Ontogeny of the subcellular compartmentalization of thyrotropin releasing hormone and luteinizing hormone releasing hormone in the rat hypothalamus

A. Barnea, W. B. Neaves, J. C. Porter

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The 900 × g supernatant fluid prepared from hypothalamic homogenates from male and female rats (ranging in age from -1 to 120 days) was fractionated by means of continuous sucrose density gradient centrifugation. Thyrotropin releasing hormone (TRH) and LH releasing hormone (LHRH) in the gradient fractions were quantified by radioimmunoassay. In adult hypothalamic homogenates, TRH and LHRH were associated with two populations of particles distinguishable by their sedimentation properties. Each peptide was in turn distributed in two subpopulations of particles differing in size but similar in density. The distribution of each peptide within its subpopulations of particles was found to be a function of age. In hypothalami of 22-day-old fetuses, TRH was associated almost entirely with the subpopulation of small particles. However, in the neonates, an agedependent increase in the fractional amount of the TRH confined to the subpopulation of large particles was observed. By the 7th day of age, the peptide was equally distributed in the two subpopulations. The buoyant density of the 1-day-old neonatal particles and that of the adult small and large particles containing TRH was similar. The ontogeny of the subcellular compartmentalization of LHRH differed appreciably from that of TRH. LHRH was barely detectable in hypothalami of 22-day-old fetuses but was easily demonstrable in hypothalamic homogenates from 2-day-old neonates. Nevertheless, at this age, the peptide was confined primarily to the subpopulation of large particles, and a similar compartmentalization was noted in hypothalami of 5-and 7-day-old neonates. However, in hypothalami of 14-day-old males and 21-day-old females, association of LHRH with the subpopulation of small particles was evident. It is concluded that 1) the nature of the hypothalamic subcellular compartmentalization of TRH and LHRH is age dependent, 2) the compartmentalization of each peptide in neonatal hypothalami differs from that in the adults, and 3) the development of the mature profile of subcellular compartmentalization of TRH and LHRH proceeds asynchronously.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1068-1079
Number of pages12
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jan 1 1977


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology

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