The effect of six hypothalamic peptides on the basal release of ACTH and that induced by arginine vasopressin (AVP) or by ovine corticotrophin releasing factor (oCRF) from fragments of the rat anterior pituitary gland incubated in vitro was investigated. Dose-response curves to AVP and to oCRF were obtained, and the response to a low dose of oCRF was potentiated by a low dose of AVP. Basal release of ACTH was not affected by any of the peptides in concentrations in the range 10-12 to 10-6 mol/l, and only substance P (SP) and somatostatin (SRIF) inhibited significantly the response to oCRF in a dose-related manner. The responses to a range of doses of oCRF or AVO were reduced by 10-8 and 10-6 mol SP or SRIF/l, and to a greater extent by the higher dose. Except in the case of 10-6 mol SRIF/l on the response to AVP, the response was not further diminished by preincubation of the tissue with the peptide before the stimulating agent was added. The inhibition of the responses to AVP or oCRF by IQ-9 mol SP/l was not potentiated by its combination with either 5 x 10-10 or 10-8 mol SRIF/l; the inhibitory effects were merely additive. The results suggest that although SRIF and SP are able to modulate the release of ACTH from the anterior pituitary gland, they do so only at a high concentration. In the case of SRIF these concentrations are several orders of magnitude higher than those reported to be present in the hypophysial portal blood and therefore a physiological role for this peptide in the control of ACTH secretion is unlikely.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism