Regulation of pituitary growth and prolactin gene expression by estrogen.

M. E. Lieberman, R. A. Maurer, P. Claude, J. Wiklund, N. Wertz, J. Gorski

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

52 Scopus citations


We presented evidence that primary cultures of rat pituitary cells respond to estradiol by increased incorporation of precursors into prolactin. The response is specific for estrogenic hormones and is maximal at physiological concentrations of estradiol. The time course and magnitude of the response in cultured cells is in agreement with that observed under in vivo conditions, suggesting that estrogen exerts its effect mainly through a direct action on the pituitary gland. The data presented indicate that estrogen stimulates prolactin synthesis predominantly through increased prolactin mRNA accumulation, and to a lesser extent, through mammotroph cell proliferation. Chronic treatment with DES caused sustained proliferation of pituitary cells leading to prolactin producing pituitary tumors in the Fischer 344 rat, but not in the Holtzman rat. The genetic basis for these differences are currently under investigation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)151-163
Number of pages13
JournalAdvances in experimental medicine and biology
StatePublished - 1981
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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