The regional distribution of human GH-releasing hormone (hGHRH) in the hypothalamus was determined by RIA using a standardized microdissection technique. The antiserum used in the RIA is highly specific for human GHRH-44, and cross-reactivity to hGHRH-40 is minimal (<0.06%). The concentration and content of immunoreactive hGHRH-44 (IR-GHRH) were measured in extracts of 12 nuclei and areas microdissected from hypothalami from 5 autopsy subjects. Extracts of proximal and distal pituitary stalk were similarly analyzed for IR-GHRH. The highest concentration of IR-GHRH in the hypothalamus was in the infundibular nucleus, with lesser concentrations in the periventricular area and paraventricular and supraoptic nuclei. All other regions had measurable concentrations, except the mammillary nuclei. There was 56.1 ± 12.4 (±SD) ng (11.1 ± 1.2 pmol) IR-GHRH in the human hypothalamus and pituitary stalk, with 62% in the pituitary stalk. IR-GHRH in tissue extracts produced the same dose-response curve as did hGHRH in the RIA and coeluted with synthetic hGHRH-44 on gel filtration. Our results indicate the following. 1) The regional distribution of IR-GHRH in the human hypothalamus differs from the regional distributions of other neuropeptides. 2) The infundibular nucleus contains the greatest IR-GHRH regional concentration, in accord with immunohistochemical studies. 3) Appreciable concentrations of IR-GHRH are found in regions not previously identified by immunohistochemical techniques. 4) The IR-GHRH molar content in the hypothalamus-pituitary stalk is lower than that reported for other hypothalamic releasing hormones.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Clinical Biochemistry
- Biochemistry, medical