Charge microheterogeneity of ovine follicle-stimulating hormone in rams and steroid-treated wethers.

B. A. Keel, B. D. Schanbacher

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20 Scopus citations


Chromatofocusing was utilized to separate the isohormones of ovine follicle-stimulating hormone (oFSH) in pituitary extracts from rams, wethers, and wethers receiving Silastic implants of dihydrotestosterone (DHT), 17 beta-estradiol (E2), or both DHT and E2. Pituitary extracts were prepared by homogenization and centrifugation at 100,000 x g. Extracts of ram pituitaries yielded at least nine species (isohormones) of immunoreactive oFSH having apparent isoelectric points (pIs) of greater than 7.40, 6.74, 6.52, 5.76, 5.20, 4.74, 4.44, 4.10, and less than 4.00. These isohormones were designated by the letters A-H and Z, respectively. Eighty-four percent of the immunoreactive ram oFSH recovered from the chromatofocusing column was very acidic in nature, having apparent pIs less than 5.30. The majority of the immunoreactive oFSH was focused in an area different from that of most of the immunoreactive ovine luteinizing hormone (oLH) and ovine thyroid-stimulating hormone (oTSH). Pituitary extracts from control and steroid-treated wethers also contained these nine oFSH isohormones, but significant differences were noted in the relative distribution among the isohormones. Castration resulted in a 4-fold increase in isohormone B and a concomitant reduction in isohormones E and H. DHT administration returned these levels to the values observed in the ram, whereas E2 administration produced a significant 2-fold increase in the most acidic form (isohormone Z). The implant combination produced isohormone profiles comparable to that of E2 alone. Neuraminidase treatment in vitro of both crude pituitary extracts or highly purified iodinated oFSH abolished the most acidic form and caused a marked shift in the isohormone pattern to more basic species. These results demonstrate that 1) at least nine isohormones of oFSH can be separated reproducibly from the male ovine pituitary by chromatofocusing, 2) the majority of FSH in the pituitary exists in acidic form, 3) castration and steroid administration alter the distribution of oFSH in the pituitary among its isohormones, and 4) at least a portion of oFSH-charge microheterogeneity appears to be due to the presence of sialic acid residues on the molecule.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)786-796
Number of pages11
JournalBiology of reproduction
Issue number4
StatePublished - Nov 1987
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Reproductive Medicine
  • Cell Biology


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