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    Olfactory marker protein (OMP) is a marker of olfactory receptor-mediated chemoreception, even outside the olfactory system. Here, we report that OMP expression in the pituitary gland plays a role in basal and thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH)-induced prolactin (PRL) production and secretion. We found that OMP was expressed in human and rodent pituitary glands, especially in PRL-secreting lactotrophs. OMP knockdown in GH4 rat pituitary cells increased PRL production and secretion via extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)1/2 signaling. Real-time PCR analysis and the Ca2+ influx assay revealed that OMP was critical for TRH-induced PRL secretion. OMP-knockout mice showed lower fertility than control mice, which was associated with increased basal PRL production via activation of ERK1/2 signaling and reduced TRH-induced PRL secretion. However, both in vitro and in vivo results indicated that OMP was only required for hormone production and secretion because ERK1/2 activation failed to stimulate cell proliferation. Additionally, patients with prolactinoma lacked OMP expression in tumor tissues with hyperactivated ERK1/2 signaling. These findings indicate that OMP plays a role in PRL production and secretion in lactotrophs through the modulation of Ca2+ and TRH signaling.


    Chan Woo Kang, Ye Eon Han, Mi Kyung Lee, Yoon Hee Cho, NaNa Kang, JaeHyung Koo, Cheol Ryong Ku, Eun Jig Lee. Olfactory marker protein regulates prolactin secretion and production by modulating Ca2+ and TRH signaling in lactotrophs. Experimental & molecular medicine. 2018 Apr 06;50(4):1-11

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    PMID: 29622766

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