Lactotrophs, gonadotrophs, thyrotrophs and somatotrophs of the rat anterior pituitary (AP) express 68-kDa neurofilaments (NF68) and other neuronal markers. NF68 expression in the AP appears to be estrogen-dependent, but its significance is unknown. The aims of this work were: (1) to establish the expression pattern of NF68 immunoreactivity in the mouse AP, and (2) discover if corticotrophs and melanotrophs from both rodent species also express NF68. Primary cultures and frozen sections of AP from sexually mature mice were immunolabeled with anti-NF68 antibodies. In separate experiments, samples were immunostained for NF68 and AP hormones. Here we report that mouse lactotrophs, gonadotrophs, thyrotrophs and somatotrophs also express NF68 in a sexually dimorphic manner. The percentages of non-expressing, weakly expressing and strongly expressing cells were similar between both rodent species, although NF68+ cells were about 50% less abundant in the mouse compared to the rat pituitary. Remarkably, our study shows for the first time that rodent pituitary cells from the proopiomelanocortin lineage nearly completely lack NF68 immunoreactivity. In this regard, they differ from the rest of the AP population. Our findings establish a foundation for experiments aimed at investigating the functional significance of estrogen-dependent regulation of NF68 expression in rodent AP cells.
Última actualización: 26/10/2016