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Direct placement of L-dopa into the medial preoptic area (MPOA) of aged pseudopregnant or constant vaginal estrous female rats resulted in a reinitiation of vaginal cycles and ovulation. Similar treatment with L-dopa in the dorsomedial septum or cortex was ineffective. Direct placement of leucine into any of the three brain regions did not have an effect on ovarian function. Intermittent treatment with L-dopa to MPOA was found to reinstate and maintain vaginal cycles in constant estrous females only when administered on the day of vaginal estrus of successive cycles. These findings support the hypothesis that age-dependent disturbances in ovarian function may be initiated by changes in neurotransmitter metabolism within the central nervous system.
An electron microscopic comparison was made of intracellular granules of the renal papilla and inner medulla in two types of potassium depletion: one in a 47-year-old white male with chronic potassium-wasting renal disease and the other in the experimentally depleted rat. The granules in both cases were composed of small and large vesicles; myelin figures; small particles; and dense bodies, with a partial, or complete, single limiting membrane. Ultrastructurally, the constituent elements of the granules were essentially the same in the two types of potassium depletion. It was concluded that the intracellular granules in the human tissue were the result of potassium depletion and a counterpart to those in the potassium-depleted rat.
The interaction of bovine platelets with bovine glomerular basement membrane has been studied by aggregometry, transmission and scanning electron microscopy and measurement of [3H] serotonin release. In the absence of added calcium platelets adhere to basement membrane but fail to undergo the release reaction or aggregation. In the presence of 0.2-0.5 mM calcium release of serotonin and complete aggregation of the platelets are observed when sufficient basement membrane is present. Platelets were strongly adhered to the basement membrane surface, the platelet surface in the aggregates closely following the surface of the basement membrane. Platelet morphology in aggregates with basement membrane closely resembled that of platelets from collagen-induced aggregates. Basement membrane differed from collagen in its requirement for calcium for the aggregation and release reactions. In addition purified basement membrane was 1.5-3 fold less active on a weight basis than bovine tendon collagen in promoting aggregation.
The mechanism by which prolactin, a peptide hormone, regulates casein gene expression has been studied in mammary gland organ culture. After prolactin addition, a 2-4 fold increase in the rate of casein mRNA transcription was observed within 1 hr and maintained for at least 24 hr. This increased rate of transcription is not sufficient to account for the mass accumulation of casein mRNA. The half-life of casein mRNA is also increased 17-25 fold in the presence of prolactin. This change in casein mRNA half-life, coupled with a 2-4 fold increase in the rate of transcription, can account for the normal accumulation of casein mRNA observed after prolactin addition. This hormone-induced change in casein mRNA half-life appeared to be selective, since prolactin was found to exert only a slight effect (1-4 fold) on the half-life of poly(A) RNA determined under identical pulse-chase conditions. The hormonal regulation of casein gene expression thus does not app-ar to be an "all or none" process occurring only at the transcriptional or post-transcriptional levels, but rather may involve a coordinated response at several levels to permit the efficient expression of specialized differentiated functions.