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Corticotropin (ACTH) and the N-terminal fragment of pro-opiomelanocortin are located in the same granules in cells of rat pituitary gland



Corticotropin (ACTH) and the N-terminal fragment of pro-opiomelanocortin are located in the same granules in cells of rat pituitary gland



Journal of Histochemistry and Cytochemistry 31(4): 479-487



The localization of corticotropin (ACTH) and of the N-terminal fragment (NTF) of pro-opiomelanocortin were assessed by light and electron microscope immunochemistry. Using the unlabeled technique of Sternberger at the light microscope level, a strongly positive reaction for both NTF and ACTH antisera was observed in all secretory cells of the pars intermedia. In the pars distalis, immunostaining with ACTH antiserum was localized in stellate cells dispersed throughout the lobe. As observed in serial, consecutive sections, the NTF antiserum stained exactly the same cells. At the electron microscope level, using the protein A-gold technique, all the secretory granules of the cells of the pars intermedia showed a positive reaction with both antisera. In the pars distalis, after exposure to either of the antisera, gold particles were found over secretory granules of typical stellate corticotrophs. Making use of the possibility of reacting both faces of a fine section with gold particles of different sizes, it was found that the same secretory granules in all the cells of the pars intermedia and in corticotrophs of the pars distalis contained particles of both sizes. These results indicate that ACTH and NTF are contained in the same secretory granules and released together in the circulation where NTF is found in high amounts.

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Accession: 042693130

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PMID: 6298307

DOI: 10.1177/31.4.6298307


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