Olfactory marker protein (OMP) is a marker of olfactory receptor-mediated chemoreception, even outside the olfactory system. Here, we report that OMP expression in the pituitary gland plays a role in basal and thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH)-induced prolactin (PRL) production and secretion. We found that OMP was expressed in human and rodent pituitary glands, especially in PRL-secreting lactotrophs. OMP knockdown in GH4 rat pituitary cells increased PRL production and secretion via extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK)1/2 signaling. Real-time PCR analysis and the Ca2+ influx assay revealed that OMP was critical for TRH-induced PRL secretion. OMP-knockout mice showed lower fertility than control mice, which was associated with increased basal PRL production via activation of ERK1/2 signaling and reduced TRH-induced PRL secretion. However, both in vitro and in vivo results indicated that OMP was only required for hormone production and secretion because ERK1/2 activation failed to stimulate cell proliferation. Additionally, patients with prolactinoma lacked OMP expression in tumor tissues with hyperactivated ERK1/2 signaling. These findings indicate that OMP plays a role in PRL production and secretion in lactotrophs through the modulation of Ca2+ and TRH signaling.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Molecular Medicine
- Molecular Biology
- Clinical Biochemistry