Significance of growth hormone-releasing hormone receptor mRNA in non-neoplastic pituitary and pituitary adenomas: a study by RT-PCR and in situ hybridization

J Neurooncol. 1999 Feb;41(3):197-204. doi: 10.1023/a:1006151001536.


This study examined the expression of human growth hormone-releasing hormone receptor (GHRH-R) mRNA in both non-neoplastic pituitary tissues and pituitary adenomas by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and in situ hybridization (ISH). RT-PCR analysis showed that all of the non-neoplastic pituitaries and all GH-producing adenomas, one prolactinoma and one third of the non-functioning adenomas expressed GHRH-R mRNA. ISH demonstrated that all of GH-producing adenomas and two prolactinomas expressed GHRH-R mRNA. The expression of GHRH-R mRNA in GH-producing adenomas was greater than that in the other adenomas by RT-PCR and ISH. GHRH-R mRNA detected by ISH was observed only in GH cells from the pituitary gland of a young girl. In pituitary adenomas, a diffuse signal was observed in the cytoplasm of all of the GH-producing adenomas and in two prolactinomas. Expression of GHRH-R mRNA was not seen in normal prolactin cells, or in any adenomas other than GH-producing adenomas and a few prolactinomas. These results suggest that GHRH-R mRNA plays a role mainly in the function of GH-producing adenomas but may also play a role in function of some prolactinomas.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adenoma / genetics*
  • Adenoma / pathology
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • In Situ Hybridization / methods
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pituitary Gland / metabolism*
  • Pituitary Gland / pathology
  • Pituitary Neoplasms / genetics*
  • Pituitary Neoplasms / pathology
  • Prolactinoma / genetics
  • Prolactinoma / pathology
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics*
  • Receptors, Neuropeptide / genetics*
  • Receptors, Pituitary Hormone-Regulating Hormone / genetics*
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction / methods


  • RNA, Messenger
  • Receptors, Neuropeptide
  • Receptors, Pituitary Hormone-Regulating Hormone
  • somatotropin releasing hormone receptor