Biochimica et biophysica acta

Muscarinic acetylcholine receptor activation causes inhibition of cyclic AMP accumulation, prolactin and growth hormone secretion in GH3 rat anterior pituitary tumour cells.

PMID 6206899


Acetylcholine, oxotremorine and carbachol, compounds that exhibit muscarinic agonist activity, maximally inhibited basal prolactin secretion from GH3 cells by approx. 50% and intracellular cyclic AMP levels by approx. 20%. Both parameters were inhibited with similar potencies by each agonist. These inhibitory effects were blocked by a muscarinic but not by a nicotinic receptor antagonist. In the presence of VIP or IBMX, which raise intracellular cyclic AMP levels and stimulate hormone release, the degree of muscarinic inhibition was increased, but the potency remained unchanged. Similar changes in the secretory rate of prolactin and growth hormone occurred in these and in cell perifusion experiments. These results suggest that the inhibition of hormone secretion from GH3 cells by muscarinic agonists is mediated by a decrease in intracellular cyclic AMP levels.