Serum and pituitary glands were taken from male Mongolian gerbils which had received bromocriptine implants, ether stress or no treatment (controls). Pituitary prolactin (Prl) and growth hormone (GH) mRNA were analyzed by Northern hybridization using rat cDNA probes. Pituitary and plasma Prl content were analyzed with the Nb2 lymphoma cell growth bioassay. These assays were sensitive to the decreases in Prl caused by bromocriptine and the elevation of Prl caused by ether stress. The inhibition of pituitary and plasma Prl levels by bromocriptine correlated with a marked inhibition of pituitary Prl mRNA content. In contrast, levels of GH mRNA did not change with treatment, indicating that gerbil GH does not contribute to the lactogenic activity measured in the Nb2 lymphoma cell bioassay. The results indicate that this bioassay is suitable for the measurement of gerbil pituitary and plasma Prl. © 1989.
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