In vivo modulation of follicle-stimulating hormone release and β subunit gene expression by activin A and the GnRH agonist buserelin in female rats

The Kielanowski Institute of Animal Physiology and Nutrition, Jablonna near, Warsaw, Poland.
Brain Research Bulletin (Impact Factor: 2.72). 10/2002; 58(5):475-80. DOI: 10.1016/S0361-9230(02)00821-3
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The effects of separate and simultaneous recombinant bovine (rb) activin A and buserelin administration on the FSH release and pituitary FSH beta subunit gene expression in vivo were examined in ovariectomised, estradiol pretreated rats. The animals received a single injection of either rb activin A (50 ng), buserelin (1 micro g) or activin/buserelin (50 ng+1 micro g/0.1 ml PBS) into the jugular vein and were killed 30 min, 1, 3 and 5h later. Activin A stimulated FSH release and effect appeared 1h after injection (168% increase of controls) reaching a maximum at 3h (437% of controls). Activin A and buserelin exerted their effects with a distinct time courses: activin's stimulation was not so rapid when compared with buserelin. The simultaneous administration of rb activin A and buserelin amplified FSH release (118, 309, 1006 and 779% of controls). The low dose of activin A was sufficient to elevate FSH beta mRNA level as early as 3 and 5h after administration (170 and 140%, respectively). Activin plus buserelin stimulation resulted in a higher (340 and 360% of controls) FSH beta gene expression than after their separate administration. These results suggest that activin and buserelin may act independently and synergistically in the regulation of FSH release and beta subunit mRNA level.

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    • "Variability in FSH-responsiveness is thought to explain how a single follicle is recruited to the preovulatory hierarchy each cycle (Tilly et al. 1991, Johnson et al. 2004, Knight et al. 2005). This is in contrast to mammals where interplay between endogenous pituitary activin and follistatin, and ovary-derived inhibin, acutely regulates FSH subunit expression leading to transient peaks in plasma FSH and the FSH-dependent recruitment of a cohort of follicles, one or more of which may subsequently be selected for ovulation (Besecke et al. 1997, Gajewska et al. 2002, Webb et al. 2003). "
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    ABSTRACT: Secretion of LH and FSH from the anterior pituitary is regulated primarily by hypothalamic GnRH and ovarian steroid hormones. More recent evidence indicates regulatory roles for certain members of the transforming growth factor beta (TGFbeta) superfamily including inhibin and activin. The aim of this study was to identify expression of mRNAs encoding key receptors and ligands of the inhibin/activin system in the hen pituitary gland and to monitor their expression throughout the 24-25-h ovulatory cycle. Hens maintained on long days (16 h light/8 h dark) were killed 20, 12, 6 and 2 h before predicted ovulation of a midsequence egg (n = 8 per group). Anterior pituitary glands were removed, RNA extracted and cDNA synthesized. Plasma concentrations of LH, FSH, progesterone and inhibin A were measured. Real-time quantitative PCR was used to quantify pituitary expression of mRNAs encoding betaglycan, activin receptor (ActR) subtypes (type I, IIA), GnRH receptor (GnRH-R), LH beta subunit, FSH beta subunit and GAPDH. Levels of mRNA for inhibin/activin betaA and betaB subunits, inhibin alpha subunit, follistatin and ActRIIB mRNA in pituitary were undetectable by quantitative PCR (<2 amol/reaction). Significant changes in expression (P<0.05) of ActRIIA and betaglycan mRNA were found, both peaking 6 h before ovulation just prior to the preovulatory LH surge and reaching a nadir 2 h before ovulation, just after the LH surge. There were no significant changes in expression of ActRI mRNA throughout the cycle although values were correlated with mRNA levels for both ActRIIA (r = 0.77; P<0.001) and beta-glycan (r = 0.45; P<0.01). Expression of GnRH-R mRNA was lowest 20 h before ovulation and highest (P<0.05) 6 h before ovulation; values were weakly correlated with betaglycan (r = 0.33; P = 0.06) and ActRIIA (r = 0.34; P = 0.06) mRNA levels. Expression of mRNAs encoding LH beta and FSH beta subunit were both lowest (P<0.05) after the LH surge, 2 h before ovulation. These results are consistent with an endocrine, but not a local intrapituitary, role of inhibin-related proteins in modulating gonadotroph function during the ovulatory cycle of the hen, potentially through interaction with betaglycan and ActRIIA. In contrast to mammals, intrapituitary expression of inhibin/activin subunits and follistatin appears to be extremely low or absent in the domestic fowl.
    Journal of Endocrinology 10/2005; 186(3):447-55. DOI:10.1677/joe.1.06303 · 3.72 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Inhibin, activin, and follistatin were first identified as gonadal hormones that could exert selective effects on follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) secretion without affecting luteinizing hormone (LH). Although the primary source of inhibin remains the gonad, both activin and follistatin are produced in extragonadal tissues and can exert effects on FSH through an autocrine-paracrine mechanism. These proteins can effect the regulation of the gonadotropins at many levels. First, activin can directly stimulate FSH biosynthesis and release from the gonadotrope cells of the pituitary gland. Second, activin up-regulates gonadotropin-releasing hormone receptor (GnRHR) gene expression, leading to alterations in the synthesis and release of both gonadotropins in response to GnRH. Third, activin can stimulate GnRH release from GnRH neurons in the hypothalamus and thereby affect FSH and LH secretion. Both inhibin and follistatin can negatively regulate these effects by preventing activin binding to the activin receptor at the cell membrane and blocking activation of downstream signal transduction pathways. This review concentrates on the mechanisms through which inhibin, activin, and follistatin regulate the gonadotropins. We discuss the expression of inhibin/activin subunits and receptors throughout the hypothalamus and pituitary and their role in the regulation of FSH and LH. The mechanisms of inhibin and activin signaling are also reported, with particular attention to developments in our understanding of inhibin receptor action and activin-induced transcriptional regulation of the FSHbeta gene promoter. Finally, we present recent findings that other members of the transforming growth factor beta superfamily may also play an important role in transcriptional regulation of the pituitary gonadotropins.
    Seminars in Reproductive Medicine 09/2004; 22(3):253-67. DOI:10.1055/s-2004-831901 · 2.35 Impact Factor
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