The mRNA species for prolactin receptor (PRL-R) isoforms, long and short form PRL-Rs, were estimated by the reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction method in the rat brain (cerebrum) during the oestrous cycle, pregnancy and lactation. The levels of long form PRL-R mRNA increased at pro- oestrus and oestrus, at the same time as serum prolactin levels increased, whereas the mRNA level of short form PRL-R was relatively unchanged. Long form PRL-R mRNA expression was also markedly increased in the brain at mid- and late gestation, and this elevated mRNA level was maintained during the period of lactation. In contrast, basal levels of short form PRL-R mRNA were also maintained throughout these periods of gestation and lactation. Ovariectomy moderately reduced brain mRNA levels of both long and short form PRL-R from the levels of those in control dioestrous rats, and hypophysectomy further suppressed them to the lowest levels. Administration of oestradiol valerate (E2V) or 17α-hydroxyprogesterone caproate (17OHPC) to ovariectomized rats resulted in dramatic increases in long form PRL-R mRNA levels in the brain, whereas no significant increase in short form PRL-R mRNA was observed. In rats which were ovariectomized and hypophysectomized, the administration of 17OHPC, rat prolactin or rat GH partially restored the brain level of long form PRL-R mRNA but not short form PRL-R mRNA. E2V, on the other hand, had no effect on the expression of brain PRL-R mRNAs in these hypophysectomized rats, suggesting that the stimulatory effect of E2V on long form PRL-R mRNA expression in ovariectomized rats was mediated by an enhanced secretion of a pituitary hormone, prolactin. These results suggest that the expression of long form PRL-R mRNA in the rat brain is directly induced by progesterone, prolactin or GH during the oestrous cycle, pregnancy and lactation.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism