Immortalized hypothalamic luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LHRH) neurons: a new tool for dissecting the molecular and cellular basis of LHRH physiology.
1. Two LHRH neuronal cell lines were developed by targeted tumorigenesis of LHRH neurons in vivo. These cell lines (GN and GT-1 cells) represent a homogeneous population of neurons. GT-1 cells have been further subcloned to produce the GT1-1, GT1-3, and GT1-7 cell lines. While considerable information is accumulating about GT-1 cells, very little is currently known about the characteristics and responses of GN cells. 2. By both morphological and biochemical criteria, GT-1 cells are clearly neurons. All GT-1 cells immunostain for LHRH and the levels of prohormone, peptide intermediates, and LHRH in the cells and medium are relatively high. 3. GT-1 cells biosynthesize, process, and secrete LHRH. Processing of pro-LHRH appears to be very similar to that reported for LHRH neurons in vivo. At least four enzymes may be involved in processing the prohormone to LHRH. 4. LHRH neurons are unique among the neurons of the central nervous system because they arise from the olfactory placode and grow back into the preoptic-anterior hypothalamic region of the brain. Once these neurons reach this location, they send their axons to the median eminence. With respect to the immortalized neurons, GN cells were arrested during their transit to the brain. In contrast, GT-1 cells were able to migrate to the preoptic-anterior hypothalamic region but were unable correctly to target their axons to the median eminence. These problems in migration and targeting appear to be due to expression of the simian virus T-antigen. 5. While GT-1 cells are a homogeneous population of neurons, they are amenable to coculture with other types of cells. Coculture experiments currently under way should help not only to reveal some of the molecular and cellular cues that are important for neuronal migration and axonal targeting, but they should also highlight the nature of the cellular interactions which normally occur in situ. 6. GT-1 cells spontaneously secrete LHRH in a pulsatile manner. The interpulse interval for LHRH from these cells is almost identical to that reported for release of LH and LHRH in vivo. GT-1 cells are interconnected by both gap junctions and synapses. The coordination and synchronization of secretion from these cells could occur through these interconnections, by feedback from LHRH itself, and/or by several different compounds that are secreted by these cells. One such compound is nitric oxide. 7. GT-1 cells have Na+, K+, Ca2+, and Cl- channels.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)
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