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Cell Biology International (1997) 21, 787–792 (Printed in Great Britain)
aINIBIOLP—Histology and Embryology ‘B’, Faculty of Medicine, National University of La Plata, CC455, 1900, La Plata, Argentina


Histones display hormone-like properties when present in extracellular fluids. The authors report that histones H2A and H2B possess growth hormone (GH)-releasing activityin vitroand describe the specificity and signal transduction pathways involved in these effects. Perfused and incubated rat pituitary cells were used in different sets of experiments and GH release was measured by radio-immunoassay (RIA). Perfusion of cells with 30μmhistone H2A or H2B, generated significant GH secretory responses. Cells incubated with histone H2A showed a dose- and time-dependent stimulatory effect on GH release which was blocked by peptide MB35, a synthetic fragment of histone H2A. Incubation of pituitary cells with the GH secretagogue GHRP-6, and histones revealed an additive release of GH, whereas GHRH and histones revealed a synergistic effect. The basic peptide poly-Lys did not mimetize the action of histones. Both EGTA and the protein kinase C inhibitor trifluoperazine, but not the calcium ionophre A23187, were able to reduce significantly the GH response of somatotrophs to histones. Pituitary cell incubation with 30μmforskolin alone or in the presence of H2A or H2B, stimulated GH release in the same magnitude. The results confirm previous evidence that histones may act as hypophysotropic signals and suggest, although do not prove, that this activity is receptor dependent. Calcium- and diacylglycerol-associated pathways participate in these effects.

Keywords: histones, pituitary cells, GH, MB35, calcium, diacylglycerol.


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ISSN Print: 1065-6995
ISSN Electronic: 1095-8355
Published by Portland Press Limited on behalf of the International Federation for Cell Biology (IFCB)