Identification of oxytocin and vasopressin from neurohypophyseal cell culture.

Abstract

Our observation that dispersed cultures of neurohypophysis obtained from adult rats are capable of synthesizing and releasing oxytocin and vasopressin is unexpected, because in whole animals these hormones are known only to be stored, not to be produced in the posterior lobe of the pituitary. The hormone content of cell culture medium was elevated from 0 to 129 +/- 14 pg/mg protein for oxytocin and from 0 to 42 +/- 4 pg/mg protein for vasopressin during two weeks as determined by specific radioimmunoassay. By molecular mass and structure determination (tandem mass spectrometry) we have proved that the supernatant of the cell cultures contains not only immunologically but mass spectrometrically identified neurohypophyseal hormones.