Direct and reversible inhibition of estradiol-stimulated prolactin synthesis by antiestrogens in vitro

M. E. Lieberman, V. C. Jordan, M. Fritsch, M. A. Santos, J. Gorski

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79 Scopus citations


The antiestrogens tamoxifen and monohydroxytamoxifen inhibited the estradiol-stimulated increase in prolactin synthesis by dispersed cells in culture derived from immature rat pituitary glands. Monohydroxytamoxifen had a relative binding affinity for the estrogen receptor similar to that of estradiol, whereas tamoxifen's relative binding affinity was approximately 3%. This was consistent with the observation that monohydroxytamoxifen was 30 times more potent than tamoxifen as an antiestrogen in vitro. To avoid the possibility that tamoxifen was fractionally metabolized to monohydroxytamoxifen by the pituitary cells, the p-methyl, p-chloro, and p-fluoro derivatives of tamoxifen that are unlikely to be converted to monohydroxytamoxifen were tested for activity. The substitution did not have a detrimental effect on their ability to inhibit the binding of [3H]estradiol to either rat uterine or pituitary gland estrogen receptors. Similarly, the derivatives of tamoxifen inhibited estradiol-stimulated prolactin synthesis at concentrations that were consistent with their relative binding affinities. Although it is clearly an advantage for tamoxifen to be metabolized to the more potent antiestrogen monohyddroxytamoxifen, we have shown that this is not a prerequisite for the antiestrogenic actions of tamoxifen. With the direct actions of antiestrogens established, the pituitary cell system was validated for further structure-activity relationship studies. Overall, the inhibition of estradiol-stimulated prolactin synthesis by antiestrogen is competitive and reversible with estradiol, an effect that can be explained by interactions with the estrogen receptor system.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4734-4740
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Biological Chemistry
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1983

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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