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Presence of vesicular glutamate transporter-2 in hypophysiotropic somatostatin but not growth hormone-releasing hormone neurons of the male rat

Authors

  • Erik Hrabovszky,

    1. Laboratory of Endocrine Neurobiology, Institute of Experimental Medicine, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Szigony u. 43., Budapest, 1083 Hungary
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  • Gergely F. Turi,

    1. Laboratory of Endocrine Neurobiology, Institute of Experimental Medicine, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Szigony u. 43., Budapest, 1083 Hungary
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  • Zsolt Liposits

    1. Laboratory of Endocrine Neurobiology, Institute of Experimental Medicine, Hungarian Academy of Sciences, Szigony u. 43., Budapest, 1083 Hungary
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Dr Erik Hrabovszky, as above.
E-mail: hrabovszky@koki.hu

Abstract

Recent evidence indicates that hypophysiotropic gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH), corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) and thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) neurons of the adult male rat express mRNA and immunoreactivity for type-2 vesicular glutamate transporter (VGLUT2), a marker for glutamatergic neuronal phenotype. In the present study, we investigated the issue of whether these glutamatergic features are shared by growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH) neurons of the hypothalamic arcuate nucleus (ARH) and somatostatin (SS) neurons of the anterior periventricular nucleus (PVa), the two parvicellular neurosecretory systems that regulate anterior pituitary somatotrophs. Dual-label in situ hybridization studies revealed relatively few cells that expressed VGLUT2 mRNA in the ARH; the GHRH neurons were devoid of VGLUT2 hybridization signal. In contrast, VGLUT2 mRNA was expressed abundantly in the PVa; virtually all (97.5 ± 0.4%) SS neurons showed labelling for VGLUT2 mRNA. In accordance with these hybridization results, dual-label immunofluorescent studies followed by confocal laser microscopic analysis of the median eminence established the absence of VGLUT2 immunoreactivity in GHRH terminals and its presence in many neurosecretory SS terminals. The GHRH terminals, in turn, were immunoreactive for the vesicular γ-aminobutyric acid (GABA) transporter, used in these studies as a marker for GABA-ergic neuronal phenotype. Together, these results suggest the paradoxic cosecretion of the excitatory amino acid neurotransmitter glutamate with the inhibitory peptide SS and the cosecretion of the inhibitory amino acid neurotransmitter GABA with the stimulatory peptide GHRH. The mechanisms of action of intrinsic amino acids in hypophysiotropic neurosecretory systems require clarification.

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