Rapid, nongenomic effects of testosterone on PRL release in vitro were investigated. Anterior pituitary tissue from adult male rats was stimulated in vitro for 5 or 20 min with testosterone (T; 1 or 100 nM) or testosterone-BSA (T-BSA; 1 or 100 nM) with or without 1.2 mM tannic acid, which enables visualization of secretory granule exocytosis. Within 5 min, both concentrations of T and T-BSA stimulated exocytosis from type 2 lactotrophs (characterized by small spherical granules), but not from type 1 lactotrophs (characterized by large polymorphic granules). The effects of T on type 2 lactotrophs could be blocked by preincubation with dopamine (500 nM), but were not time or concentration dependent, and could not be inhibited by 1) removal of extracellular Ca2+, 2) the L-type Ca2+ channel blocker nifedipine (100 nM), 3) the Ca2+-adenosine triphosphatase inhibitor thapsigargin (150 nM), 4) the PKC inhibitor retinal (10 microM), or 5) the gamma-aminobutyric acidA chloride channel blocker picrotoxin (100 microM). T-BSA (0.1 nM to 1 microM) for 5 or 20 min also caused an increased release of immunoreactive PRL into the medium compared with control incubations. T and T-BSA did not stimulate exocytosis from gonadotrophs or cause LH release. In conclusion, we report for the first time a rapid, nongenomic effect of T on PRL secretion.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





3111 - 3119


Animals, Calcium, Calcium Channel Blockers, Calcium-Transporting ATPases, Cattle, Enzyme Inhibitors, Exocytosis, Fixatives, Hydrolyzable Tannins, Luteinizing Hormone, Male, Microscopy, Electron, Pituitary Gland, Pituitary Gland, Anterior, Prolactin, Protein Kinase C, Radioimmunoassay, Rats, Rats, Sprague-Dawley, Serum Albumin, Bovine, Testosterone