In order to examine the hypothalamic control of acidophilic proliferation, anterior pituitary cells from adult female rats were cultured with or without rat growth hormone-releasing factor fragment 1-29 (GRF-29). Changes in the numbers of mammotrophs and somatotrophs during culture were measured by immunocytochemical staining. The addition of GRF suppressed the increase in the number of mammotrophs even at the very low concentration of 10-12 M. The number of somatotrophs increased in the medium containing GRF. The increase in mammotroph number was blocked by cytosine arabinoside, a mitotic inhibitor. GRF had no effect on the in vitro proliferation of fibroblasts. These results indicate the important role of hypothalamic GRF in the differential growth and secretion of the acidophils in vivo.
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