Development of an Immortalised, Post-Pubertal Gonadotrophon-Releasing Hormone Neuronal Cell Line

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Gonadotrophin-releasing hormone (GnRH) is important in reproduction, although some of the mechanisms for its synthesis and release remain elusive. Progress in understanding the GnRH neurone has been hampered by the limited number and diffuse distribution of the neurone in the mammalian brain. Several stable GnRH-expressing cell lines have been developed using in vivo expression of the simian virus 40 T Antigen (TAg), and they have been helpful for the study of gene expression and neuronal function. However, expression of an immortalising gene may interfere with normal cellular function. We developed a novel GnRH-secreting cell line transgenic mouse model suitable for targeted transformation in post-pubertal mice using a tetracycline-regulated TAg transgene. This clonal cell line, GRT, expresses neuronal markers and GnRH. GRT cells grown in medium containing tetracycline-free serum express increasing mRNA levels of GnRH associated with declining levels of TAg expression. The novelty and ultimately the usefulness of this cell line is that TAg expression, which could affect the GnRH neuronal phenotype, can be regulated by tetracycline.

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