Direct evidence that burst but not sustained secretion of prolactin stimulated by thyrotropin-releasing hormone is dependent on elevation of cytoplasmic calcium
Thyrotropin-releasing hormone stimulation of prolactin secretion from rat pituitary (GH3) cells is biphasic with a secretory burst (0-2 min) at a higher rate, followed by sustained secretion (beyond 2 min) at a lower rate. Based on the effects of calcium ionophores, K+ depolarization, and diacylglycerol (or phorbol esters), it was suggested that the secretory burst is dependent on elevation of cytoplasmic free calcium concentration [( Ca2+]i) whereas sustained secretion is mediated by lipid-activated protein phosphorylation. In this study, we pretreated GH3 cells with 0.03 mM arachidonic acid to abolish thyrotropin-releasing hormone-induced elevation of [Ca2+]i (Kolesnick, R. N., and Gershengorn, M. C. (1985) J. Biol. Chem. 260, 707-713). In control cells, basal secretion was 0.7 +/- 0.2 ng/10(6) cells/min which increased to 8.3 +/- 0.8 between 0 and 2 min after TRH and remained elevated at 3.3 +/- 0.2 between 2-10 min. In cells pretreated with arachidonic acid, TRH stimulated prolactin secretion to only 2.6 +/- 0.3 ng/10(6) cells/min between 0 and 2 min and to 3.2 +/- 0.2 between 2 to 10 min; these values are not different from each other nor from the response between 2 and 10 min in control cells. K+ depolarization, which elevates [Ca2+]i even in arachidonic acid-pretreated cells but does not affect lipid metabolism, caused only a secretory burst. Bovine serum albumin, which binds free arachidonic acid and reverses arachidonic acid inhibition of TRH-induced elevation of [Ca2+]i, reversed the inhibition of the secretory burst stimulated by TRH. These studies present direct evidence that the burst of prolactin secretion stimulated by TRH is dependent on an elevation of [Ca2+]i whereas the sustained phase of secretion is independent of such elevation.