Involvement of thyrotropin-releasing hormone receptor, somatostatin receptor subtype 2 and corticotropin-releasing hormone receptor type 1 in the control of chicken thyrotropin secretion
Thyrotropin or thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) secretion in the chicken is controlled by several hypothalamic hormones. It is stimulated by thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) and corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH), whereas somatostatin (SRIH) exerts an inhibitory effect. In order to determine the mechanism by which these hypothalamic hormones modulate chicken TSH release, we examined the cellular localization of TRH receptors (TRH-R), CRH receptors type 1 (CRH-R1) and somatostatin subtype 2 receptors (SSTR2) in the chicken pars distalis by in situ hybridization (ISH), combined with immunological staining of thyrotropes. We show that thyrotropes express TRH-Rs and SSTR2s, allowing a direct action of TRH and SRIH at the level of the thyrotropes. CRH-R1 expression is virtually confined to corticotropes, suggesting that CRH-induced adrenocorticotropin release is the result of a direct stimulation of corticotropes, whereas CRH-stimulated TSH release is not directly mediated by the known chicken CRH-R1. Possibly CRH-induced TSH secretion is mediated by a yet unknown type of CRH-R in the chicken. Alternatively, a pro-opiomelanocortin (POMC)-derived peptide, secreted by the corticotropes following CRH stimulation, could act as an activator of TSH secretion in a paracrine way.