The subcellular and organ distribution and natural form of histidyl-proline diketopiperazine in rat brain determined by a specific radioimmunoassay
Histidyl-proline diketopiperazine is produced in brain as a product of the metabolism of thyrotropin-releasing hormone. A number of the previously observed central nervous system and pituitary activities resulting from an exposure to thyrotropin-releasing hormone appear to involve the conversion of the releasing factor to the cyclic dipeptide. In the present study, the development of a rabbit antiserum that is highly specific for histidyl-proline diketopiperazine is described; the antiserum has essentially no capability to bind thyrotropin-releasing hormone or a number of other related peptides. The antibody can also distinguish between the natural form of the cyclic dipeptide and a diastereomer containing D-proline. A procedure for extraction, with high yield, of histidyl-proline diketopiperazine from brain is described. With the aid of the specific antiserum it was found that the preponderance of the cyclic dipeptide in rat brain is bound to high molecular weight material, mainly in the range of Mr = 70,000; histidyl-proline diketopiperazine can be disassociated from this material by boiling in salt/methanol solution. The concentration of the dipeptide in rat brain is in the range of 275 to 565 pmol/brain, approximately 2.5 times the concentrations determined for thyrotropin-releasing hormone (113 to 210 pmol/brain). A study of the subcellular distribution of histidyl-proline diketopiperazine and thyrotropin-releasing hormone suggests that the releasing factor is concentrated in synaptosomal vesicles while the diketopiperazine is not. A determination of the regional distribution of thyrotropin-releasing hormone and histidyl-proline diketopiperazine indicated that both peptides are found in highest concentrations in pituitary and hypothalamus, but are detectable in other areas of brain as well.