Arachidonic acid metabolism in gonadotroph-enriched pituitary cells

J. Y. Vanderhoek, L. Kiesel, Z. Naor, J. M. Bailey, K. J. Catt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Control of pituitary hormone secretion by hypothalamic-releasing peptides appears to involve unidentified products of the cyclooxygenase and lipoxygenase pathways, as well as the adenyla'te cyclase system. To identify the patterns of arachidonic acid metabolism in specific pituitary cell types, the labeled products formed from [14C]-arachidonic acid were analyzed in rat pituitary cells separated by centrifugal elutriation into fractions enriched in gonadotrophs, somatotrophs and lactotrophs. Gonadotroph-enriched cell fractions metabolized arachidonic acid to ll-, 12- and 15-HETE, HHT, PGD2, PGE2 and TXB2. The products were characterized by high performance liquid and thin-layer chromatography, together with gas chromatographic-mass spectrometric identification of 12- and 15- HETE. In cells preincubated with indomethacin, the formation of 11-HETE, HHT, PGD2, PGE2 and TXB2 was markedly reduced. In gonadotroph-enriched cell fractions, the production of cyclooxygenase metabolites was 3 to 4 times greater than that of lipoxygenase products. The somatotroph- and lactotroph-enriched cell fractions produced only very small amounts of oxygenated arachidonic acid metabolites under the conditions studied, but all cell fractions incorporated [14C]-arachidonate into mono-, di- and triglycerides, as well as into phospholipids. These results demonstrate the differential capacities of the individual pituitary cell populations for metabolizing arachidonic acid, and emphasize the relative prominence of the oxidation pathways for arachidonate metabolism in the gonadotroph-enriched cell fraction of the rat pituitary gland.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)375-385
Number of pages11
JournalProstaglandins Leukotrienes and Essential Fatty Acids
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1984
Externally publishedYes


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