Immunocytochemical demonstration of pituitary cell types in the teleost Poecilia latipinna, by light and electron microscopy

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Using the unlabelled antibody method at the light microscope level, and the immunogold method at the electron microscope level, the distribution of the different adenohypophysial cells was demonstrated in the teleost Poecilia latipinna, by means of antisera to both teleostean and mammalian pituitary hormones and their subunits. Anti-salmon prolactin, but not anti-rat or-ovine prolactin, gave a specific staining of the acidophils of the rostral pars distalis (RPD), while anti-trout growth hormone (GH), but not anti-rat GH, stained similar but always separate cells in the proximal pars distalis (PPD). Antisera to the whole molecules of mammalian glycoprotein hormones stained the entire population of basophils in the PPD, but separate populations of gonadotrophs and thyrotrophs could be discriminated using anti-salmon gonadotrophin and anti-human thyrotrophin β subunit. Antisera to ACTH (1-24) and (11-24) sequences, as well as β-endorphin and met-enkephalin, stained the lead haematoxylin-positive cells of the RPD and pars intermedia (PI), whereas anti-α-MSH stained only the PI cells. Ultrastructural examination showed that these immunoreactivities were present in the same secretory granules, and were always greater in pale granules rather than electron dense granules. In the RPD, blebs of ACTH-immunoreactive cytoplasm were found to protrude through the gaps in the basement membrane into the neurohypophysis. The second "PAS-positive" cell type of the PI showed a strong cross-reaction with anti-salmon gonadotrophin, suggesting that it may produce a glycoprotein chemically related to the gonadotrophin(s).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-154
Number of pages16
JournalGeneral and Comparative Endocrinology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1986
Externally publishedYes


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