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    In addition to key mammotrophic hormones such as the pituitary prolactin (PRL) and the ovarian steroids progesterone and estradiol, there are local factors that modulate the tissue dynamics of the mammary glands during pregnancy and lactation. By immunohistochemistry and RT-PCR, we found local transcription and translation of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GNRH), GNRH receptor (GNRHR), PRL and PRL receptor (PRLR) in mammary glands of adult vizcachas during pregnancy and lactation. Both GNRH and GNRHR showed a lag between protein expression and gene transcription throughout the gestational period: while the highest transcription levels of these genes were recorded at early-pregnancy, the epithelial immunoexpressions of both showed their maximum during lactation. RIA results corroborated the presence of GNRH in mammary glands at all the analyzed stages and confirmed the maximum amount of this peptide in the lactating group. Significant amounts of GNRH were detected in milk samples as well. Conversely, PRL and PRLR shared similar protein and gene expression profiles, all exhibiting maximum values during lactation. GNRH peptide content in mammary glands of females with sulpiride-induced hyperprolactinemia (HP) was significantly lower than that of control females (CT). Although PRL mRNA levels remained unchanged, there was a marked increase in theα-lactalbumin (LALBA) transcription in mammary glands of HP- vs CT-females. These results suggest that after targeting mammary glands, PRL stimulates the expression of milk protein genes, but also, tempers the local expression of GNRH. Mammary gland-explantssupplemented with a GNRH analogue (GN-explants) had no differences in terms of PRLR orLALBA transcription levels compared to CT-explants, so the mammary PRLR signaling would not appear to be modulated by GNRH. Yet, mRNA expression levels of both GNRH and the GNRHR-downstream factor, EGR1, were significantly higher in GN-explants compared to that of CT which would point to a GNRH-positive feedback mechanism. In summary, the local coupled expression of GNRH, GNRHR and EGR1 in the mammary gland throughout pregnancy of vizcachas, the PRL-dependent mammary GNRH secretion as well as the GNRH positive feedback on its own transcription suggest an autocrine-paracrine regulatory mechanism and propose an active role for GNRH in mammary gland tissue remodeling. Copyright © 2020 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


    María Clara Corso, Santiago Andrés Cortasa, Alejandro Raúl Schmidt, Sofía Proietto, Pablo Ignacio Felipe Inserra, Marina Olga Fernández, Noelia Di Giorgio, Victoria Lux-Lantos, Alfredo Daniel Vitullo, Verónica Berta Dorfman, Julia Halperin. Mammary gland-specific regulation of GNRH and GNRH-receptor gene expression is likely part of a local autoregulatory system in female vizcachas (Rodentia: Chinchillidae). General and comparative endocrinology. 2020 Sep 15;296:113518

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    PMID: 32474048

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