Close association of gonadotropin-releasing hormone fibers and gonadotropin, growth hormone, somatolactin and prolactin expressing cells in pejerrey, Odontesthes bonariensis
Three forms of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) are isolated and identified here by chemical sequence analysis for one species of tilapia, Oreochromis niloticus, and by HPLC elution position for a second species of tilapia, O. mossambicus. Of the three GnRH forms in O. mossambicus, chicken GnRH-II (cGnRH-II) and sea bream GnRH (sbGnRH) are present in greater abundance in the brain and pituitary than salmon GnRH (sGnRH). These three native forms of GnRH are shown to stimulate the release of prolactin (PRL) from the rostral pars distalis (RPD) of the pituitary of O. mossambicus in vitro with the following order of potency: cGnRH-II > sGnRH > sbGnRH. In addition, a mammalian GnRH analog stimulated the release of PRL from the pituitary RPD incubated in either iso-osmotic (320 mosmol/l) or hyperosmotic (355 mosmol/l) medium, the latter normally inhibiting PRL release. The response of the pituitary RPD to GnRH was augmented by co-incubation with testosterone or 17 beta-estradiol. The effects of GnRH on PRL release appear to be direct effects on PRL cells because the RPD of tilapia contains a nearly homogeneous mass of PRL cells without intermixing of gonadotrophs. Our data suggest that GnRH plays a broad role in fish, depending on the species, by affecting not only gonadotropins and growth hormone, but also PRL.