The G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) activation has been demonstrated to affect the ERK1/2 cascade in different cell lines. We investigated the effects of hypothalamic neuropeptides acting via GPCR on this pathway in GH-secreting (GH-oma) and nonsecreting (NFPA) pituitary adenomas. GHRH increased ERK1/2 activity (236 ± 80%) in both gsp- and gsp+ GH-omas, this effect being almost completely abolished by protein kinase C (PKC) blockade. Both GnRH and pituitary adenylate-activating peptide caused a similar PKC-dependent activation of ERK1/2 in most NFPA. Increasing cAMP by forskolin caused a protein kinase A-dependent increase of ERK activity (287 ± 37%) in GH-omas and had no effect in NFPA. ERK cascade blockade in GH-omas did not affect basal and GHRH-stimulated GH release, whereas it totally prevented the 3-fold increase in cyclin D1 protein expression induced by GHRH. In conclusion, this study demonstrated that in pituitary adenomas the activation of GPCR by neurohormones caused a PKC-dependent activation of ERK1/2 cascade that, at least in GH-omas, resulted to be involved in cyclin D1 induction by GHRH. Moreover, a stimulatory effect of the protein kinase A-dependent pathway on ERK1/2 cascade occurred selectively in GH-omas, probably contributing to the mitogenic potential of the cAMP pathway in this cell type.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism