Basic fibroblastic growth factor stimulates prolactin secretion from human anterior pituitary adenomas without affecting adenoma cell proliferation

Stephen Atkin, A. M. Landolt, R. V. Jeffreys, M. Diver, J. Radcliffe, M. C. White

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31 Citations (Scopus)


The effects of human recombinant basic fibroblastic growth factor (bFGF) on the secretion and/or proliferation of 26 human anterior pituitary adenomas secreting PRL alone (6 tumors), PRL and GH (18 tumors), or GH alone (2 tumors) were examined. Secretory studies were performed over 4 h, 4 days, and 21 days, and proliferation studies over 4 days. The acute effect of bFGF on secretion over 4 h was examined in 10 tumors. bFGF (10 nmol/L) increased PRL compared to that in controls (100%) in 2 tumors (126% and 290%; P < 0.05) and PRL and GH in a third tumor (183% and 133%, respectively; P < 0.05), whereas 7 tumors remained unaffected. Fourteen tumors were studied over 4 days. bFGF (10 nmol/L) increased PRL secretion in 9 of 11 tumors (117-525%; P < 0.05) cosecreting PRL and GH and in all 3 tumors secreting PRL alone (156%, 183%, and 691%; P < 0.01). Dose-response curves with 0.1, and 10 nmol/L bFGF in 2 of these tumors cosecreting GH and PRL showed that stimulation was achieved with all 3 concentrations. bFGF (10 nmol/L) stimulated GH secretion in 2 of 11 mixed tumors (159% and 196%, respectively; P < 0.05). In 2 tumors studied over 3 weeks, 5 nmol/L bFGF stimulated PRL secretion progressively without affecting GH secretion (106% and 207%; P < 0.05). Tissue proliferation was determined by double immunostaining after bromodeoxyuridine incorporation for 1 h in 7 tumors after 4 days. The labeling index did not exceed 1.2% in any tumor, and there was no effect of 10 nmol/L bFGF on the proliferation of adenoma cells. These results suggest that bFGF may have a paracrine role in the stimulatory regulation of PRL secretion in human pituitary adenomas, and these effects are most likely due to increased hormonal synthesis. An in vitro cell culture system can be used to study proliferative potential. However, bFGF is not mitogenic for human anterior pituitary adenomas secreting PRL and PRL plus GH in vitro.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)831-837
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Biochemistry
  • Endocrinology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Biochemistry, medical

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