Desensitization studies using perifused rat pituitary cells show that growth hormone-releasing hormone and His-D-Trp-Ala-Trp-D-Phe-Lys-NH2 stimulate growth hormone release through distinct receptor sites
The hexapeptide His-D-Trp-Ala-Trp-D-Phe-Lys-NH2 (GHRP-6) and GH-releasing factor (GHRH) produced a rapid release of GH upon perifusion of dispersed rat pituitary cells. In contrast to the native hormone GHRH, GHRP-6 elicited a response of short duration. When perifusion of each secretagogue was continued until the cells no longer released GH, a challenge by the alternative secretagogue immediately resulted in a secondary release of GH. These results are consistent with each secretagogue causing desensitization of discrete receptor-linked second messenger pathways. Cells which were perifused for 1 min with GHRP-6 required continued perifusion with culture medium alone for 60 min before they completely regained responsiveness to a subsequent challenge with GHRP-6. Somatostatin (SRIF) was able to inhibit the action of either secretagogue completely. However, when both GHRH and GHRP-6 were perifused together, SRIF attenuated but did not block GH secretion. These perifusion data add support to conclusions derived from static cell culture studies, that GHRH and GHRP-6 act through different receptor sites and that through discrete signalling pathways their individual effects on GH release are amplified.