1. The release of growth hormone from isolated fragments of rat anterior pituitary tissue incubated in vitro was studied by employing a double-antibody radioimmunoassay. 2. In the absence of added stimuli, two phases of hormone release could be distinguished, an early phase of 2h duration and a subsequent late phase. In the early phase, hormone release was rapid but could be significantly decreased by calcium depletion and by 2,4-dinitrophenol whereas the rate of release in the late phase was uninfluenced by these incubation conditions. These results have been interpreted as indicating the existence of a secretory component in the early phase of release. 3. In subsequent experiments, the effects of various agents on the rate of hormone output during the late phase of incubation were investigated. Hormone release was increased by theophylline and by dibutyryl cyclic AMP (N6-2′-O-dibutyryl-adenosine 3′:5′-cyclic monophosphate), the response to both of these agents being related to the concentration of the stimulant employed. 4. The stimulation of growth hormone output by theophylline was significantly decreased by calcium deprivation and by 2,4-dinitrophenol. The response to dibutyryl cyclic AMP was diminished by 2,4-dinitrophenol, iodoacetate and 2-deoxyglucose but not by malonate or colchicine. 5. Arginine, β-hydroxybutyrate, albumin-bound palmitate and variation in the glucose concentration of the incubation medium over a wide range were without any statistically significant effect on the rate of hormone release from either control pituitary fragments or those subject to secretory stimulation by dibutyryl cyclic AMP. 6. It is suggested that the regulation of growth hormone secretion is mediated by cyclic AMP (adenosine 3′:5′-cyclic monophosphate). The secretion observed in response to cyclic AMP requires the presence of ionized calcium and a source of metabolic energy but is independent of pituitary protein synthesis de novo. The integrity of the glycolytic pathway of glucose metabolism appears to be essential for cyclic AMP-stimulated growth hormone secretion to occur.

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