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Differentiation of cells producing poly peptide hormones acth msh lipotropic hormone alpha endorphin beta endorphin growth hormone and prolactin in the fetal porcine anterior pituitary



Differentiation of cells producing poly peptide hormones acth msh lipotropic hormone alpha endorphin beta endorphin growth hormone and prolactin in the fetal porcine anterior pituitary



Cell & Tissue Research 235(3): 615-622



The fetal porcine pituitary was studied to detect by means of the immunoperoxidase technique the earliest stages of cells producing polypeptide hormones: .beta.-MSH, ACTH, .beta.-LPH [lipotropic hormone], .alpha.- and .beta.-endorphin, growth hormone (GH) and prolactin (PRL); to study the development of the synthesis and the storage of these hormones during fetal life, and to detect whether several hormones can be located in one and the same cell. The corticotropic cells were revealed as the earliest functional elements of the fetal anterior pituitary. ACTH, .beta.-MSH, .beta.-LPH, .alpha.- and .beta.-endorphin appeared at 34 days in the same regular, round or ovoid cells; no difference in the time of their appearance could be observed. The ACTH-cells, irregular or angular in shape and endowed with cytoplasmic processes such as described in the adult pituitary, were not seen until day 50. The 1st GH-cells were detected between 40 and 45 days of fetal life. From day 45-90, the GH-cells greatly increased in number and in staining intensity of their progressively extending cytoplasmic area, but they displayed the same regular and round shape. The PRL-cells were the last cell type to appear in the fetal pituitary. The 1st PRL-cells, small in size and round or ovoid in shape with a high nucleus/cytoplasm ratio, were detected at day 70. At day 80, the PRL-cells increased in size and staining intensity. They displayed an irregular elongated or stellated shape and cytoplasmic processes resembling those characteristic of the adult pituitary. In the fetal porcine pituitary ACTH, .beta.-LPH and related peptides evidently are synthesized and stored in the same cells. PRL and GH apparently appear in individual cellular elements.

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