Mechanisms for PACAP-induced prolactin gene expression in grass carp pituitary cells

Chengyuan Lin*, Xue Jiang, Mulan He, Ling Zhao, Tao Huang, Zhaoxiang BIAN, Anderson O.L. Wong

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)
20 Downloads (Pure)


In mammals, pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP) is a pleiotropic hormone with diverse functions but its role in prolactin (PRL) regulation is highly controversial. To shed light on Prl regulation by PACAP in fish model, grass carp pituitary cells was used as a model to examine the receptor specificity and signal transduction for PACAP modulation of prl gene expression in the carp pituitary. Using RT-PCR, PACAP-selective PAC1 receptor was detected in carp lactotrophs. In carp pituitary cells, nanomolar doses of PACAP, but not VIP, could elevate Prl secretion and protein production with concurrent rise in prl mRNA and these stimulatory effects were blocked by PACAP antagonist but not VIP antagonist. PACAP-induced prl mRNA expression could be mimicked by activating adenylate cyclase (AC), increasing cAMP level by cAMP analog, or increasing intracellular Ca2+ ([Ca2+]i) by Ca2+ ionophore/voltage-sensitive Ca2+ channel (VSCC) activator. PACAP-induced prl gene expression, however, was attenuated/ abolished by suppressing cAMP production, inhibiting PKA activity, blocking [Ca2+] i mobilization and VSCC activation, calmodulin (CaM) antagonism, and inactivation of JNK and CaM Kinase II (CaMK-II). Similar sensitivity to CaM, JNK, and CaMK-II blockade was also noted by substituting cAMP analog for PACAP as the stimulant for prl mRNA expression. These results, as a whole, provide evidence for the first time that (i) PACAP activation of PAC1 receptor expressed in carp lactotrophs could induce Prl synthesis and secretion, and (ii) Prl production induced by PACAP was mediated by upregulation of prl gene expression, presumably via functional coupling of cAMP/PKA-, Ca2+/CaM-, and MAPK-dependent cascades.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)37-51
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Endocrinology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2017

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology

User-Defined Keywords

  • Grass carp
  • PAC-I receptor
  • Pituitary
  • Prolactin
  • Signal transduction


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