Effects of thyroliberin (TRH) on cell proliferation and prolactin secretion by GH3/B6 rat pituitary cells: A comparison between serum‐free and serum‐supplemented media

N. Brunet, A. Rizzino, D. Gourdji, A. Tixier‐Vidal

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20 Scopus citations


Numerous studies have shown that prolactin (PRL) production by GH3 cells grown in serum supplemented media is regulated by several hormones including thyroliberin (TRH). The recent availability of hormonally defined, serum‐free media for the growth of GH3 cells has made it possible to determine the effect of TRH in absence of other prolactin regulating hormones. Here we demonstrate that transfer of GH3/B6 cells from serum‐supplemented medium to serum‐free media results in several important changes: (1) altered growth response to TRH, (2) altered cell attachment and morphology, (3) greatly reduced prolactin production, and (4) greater stimulation of prolactin production by TRH. After 4 days in serum‐free medium, TRH stimulates prolactin production by as much as 5‐fold instead of approximately 2‐fold in serum‐supplemented medium. Furthermore, this increased responsiveness to TRH in serum‐free medium is accompanied by a 10‐fold decrease in the ED50 for TRH (concentration needed for half‐maximal response) and paradoxically by a 2‐fold reduction in the number of high‐affinity TRH binding sites without significant change of their association constant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)363-372
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Cellular Physiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Nov 1981


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology

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