PRL secretion from the anterior pituitary gland is inhibited by dopamine produced in the tuberoinfundibular dopamine neurons of the hypothalamus. The activity of tuberoinfundibular dopamine neurons is stimulated by PRL; thus, PRL regulates its own secretion by a negative feedback mechanism. PRL receptors are expressed on tuberoinfundibular dopamine neurons, but the intracellular signaling pathway is not known. We have observed that mice with a disrupted signal transducer and activator of transcription 5b gene have grossly elevated serum PRL concentrations. Despite this hyperprolactinemia, mRNA levels and immunoreactivity of tyrosine hydroxylase, the key enzyme in dopamine synthesis, were significantly lower in the tuberoinfundibular dopamine neurons of these signal transducer and activator of transcription 5b-deficient mice. Concentrations of the dopamine metabolite dihydroxyphenylacetic acid in the median eminence were also significantly lower in signal transducer and activator of transcription 5b-deficient mice than in wild-type mice. No changes were observed in nonhypothalamic dopaminergic neuronal populations, indicating that the effects were selective to tuberoinfundibular dopamine neurons. These data indicate that in the absence of signal transducer and activator of transcription 5b, PRL signal transduction in tuberoinfundibular dopamine neurons is impaired, and they demonstrate that this transcription factor plays an obligatory and nonredundant role in mediating the negative feedback action of PRL on tuberoinfundibular dopamine neurons.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism