Utilizing a specific RIA for rat (r) GRF, hypothalamus and cerebral cortex from adult rat and long term dissociated fetal rat hypothalamic and cerebral cortical cell cultures were investigated for the presence of rGRF immunoreactivity (IR-GRF). After homogenization in an acidic medium, tissues and cultures were extracted on octadecylsilyl-silica columns, and IR-GRF and somatostatin (IR-SS) were measured by RIA. In extracts from the hypothalamus from the adult rat the content of IR-GRF was 3.02 ± 0.16 ng (± SE) per hypothalamus. IR-GRF was identical with synthetic rGRF on gel filtration chromatography and by parallel displacement of dilutions of extract in RIA. In extracts from cerebral cortex isolated from the adult rat, no IR-GRF was detected. In extracts from long term dissociated cell cultures from fetal hypothalamic, 7.3 ± 7 pg/106 cells of IR-GRF were present and were identical with synthetic rGRF by chromatographic and immunological criteria. In the extracts from cerebral cortical cell cultures cross-reacting material was present which on gel filtration chromatography revealed two peaks of immunoreactivity of higher mol wt than synthetic rGRF. There was nonparallelism on dilution of the extract. The ratio of IR-SS to IR-GRF by weight (IR-SS/IR-GRF) was calculated to compare the relative abundance of IR-GRF in cultured hypothalamic cells. In the hypothalamus isolated from the adult rat the ratio of IR-SS/IR-GRF by weight was 15.8 ± 1.4 as compared to 48.9 ± 10.3 in hypothalamic cultures. We conclude that IR-GRF indistinguishable from synthetic rGRF is present in long term dissociated hypothalamic cell cultures, but is relatively less abundant than in the hypothalamus of the adult rat when compared on the basis of IR-SS. No IR-GRF was detectable in cerebral cortex of the adult rat. At least one cross-reacting molecular species is detected in cerebral cortical cultures by the rGRF RIA, but exhibits non-parallelism and has a higher mol wt than synthetic rGRF. The increase of the ratio of IR-SS/IR-GRF in hypothalamic cell cultures in vitro compared to hypothalamus in vivo suggests that the culture conditions change differentially the expression of IR-SS and IR-GRF.
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