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Calcium Signaling and Episodic Secretion of Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone in Hypothalamic Neurons

Lazar Z. Krsmanovic, Stanko S. Stojilkovic, Francesco Merelli, Sylvie M. Dufour, Mohamed A. Virmani and Kevin J. Catt
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Vol. 89, No. 18 (Sep. 15, 1992), pp. 8462-8466
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2360205
Page Count: 5
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Calcium Signaling and Episodic Secretion of Gonadotropin-Releasing Hormone in Hypothalamic Neurons
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Abstract

Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) is released episodically into the pituitary portal vessels and from hypothalamic tissue of male and female rats in vitro. Perifused primary cultures of rat hypothalamic neurons, as well as the GT1-1 GnRH neuronal cell line, spontaneously exhibited episodic GnRH secretion of comparable frequency to that observed with perifused hypothalami. Such pulsatile GnRH release from GT1 cells indicates that GnRH neurons generate rhythmic secretory activity in the absence of input from other cell types. In primary hypothalamic cultures, the frequency of GnRH pulses increased with the duration of culture. The spontaneous pulsatility in GnRH release was abolished in Ca2+-deficient medium and was markedly attenuated in the presence of nifedipine, an antagonist of voltage-sensitive Ca2+ channels. The basal intracellular Ca2+ level of perifused GT1-1 cells cultured on coverslips was also dose-dependently reduced by nifedipine. Conversely, depolarization with high K+ increased intracellular Ca2+ and GnRH release in an extracellular Ca2+-dependent and nifedipine-sensitive manner. The dihydropyridine Ca2+ channel agonist Bay K 8644 increased basal and K+-induced elevations of intracellular Ca2+ concentration and GnRH secretion. These findings demonstrate that pulsatile neuropeptide secretion is an intrinsic property of GnRH neuronal networks and is dependent on voltage-sensitive Ca2+ influx for its maintenance.

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