Somatostatin affects morphology and secretion of pituitary luteinizing hormone (LH) cells in male rats
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The somatostatin peptides (SRIH-14, SRIH-28) and their multiple receptors are generally associated with anti-proliferative and anti-secretory actions. This study compared, using standard morphometric measurements and terminal serum LH concentrations, effects of intracerebroventricular (icv) SRIH-14 and SFIH-28 in nanomolar amounts on immunohistochemically identified LH cells in pituitary glands of male rats. Rats received I mug/5 mul of SRIH-14 or SRIH-28 icv on days 1,3, and 5, whereas control rats received only icv saline. Animals were killed 5 days later for serum LH assays. Pituitarys were harvested for PAP immunohistochemistry and morphometry. Morphometric measurements were made by an observer blinded to the treatment group. Histochemically identified LH cells from both SRIH groups appeared smaller, often pycnotic and darkly stained compared to those from saline-treated rats. Both SRIH treatments reduced (p < 0.05) the quantitative morphometric measurements for cell volume, nuclear volume, and relative volume density. Both SRIH treatments also reduced serum LH concentration (p < 0.05), supporting the hypothesis that systemic physiology was altered. Collectively, the data support the opinion that nanomolar amounts of either SRIH peptide, acting on receptors reached from cerebrospinal fluid, exert an anti-secretory effect on LH cells of male rats. Modifications of central SRIH receptors may provide an approach for treatment of male sexual dysfunction and/or be of pathophysiologic significance in these disturbances. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science Inc. All fights reserved.