We investigated the role of macrophage colony-stimulating factor (M-CSF) in the pituitary gland to understand the effect of M-CSF on pituitary hormones and the relationship between the endocrine and immune systems. When we attempted to establish pituitary cell lines from a thyrotropic pituitary tumor (TtT), a macrophage cell line, TtT/M-87, was established. We evaluated M-CSF-like activity in conditioned media (CM) from seven pituitary cell lines using TtT/M-87 cells. TtT/M-87 proliferation significantly increased in the presence of CM from TtT/GF cells, a pituitary folliculostellate (FS) cell line. M-CSF mRNA was detected in TtT/GF and MtT/E cells by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR), and its expression in TtT/GF cells was increased in a lipopolysaccharide (LPS) dose-dependent manner. M-CSF mRNA expression was also increased in rat anterior pituitary glands by LPS. M-CSF receptor (M-CSFR) mRNA was only detected in TtT/M-87 cells and increased in the LPS-stimulated rat pituitary glands. In rat pituitary glands, M-CSF and M-CSFR were found to be localized in FS cells and prolactin (PRL)-secreting cells, respectively, by immunohistochemistry. The PRL concentration in rat sera was significantly increased at 24 h after M-CSF administration, and mRNA levels significantly increased in primary culture cells of rat anterior pituitary glands. In addition, TNF-α mRNA was increased in the primary culture cells by M-CSF. These results revealed that M-CSF was secreted from FS cells and M-CSF regulated PRL expression in rat pituitary glands.
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Vol. 31 • No. 6