Heterozygous gsp Mutation Renders Ion Channels of Human Somatotroph Adenoma Cells Unresponsive to Growth Hormone-Releasing Hormone*

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Ionic mechanisms play an important role in the regulation of hormone secretion. The GHRH-induced GH release by human GH-secreting cells is transmitted through protein kinase A (PKA), which activates nonselective cation current (NSCC) and induces membrane depolarization, intracellular Ca2+ increase, and GH secretion. To evaluate whether ionic mechanisms have pathophysiological significance in GH oversecretion of GH-secreting pituitary adenomas, we examined four adenomas with constitutively active Gsα mutation (gsp mutation) and compared with three gsp-negative adenomas. In primary-cultured cells of gsp-positive adenomas, GHRH did not increase the NSCC under voltage-clamp experiments. Detailed examination showed that NSCC was maximally activated at the basal level and application of GHRH did not increase the current in these adenomas. Furthermore, by using single-cell RT-PCR method, we demonstrated for the first time at the single cell level that gsp mutation is heterozygous in GH-secreting pituitary adenomas. These indicate that heterozygous gsp mutation fully activates NSCC at the basal level, which may account for the GH oversecretion in gsp-positive GH-secreting pituitary adenomas.

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