Biochemical and Biophysical Research Communications, Vol.407, No.1, 7-12, 2011
Continuous stress-induced dopamine dysregulation augments PAP-I and PAP-II expression in melanotrophs of the pituitary gland
Under continuous stress (CS) in rats, melanotrophs, the predominant cell-type in the intermediate lobe (IL) of the pituitary, are hyperactivated to secrete alpha-melanocyte-stimulating hormone and thereafter degenerate. Although these phenomena are drastic, the molecular mechanisms underlying the cellular changes are mostly unknown. In this study, we focused on the pancreatitis-associated protein (PAP) family members of the secretory lectins and characterized their expression in the IL of CS model rats because we had identified two members of this family as up-regulated genes in our previous microarray analysis. RT-PCR and histological studies demonstrated that prominent PAP-I and PAP-II expression was induced in melanotrophs in the early stages of CS, while another family member, PAP-III, was not expressed. We further examined the regulatory mechanisms of PAP-I and PAP-II expression and revealed that both were induced by the decreased dopamine levels in the IL under CS. Because the PAP family members are implicated in cell survival and proliferation, PAP-land PAP-II secreted from melanotrophs may function to sustain homeostasis of the IL under CS conditions in an autocrine or a paracrine manner. (C) 2011 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.