Gonadotropin-releasing hormone receptor gene expression in rat anterior pituitary

Hichem C. Mertani, Catherine Testart, Allal Ouhtit, Christine Brisson, Gérard Morel*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) effects on the lactotroph function have been widely studied, but they probably result from paracrine interactions. No visual data about GnRH receptor in the pituitary are available. In order to identify the GnRH target cells in the pituitary of adult rats, the cellular distribution of rat GnRH receptor mRNA was investigated by electron microscopy, using in situ hybridization on ultrathin pituitary frozen sections. In situ hybridization was performed using a digoxigenin-labeled ol igonucleotide probe revealed by an indirect immunogold reaction. Gonadotropin-releasing hormone receptor mRNA was found in the cytoplasmic matrix, apposed to the endoplasmic reticulum and the nucleus of the gonadotrophs, which were identified by their ultrastructural characteristics, and by the presence of luteinizing hormone (LH) immunoreactivity. It was also found in the lactotrophs, which were revealed by the immunocytological detection of prolactin. No GnRH receptor mRNA was detected in corticotrophs, somatotrophs, thyrotrophs or hepatocytes. This result, without excluding paracrine effects, clearly showed that in addition to the gonadotrophs, the lactototrophs are likely to be direct target cells for the hypothalamic GnRH.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-163
Number of pages5
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 1996
Externally publishedYes


  • Electron microscopy
  • Gonadotropin-releasing hormone receptor
  • Immunocytology
  • In situ hybridization
  • Paracrine
  • Rat anterior pituitary
  • mRNA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology


Dive into the research topics of 'Gonadotropin-releasing hormone receptor gene expression in rat anterior pituitary'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this