Protein kinase C (PKC) is a critical regulator of signal transduction and cell function in many tissues, including pituitary. Although PKC influences pituitary hormone secretion in adults, its role in determining characteristic perinatal patterns of hormone secretion and synthesis is not known, and the expression of major PKC isotypes in perinatal pituitary is poorly defined. We therefore determined the developmental, cell-specific expression of the major PKC isotypes, using Western analysis and double label immunohistochemistry, in pituitaries of perinatal and mature rats. Expression of specific PKC isotypes was strikingly age-dependent. Pituitary expression of PKC α was particularly high in neonates and declined significantly with age, with levels in adult rats approximately half those of neonates as assessed by Western analysis. Similarly, immunohistochemistry indicated that PKC α was less abundant in adult than in neonatal pituitaries; the most intensely staining cells of both age groups were identified as somatotrophs and gonadotrophs, In contrast to PKC α, pituitary expression of PKC ε increased approximately two-fold with advancing age as assessed by Western analysis; this age-dependent pattern was confirmed by immunohistochemistry. Perinatal pituitaries expressed PKC ε in some somatotrophs and in all gonadotrophs, whereas PKC ε expression was limited to gonadotrophs in the mature pituitary. Pituitary expression of PKC β@?, δ, and ζ did not differ with age, and PKC γ was not detected in pituitaries of any age group. These results indicate that expression of PKC isotypes within the pituitary is developmentally regulated in a cell-specific and isotype-specific manner, and are consistent with the concept that PKC contributes to the regulation of pituitary function during early development.
- Protein kinase C
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
- Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience