Published December 1, 1975 - More info
To investigate the physiology of thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) secretion from hypothalamus and brain, a method for measurement of peripheral plasma TRH concentrations in rats was developed. Blood was collected in heparin and dimercaptopropanol containing [3H]TRH to determine recovery. The plasma was extracted with methanol and the redissolved dried methanol extracts applied to anti-TRH Sepharose columns. These columns bound greater than 80% of 125I-TRH applied and had a capacity in excess of 20 ng TRH. TRH was eluted from the anti-TRH Sepharose with acetic acid and quantitated by radioimmunoassay of the lyophilized acetic acid eluate. Mean recovery of unlabeled TRH was 44.7+/-6.1% (SD) and mean recovery of [3H]TRH was 44.0+/-4.0%. Mean plasma TRH concentrations, corrected for recovery, in plasma pools from eight groups of normal male rats (four to seven pools/experiment, five to seven rats/pool) ranged from 7 to 30 pg/ml (mean, 16). In experiments in which rats were given 5, 10, 15, 0r 50 mug thyroxine daily for 1 wk or in thyroidectomized rats, mean plasma TRH concentrations did not differ significantly from those of control animals sacrificed at the same time. In each experiment, four to seven plasma pools, each from five to seven rats, were processed from both control and experimental groups. No changes in plasma TRH concentrations were found in rats exposed to cold (4degreeC) for 30, 60, and 90-180 min. Signigicant increases in plasma thyrotropin (TSH) concentrations were found in all cold-exposed animals. These results provide no evidence that thyroid hormone excess of deficiency affects TRH secretion. If TRH secretion is responsible for cold-induced increases in plasma TSH concentrations, the increase in TRH secretion is of insufficient magnitude to alter periperal plasma TRH concentrations.