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Endorphin in rat pituitary glands: its distribution within the gland, and age related changes in gland content in male and female rats



Endorphin in rat pituitary glands: its distribution within the gland, and age related changes in gland content in male and female rats



Life Sciences 22(6): 519-526



Endorphins were extracted with glacial acetic acid:acetone from freshly microdissected single lobes of rat pituitary and assayed for inhibition of 3H-etorphine stereospecific binding to rat brain opiate receptors. Highest tissue concentrations of endorphin were found in pars intermedia and pars distalis, with minimal activity observed in pars nervosa. Mature female rats exhibited a significantly higher anterior lobe endorphin content than males, reflecting the larger gland weight, although no significant differences were found between neurointermediate lobe endorphin content of either sex. Pituitary endorphin content increased substantially with age, rising rapidly between the 5th and 10th wk after birth. This elevation was still apparent at 25th wk. These studies emphasize the importance of employing rats of closely similar age and weight in any experiments designed to examine pituitary endorphin function, and suggest that ontological development of pituitary endorphin may proceed in a manner similar to that of other pituitary hormones (e.g., MSH [melanocyte stimulating hormone]) derived from the same precursor peptide.

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Accession: 005359017

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 625196

DOI: 10.1016/0024-3205(78)90433-2



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