Thyrotrophin-releasing hormone (TRH)-immunoreactive peptides were extracted from rat prostate and divided into two groups by mini-column cation exchange chromatography. The amounts of the peptides in each group were determined by radioimmunoassay with a TRH antiserum. The unretained peptides which lacked a basic group and the retained peptides which possessed a basic group were further purified by high-performance liquid chromatography. The unretained fraction was found to contain a series of TRH-immunoreactive peptides, one of which corresponded chromatographically to synthetic pGlu-Glu-Pro amide and another to pGlu-Phe-Pro amide. None of the TRH-immunoreactive peptides in either fraction exhibited the chromatographic behaviour of TRH. Additional evidence for the absence of TRH gene expression in the prostate was obtained by Northern blot analysis and by application of polymerase chain reaction amplification, which failed to reveal TRH mRNA. Furthermore the preproTRH-derived peptide, prepro TRH(53-74), could not be detected by radioimmunoassay. The influence of thyroid status was investigated on the levels of the TRH-like peptides in the prostate. Adult rats wre treated chronically with thyroxine (T4) or propylthiouracil (PTU) and the concentrations of the TRH-immunoreactive peptides were determined by chromatography and radioimmunoassay. Treatment with T4 caused the levels of the neutral and acidic TRH-like peptides to fall to approximately one-third of the levels in the controls. No significant difference from the controls was seen in the concentrations of the peptides in the prostates of rats rendered hypothyroid by administration of PTU. The results demonstrate that rat prostate contains TRH-immunoreactive peptides which are not derived from the TRH gene. It is concluded that the TRH-like peptides arise from one or more genes which are structurally distinct from that which codes for the TRH preprohormone. Since these peptides are amidated and their levels are sensitive to hormone administration, it is likely that they fulfil a biological function.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism