To investigate paracrine regulation of pituitary cell growth, we tested fibroblast growth factor (FGF) regulation of TtT/GF folliculostellate (FS) cells. FGF-2, and FGF-4 markedly induced cell proliferation, evidenced by induction of pituitary tumor transforming gene-1 (Pttg1) mRNA expression and percentage of cells in S phase. Signaling for FGF-2-induced FS cell proliferation was explored by specific pharmacological inhibition. A potent inhibitory effect on FGF-2 action was observed by blocking of Src tyrosine kinase with 4-amino-5-(4-chlorophenyl)-7-(t-butyl)pyrazolo[3,4-d] pyrimidine (≥0.1 μM), followed by protein kinase C (PKC) inhibition with GF109203X. Treatment with FGF-2 (30 ng/ml; 10 min) activated phosphorylation of signal transducer and activator of transcription-3, ERK, stress-activated protein kinase/c-Jun N-terminal kinase, Akt, and focal adhesion kinase. Src inhibition with 4-amino-5-(4-chlorophenyl)-7-(t-butyl)pyrazolo[3,4-d] pyrimidine suppressed FGF-2-induced Akt and focal adhesion kinase, indicating effects downstream of FGF-2-induced Src activation. FGF-2 also markedly induced its own mRNA expression, peaking at 2-4 h, and this effect was suppressed by Src tyrosine kinase inhibition. The PKC inhibitor GF109203X abolished FGF-2 autoinduction, indicating PKC as the primary pathway involved in FGF-2 autoregulation in these cells. In addition to pituitary FGF-2 paracrine activity on hormonally active cells, these results show an autofeedback mechanism for FGF-2 in non-hormone-secreting pituitary FS cells, inducing cell growth and its own gene expression, and mediated by Src/PKC signaling.
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