17β-Estradiol modulates the prolactin secretion induced by TRH through membrane estrogen receptors via PI3K/Akt in female rat anterior pituitary cell culture

Liliana d V Sosa, Silvina Gutiérrez, Juan P Petiti, Claudia M Palmeri, Iván D Mascanfroni, Marta Soaje, Ana L De Paul, Alicia I Torres
American Journal of Physiology. Endocrinology and Metabolism 2012 May 1, 302 (10): E1189-97
Considering that estradiol is a major modulator of prolactin (PRL) secretion, the aim of the present study was to analyze the role of membrane estradiol receptor-α (mERα) in the regulatory effect of this hormone on the PRL secretion induced by thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) by focusing on the phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (PI3K)/protein kinase B (Akt) pathway activation. Anterior pituitary cell cultures from female rats were treated with 17β-estradiol (E(2), 10 nM) and its membrane-impermeable conjugated estradiol (E(2)-BSA, 10 nM) alone or coincubated with TRH (10 nM) for 30 min, with PRL levels being determined by RIA. Although E(2), E(2)-BSA, TRH, and E(2)/TRH differentially increased the PRL secretion, the highest levels were achieved with E(2)-BSA/TRH. ICI-182,780 did not modify the TRH-induced PRL release but significantly inhibited the PRL secretion promoted by E(2) or E(2)-BSA alone or in coincubation with TRH. The PI3K inhibitors LY-294002 and wortmannin partially inhibited the PRL release induced by E(2)-BSA, TRH, and E(2)/TRH and totally inhibited the PRL levels stimulated by E(2)-BSA/TRH, suggesting that the mER mediated the cooperative effect of E(2) on TRH-induced PRL release through the PI3K pathway. Also, the involvement of this kinase was supported by the translocation of its regulatory subunit p85α from the cytoplasm to the plasma membrane in the lactotroph cells treated with E(2)-BSA and TRH alone or in coincubation. A significant increase of phosphorylated Akt was induced by E(2)-BSA/TRH. Finally, the changes of ERα expression in the plasmalemma of pituitary cells were examined by confocal microscopy and flow cytometry, which revealed that the mobilization of intracellular ERα to the plasma membrane of lactotroph cells was only induced by E(2). These finding showed that E(2) may act as a modulator of the secretory response of lactotrophs induced by TRH through mER, with the contribution by PI3K/Akt pathway activation providing a new insight into the mechanisms underlying the nongenomic action of E(2) in the pituitary.

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