasture and killed in October, December, and April (n = 4/ month). Individual pituitary glands were dispersed, cells obtained, and fixed for immunocytochemical flow cytometry, extracted with 0.01 N NaHCO3 or cultured in serum-free, defined media. The Mr of PRL extracted from cells immediately following dispersion ranged from 14-140K, with significantly more bands >40K being detected from rams sacrificed in December than from those killed in October and April (P <0.01). No bands of PRL > 25K were observed when samples were reduced with β-mercaptoethanol prior to electrophoresis, indicating that the high Mr forms were disulfide-linked aggregates. Culture media from October and April contained variants of PRL that ranged from 22-40K but those >25K were generally not observed from cells harvested during December. Extracts of cells after 24 h in culture contained fewer high Mr species during December than had been present in initial extracts from that month. In contrast, during April more high Mr intracellular forms were present after culture than had been detected prior to culture during that month. The percentage of lactotrophs averaged 50.0 ± 2.5, 47.4 ± 5.7, and 59.4 ± 5.5 for October, December, and April, respectively. Initial lactotroph content (pg/lactotroph) of iPRL was higher (P = 0.06) in April (46.0 ± 17.0) when compared to October and December (8.0 ± 2.0 and 20.0 ± 10.0, respectively). In contrast, the bPRL content of initial extracts was higher (P = 0.05) in December (267.0 ± 68.0) than in October (101.0 ± 35.0), but not than in April (190.0 ± 70.0). Although iPRL and bPRL concentrations in culture media were similar for the 3 months, the intracellular iPRL (P <0.001) and bPRL (P <0.0001) content after culture was greatest during April. In summary, in addition to the well-documented seasonal changes in blood concentrations of PRL, different molecular forms of PRL were found within the pituitary at different times of the year and seasonal variations in iPRL and bPRL did not occur in parallel.
|Number of pages||8|
|Publication status||Published - Feb 1992|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism