The effect of transient dopamine antagonism on thyrotropin-releasing hormone-induced prolactin release in pregnant rats.Endocrinology. 1986 Nov; 119(5):1980-8.E
The effect of transient dopamine (DA) antagonism on the sensitivity of pituitary lactotrophs to the PRL-releasing effect of TRH was investigated in rats on days 3, 9, 15, and 21 of pregnancy. Each animal, bearing an indwelling intraatrial catheter, received injections of either the DA antagonist domperidone (0.01 mg/rat, iv) or saline at 0930 h on the day of the experiment. Five minutes later, all animals were given the DA agonist 2-bromo-alpha-ergocryptine maleate (CB-154; 0.5 mg/rat, iv), followed 60 min later by the administration of TRH (1.0 microgram/rat iv). Plasma samples obtained during the experiment were assayed by RIA for PRL and progesterone (P). The results showed that transient DA antagonism increased the sensitivity to TRH as a PRL-releasing stimulus on the morning of day 3 of pregnancy, but not on days 9 and 15. However, the response was present on day 9 in animals that were hysterectomized (HS) on day 6 of pregnancy. The increase in sensitivity of lactotrophs to TRH after DA blockade was observed on day 21 of pregnancy. Plasma levels of P were high on days 3, 9, and 15, but decreased markedly by day 21. In a second experiment, the anterior pituitary (AP) PRL content was determined on days 3, 9, 15, and 21 of pregnancy. The results demonstrated that AP PRL significantly decreased between days 3 and 9 of pregnancy in both intact and HS animals. However, AP PRL concentrations in animals killed on days 15 and 21 were significantly greater than that on day 9 but were not different from that observed on day 3 of pregnancy. We conclude that the ability to transform AP PRL to a TRH-releasable pool by the transient blockade of DA is present in early and late pregnancy, but is absent in midpregnancy. Since this secretory mechanism is retained on day 9 after hysterectomy on day 6 of pregnancy, it appears that the secretory products of the uterine-placental unit are inhibitory to transformation. Further, this inhibitory effect at midpregnancy cannot simply be the result of decreased AP PRL content or changes in plasma P. Finally, the return of the transformation mechanism on the day before parturition (day 21) may be due to the increase in estrogen secretion that occurs in late pregnancy, since we have previously shown that estrogen can induce this AP secretory mechanism.