Gonadal steroids modulate Fas-induced apoptosis of lactotropes and somatotropes

Facultad de Medicina, Instituto de Investigaciones en Reproducción, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Paraguay 2155, Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Endocrine (Impact Factor: 3.88). 11/2010; 39(1):21-7. DOI: 10.1007/s12020-010-9407-4
Source: PubMed


We have previously reported that Fas activation induces apoptosis of anterior pituitary cells from rats at proestrus but not at diestrus and in an estrogen-dependent manner. In this study, we evaluated the effect of Fas activation on apoptosis of lactotropes and somatotropes during the estrous cycle and explored the action of gonadal steroids on Fas-induced apoptosis. Also, we studied whether changes in Fas expression are involved in the apoptotic response of anterior pituitary cells. Fas activation increased the percentage of TUNEL-positive lactotropes and somatotropes at proestrus but not at diestrus. FasL triggered apoptosis of somatotropes only when cells from ovariectomized rats were cultured in the presence of 17 β-estradiol (E2). Progesterone (P4) blocked the apoptotic action of the Fas/FasL system in lactotropes and somatotropes incubated with E2. Both E2 and P4 increased the percentage of cells expressing Fas at the cell membrane. Our results show that Fas activation induces apoptosis of lactotropes and somatotropes at proestrus but not at diestrus. Gonadal steroids may be involved in the apoptotic response of lactotropes and somatotropes, suggesting that Fas activation is implicated in the renewal of these pituitary subpopulations during the estrous cycle. The effect of gonadal steroids on Fas expression may be only partially involved in regulation of the Fas/FasL apoptotic pathway in the anterior pituitary gland.

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Available from: Daniel Pisera, Mar 26, 2014
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    • "The control of cell turnover in the anterior pituitary has been extensively studied by several groups including ours, focusing mainly on the endocrine effect of upstream neurotransmitters and peripheral hormones/cytokines such as dopamine [33], [34], estradiol [31], [32], [51], [63], TNF-α [56], [57], FasL [58], [59], TGF-β [48], [55] or IL-6 [64] to cite only a few. However, the autocrine or paracrine regulation of pituitary cell turnover by pituitary hormones themselves is less well understood. "
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    ABSTRACT: Anterior pituitary cell turnover occurring during female sexual cycle is a poorly understood process that involves complex regulation of cell proliferation and apoptosis by multiple hormones. In rats, the prolactin (PRL) surge that occurs at proestrus coincides with the highest apoptotic rate. Since anterior pituitary cells express the prolactin receptor (PRLR), we aimed to address the actual role of PRL in the regulation of pituitary cell turnover in cycling females. We showed that acute hyperprolactinemia induced in ovariectomized rats using PRL injection or dopamine antagonist treatment rapidly increased apoptosis and decreased proliferation specifically of PRL producing cells (lactotropes), suggesting a direct regulation of these cell responses by PRL. To demonstrate that apoptosis naturally occurring at proestrus was regulated by transient elevation of endogenous PRL levels, we used PRLR-deficient female mice (PRLRKO) in which PRL signaling is totally abolished. According to our hypothesis, no increase in lactotrope apoptotic rate was observed at proestrus, which likely contributes to pituitary tumorigenesis observed in these animals. To decipher the molecular mechanisms underlying PRL effects, we explored the isoform-specific pattern of PRLR expression in cycling wild type females. This analysis revealed dramatic changes of long versus short PRLR ratio during the estrous cycle, which is particularly relevant since these isoforms exhibit distinct signaling properties. This pattern was markedly altered in a model of chronic PRLR signaling blockade involving transgenic mice expressing a pure PRLR antagonist (TGΔ1-9-G129R-hPRL), providing evidence that PRL regulates the expression of its own receptor in an isoform-specific manner. Taken together, these results demonstrate that i) the PRL surge occurring during proestrus is a major proapoptotic signal for lactotropes, and ii) partial or total deficiencies in PRLR signaling in the anterior pituitary may result in pituitary hyperplasia and eventual prolactinoma development, as observed in TGΔ1-9-G129R-hPRL and PRLRKO mice, respectively.
    PLoS ONE 05/2014; 9(5):e97383. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0097383 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Estrogens are key to anterior pituitary function, stimulating hormone release and controlling cell fate to achieve pituitary dynamic adaptation to changing physiological conditions. In addition to their classical mechanism of action through intracellular estrogen receptors (ERs), estrogens exert rapid actions via cell membrane-localized ERs (mERs). We previously showed that E2 exerts a rapid pro-apoptotic action in anterior pituitary cells, especially in lactotropes and somatotropes, through activation of mERs. In the present study, we examined the involvement of mERα in the rapid pro-apoptotic action of estradiol by TUNEL in primary cultures of anterior pituitary cells from ovariectomized rats using a cell-impermeable E2 conjugate (E2-BSA) and an ERα selective antagonist (MPP dihydrochloride). We studied mERα expression during the estrous cycle and its regulation by gonadal steroids in vivo by flow cytometry. We identified ERα variants in the plasma membrane of anterior pituitary cells during the estrous cycle and studied E2 regulation of these mERα variants in vitro by surface biotinylation and Western Blot. E2-BSA-induced apoptosis was abrogated by MPP in total anterior pituitary cells and lactotropes. In cycling rats, we detected a higher number of lactotropes and a lower number of somatotropes expressing mERα at proestrus than at diestrus. Acute E2 treatment increased the percentage of mERα-expressing lactotropes whereas it decreased the percentage of mERα-expressing somatotropes. We detected three mERα isoforms of 66, 39 and 22 kDa. Expression of mERα66 and mERα39 was higher at proestrus than at diestrus, and short-term E2 incubation increased expression of these two mERα variants. Our results indicate that the rapid apoptotic action exerted by E2 in lactotropes depends on mERα, probably full-length ERα and/or a 39 kDa ERα variant. Expression and activation of mERα variants in lactotropes could be one of the mechanisms through which E2 participates in anterior pituitary cell renewal during the estrous cycle.
    PLoS ONE 07/2012; 7(7):e41299. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0041299 · 3.23 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Chemokines are chemotactic regulators of immune surveillance in physiological and pathological conditions such as inflammation, infection, and cancer. Several chemokines and cognate receptors are constitutively expressed in the central nervous system, not only in glial and endothelial cells but also in neurons, controlling neurogenesis, neurite outgrowth, and axonal guidance during development. In particular, the chemokine CXCL12 and its receptors, CXCR4 and CXCR7, form a functional network that controls plasticity in different brain areas, influencing neurotransmission, neuromodulation, and cell migration, and the dysregulation of this chemokinergic axis is involved in several neurodegenerative, neuroinflammatory, and malignant diseases. CXCR4 primarily mediates the transduction of proliferative signals, while CXCR7 seems to be mainly responsible for scavenging CXCL12. Importantly, the multiple intracellular signalling generated by CXCL12 interaction with its receptors influences hypothalamic modulation of neuroendocrine functions, although a direct modulation of pituitary functioning via autocrine/paracrine mechanisms was also reported. Both CXCL12 and CXCR4 are constitutively overexpressed in pituitary adenomas and their signalling induces cell survival and proliferation, as well as hormonal hypersecretion. In this review we focus on the physiological and pathological functions of immune-related cyto- and chemokines, mainly focusing on the CXCL12/CXCR4-7 axis, and their role in pituitary tumorigenesis. Accordingly, we discuss the potential targeting of CXCR4 as novel pharmacological approach for pituitary adenomas.
    International Journal of Endocrinology 11/2014; 2014:753524. DOI:10.1155/2014/753524 · 1.95 Impact Factor