We have demonstrated recently that in menopausal women and in ovariectomized rats the deficiency of circulating oestrogens impairs vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) efficacy in stimulating prolactin (PRL) release. The present study was designed to investigate whether the lack of VIP-induced PRL release after ovariectomy is a consequence of a defect at the receptor-transductional or post-transductional level. For this purpose we evaluated the VIP receptor function, by measuring VIP-stimulated cyclic adenosine monophosphate (AMP) formation, and the efficacy of the cyclic AMP-dependent PRL release in pituitary cells from control and ovariectomized animals. We observed that VIP induced a significantly higher stimulation of adenylate cyclase in pituitary homogenates from ovariectomized rats than in those from control animals. This effect appeared to be linked to an increased efficiency of the G(s) coupling protein, because superimposable results were obtained by using the non-hydrolysable guanosine triphosphate (GTP) analogue, 5-guanylylimidodiphosphate. On the contrary, the cyclic AMP analogue, 8-Br-cAMP, that potently stimulated PRL release from control pituitary cells was completely ineffective in cells from ovariectomized rats. The present data indicate that in PRL-secreting cells from ovariectomized rats a defect in the post-transductional mechanism that couples the VIP receptor to PRL secretion, rather than a reduction of receptor function, possibly accounts for the lack of VIP efficacy.
|Number of pages||5|
|Journal||European Journal of Endocrinology|
|Publication status||Published - 1994|
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