Verapamil: Influence upon Basal and Stimulated Rat Growth Hormone and Prolactin Release in Vitro

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Verapamil is an organic calcium antagonist which is believed to prevent the passage of calcium (Ca2+) across the cell membrane into the cell. In a rat pituitary perifusion-immunoprecipitation system, verapamil (50 μM) prevents the inhibitory effect of increased extracellular Ca2+ (5.4 mM) on basal and stimulated release of stored, prelabeled [3H]GH and [3H]PRL. [3H]GH release from pituitary explants perifused in standard medium (GIBCO Minimum Essential Medium: 1.8 mM Ca2+) is transiently increased by 50 μM verapamil while [3H]PRL release is suppressed. With continued exposure to 50 μM verapamil, [3H]GH release rates fall below (89.8 ± 2.1% of base) preverapamil levels while [3H]PRL release rates simply remain suppressed (48.2 ± 7.3% of base). With 250 μM verapamil, poststimulatory inhibition of [3H]GH release occurs more quickly, and after its withdrawal rebound release of both GH and PRL occur. Inhibition of [3H]GH release by 25 nM somatostatin (SRIF) and post-SRIF rebound [3H]GH release is not prevented by 50 μM verapamil. The early, rapid [3H]GH release phase of 1 mM dibutyryl cyclic AMP (dbcAMP) stimulation is potentiated by verapamil pretreatment, but only if the verapamil is continued during dbcAMP stimulation. Potassium (21 mM K+)-stimulated release of both 3H-labeled hormones is inhibited after similar pretreatment 50 μM verapamil. Conclusions: (a) verapamil antagonizes the inhibitory effects of increased extracellular Ca2+ on basal or dbcAMP-stimulated [3H]GH and [3H]PRL release; (b) in standard medium (1.8 mM Ca2+), 50 μM verapamil increases basal [3H]GH release suggesting either a direct effect or an antagonism of 1.8 mM extracellular Ca2+; (c) although verapamil-sensitive Ca2+ movement is not necessary for dbcAMP stimulation of [3H]GH release, verapamil potentiates dbcAMP-stimulated release; (d) because verapamil also inhibits K+-stimulated [3H]GH and [3H]PRL release, these observations support previous suggestions that K+- and dbcAMP-stimulated rapid hormone release occurs from different intracellular sites; and (e) because verapamil does not prevent any phase of SRIF action and since these two agents differentially alter K+- and cAMP-stimulated release, their mechanisms of action must partially differ.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)109-117
Number of pages9
JournalProceedings of the Society for Experimental Biology and Medicine
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 1983

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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