Snell dwarf mice (dw/dw) are characterized by a genetically determined, congenital lack of pituitary GH, TSH and prolactin. Given that hypothalamic somatostatin is involved in the regulation of pituitary GH and TSH release, it was decided to investigate the content of immunoreactive somatostatin (IRS) in the median eminence of dw/dw and phenotypically normal mice of the same strain. The content of IRS in the pyloric antrum and pineal gland of these animals was also examined. The effects of ovariectomy and of hyperprolactinemia (induced by a pituitary graft under the kidney capsule) on the median eminence content of IRS were also studied in both normal and dwarf mice. Median eminence IRS content was significantly lower in the dw/dw (23.6 ± 1.8 ng) than in normal mice (57.4 ± 7.1 ng); no difference was found in the pyloric IRS content of dw/dw (16.9 ± 1.6 ng/mg of protein) and normal animals (13.8 ± 1.9 ng/mg of protein), nor in the pineal content of IRS (639.4 ± 64.4 pg/gland in the dw/dw; 732 ± 265 pg/gland in normals). Neither ovariectomy nor hyperprolactinemia were found to affect the IRS content in the tissues studied in normal or dwarf mice. Treatment of an additional group of 9 dwarf mice with L-thyroxine (L-T4 2 μg/48 h. s.c. for 2 weeks) significantly increased the animals weight (10.2 ± 0.4 g versus 7.4 ± 0.3 g) and produced maturation of facial features; however, it did not change the IRS content in any of the tissues studied. It is concluded that the content of IRS in the median eminence of mice with a congenital lack of GH, TSH and prolactin is significantly reduced and that this is unlikely to be related to the deficiency of thyroid hormones in these animals.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)