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Prolactin gene expression in mouse pancreatic islets

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Mouse prolactin (mPRL) is a single-chain polypeptide hormone, that is generally secreted from the prolactin cells of the anterior pituitary gland into the blood. However, recent studies have reported the ectopic gene expression of prolactin in several tissues, including the mammary gland, mammary tumors, lymphocytes, brain and decidua. In the present study, PRL gene expression was determined by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) followed by Southern blot analysis and the nucleotide sequence analysis of the amplified complementary DNA (cDNA) . In situ hybridization was also performed to determine the localization of mPRL mRNA in the pancreas of adult male and female mice during pregnancy and lactation. Total ribonucleic acid (RNA) extracted from the pancreas was reverse transcribed, followed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) with primers specific for a part of the mPRL cDNA. An amplified product was detected in all samples from the pancreas. This product hybridized specifically to a probe overlapping the entire mPRL cDNA sequence in Southern blot analysis. Nucleotide sequence analysis indicated that the amplified product was completely identical to the pituitary PRL cDNA sequence. Moreover, PRL mRNA was observed in the pancreatic islets by in situ hybridization. These results suggest that PRL mRNA is expressed in mouse pancreatic islets and that PRL may have some autocrine and/or paracrine roles in these tissues.
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Keywords: RT-PCR; Southern blotting; in situ hybridization; mouse prolactin; pancreas

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Faculty of Agriculture, Meiji University, Tama-ku, Kawasaki-shi, Japan

Publication date: February 1, 2002

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