Fetal porcine pituitary
Growth hormone (GH)
Gonadotropin (LH, FSH)
Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Summary The fetal porcine pituitary was investigated by means of ultrastructural immunocytochemistry (1) to identify the first cells synthesizing the adenohypophyseal hormones, (2) to follow their differentiation during fetal development, and (3) to compare their ultrastructural characteristics with those of mature adult cells. The first ACTH-cells, which produced and stored ACTH, β-LPH, β-MSH, and α- and β-endorphin in the same granules, were very numerous at day 34 and displayed a uniform morphology. At day 50 and thereafter, until the end of gestation, the ACTH-cells differed in their appearance probably reflecting various stages of differentiation of one cell type. The GH-cells gained rapidly ultrastructural features comparable to those of mature GH-cells. In contrast, in the case of PRL-cells, which appeared only at the end of the gestation period as immature elements containing very small secretory granules, the morphological maturation seemed to take place only after birth. The first cells synthesizing the glycoprotein hormones (LHα, LHβ, FSH and TSH) displayed ultrastructural features of immature cells. At day 50, their ultrastructural organization started to show a different pattern. At the end of gestation, the TSH-cells and the gonadotropic cells displayed the ultrastructural features of mature cells.
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