Effects of the gp130 cytokines ciliary neurotropic factor (CNTF) and interleukin-11 on pituitary cells: CNTF receptors on human pituitary adenomas and stimulation of prolactin and GH secretion in normal rat anterior pituitary aggregate cultures

C Perez Castro
2001 Journal of Endocrinology  
Two of the most potent cytokines regulating anterior pituitary cell function are leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF) and interleukin (IL)-6, which belong to the cytokine family using the common gp130 signal transducer. Recently, the expression and action of two other members of this family, IL-11 and ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF), on different cell lines has also been demonstrated. We studied the expression of the specific receptor subunits for CNTF in mammotropic, non-functioning and
more » ... tioning and somatotropic tumors and the action of CNTF and IL-11 in the regulation of hormone secretion in these and normal pituitary cells. The mRNA for the chain specific for the CNTF receptor was detected by Northern blot in tumors secreting prolactin (PRL) and GH and in non-functioning tumors. We found that both IL-11 and CNTF exerted a similar stimulatory effect on GH mRNA expression in somatotropic monolayer cell cultures from acromegalic tumors, but these cytokines had no significant influence on GH secretion. CNTF stimulates prolactin secretion in lactotropic monolayer cell cultures from patients with prolactinoma. In monolayer cell cultures from normal rat anterior pituitary, IL-11 and CNTF had no significant effect on the release of either GH or PRL, or on GH mRNA. However, when the cells were cultured in aggregate cultures, in which the three-dimensional structure of the cells is reconstituted, both cytokines, in doses at which they had no effect on monolayer cultures, significantly stimulated both PRL and GH secretion. These data show that IL-11 and CNTF may act as regulatory factors in anterior pituitary cells, in which the three-dimensional structure of the gland is of critical importance.
doi:10.1677/joe.0.1690539 pmid:11375124 fatcat:cretjdtdq5ddtndvdakcsa575u