Rat pituitary RNA was translated in the wheat germ system. Preprolactin messenger RNA activity was estimated by adsorption of cell-free products to solid phase antiprolactin. When male rats were injected for 4 days with estradiol-17β, pituitary preprolactin mRNA activity was increased 2.5- to 3.0-fold over controls. This increase was evident when either total RNA, poly(adenylic acid) RNA, or polysomal RNA was translated in the cell-free system. In male rats receiving daily injections of estradiol-17β, preprolactin mRNA activity was increased to an apparent maximum of 300% of controls after 7 days of treatment. Our data also indicate that estradiol increases preprolactin mRNA activity per µg of RNA as well as the pituitary content of RNA. After estradiol treatment was discontinued, preprolactin mRNA activity declined to 50% of the maximum stimulation after approximately 2 days. In ovariectomized retired breeder female rats, a 5-fold increase in preprolactin activity over ovariectomized controls was obtained. In other studies, a 2-fold increase in preprolactin mRNA activity was obtained in male rats 24 h after a single injection of pimozide, a dopamine blocking drug.
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