Phosphatidylinositol (Ptd Ins) breakdown in response to thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) was measured after preincubation of both normal rat anterior pituitary cells and GH3 turnout cells with [3H]inositol by the determination of [3H]inositol phosphate accumulation in the presence of lithium (which inhibits myo-inositol phosphatase). The method employed, which was originally developed for use with tissue slices, was adapted for isolated cells in monolayer culture. In GH3 cells, TRH stimulated the breakdown of phosphoinositide in a manner similar to that reported previously using alternative methods. Furthermore, in normal male anterior pituitary cells the dose-response profile for TRH stimulation of inositol phosphate accumulation was found to correlate well with the dose-response profile for TRH stimulation of prolactin secretion. As this response was maintained in the absence of added calcium, the breakdown of phosphoinositide would appear to be implicated as an event preceding calcium mobilization.

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