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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Light- and electron-microscopic studies on the secretory cytology of the adenohypophysis of the Japanese quail, Coturnix coturnix japonica.

The effects of thyroidectomy, adrenalectomy, and castration on the pars distalis of male Japanese quail, and of injection of LH-RH on sexually inactive females, were investigated by light and electron microscopy. Correlation between light and electron microscopy was attained by use of alternate thin and thick sections. Six types of secretory cells were identified and the ultrastructural characteristics described. Putative endocrine functions have been designated on the basis of responses to experimental interventions and on other criteria. The putative STH cells are characterized by the presence of large dense secretory granules (250-300 nm) that are stained with orange-G by the trichrome method. They occur only in the caudal lobe and appear to be unchanged by castration, thyroidectomy, adrenalectomy and LH-RH injection. The putative prolactin cells are characterized by large (400-600 nm), spherical or polmorphic, dense secretory granules stainable with acid fuchsin and aniline blue; prominent Golgi apparatus and well developed endoplasmic reticulum with densely packed, regularly parallel lamellae. They are found mainly in the cephalic lobe. The prolactin cells develop some vacuolization after adrenalectomy and undergo some degeneration after castration. The ACTH cells, which are restricted to the cephalic lobe, are identified by the dense, spherical granules (250-300 nm) that are stained with acid fuchsin. After adrenalectomy, they lose their secretory granules and are transformed into large, chromophobic adrenalectomy cells. TSH cells are so designated by their response to thyroidectomy including loss of their fine secretory granules and transformation to large, vacuolated thyroidectomy cells. We have found TSH cells and thyroidectomy cells only in the cephalic lobe. Basophilic cells, considered to be gonadotropes, occur in both the cephalic and caudal lobes. The gonadotropes of the cephalic lobe appear to have slightly larger (120-200 nm) granules than the caudal lobe (120-150 nm). However, after castration, the gonadotropes in both lobes become hypertrophied and vacuolated and are transformed into mutually indistinguishable castration cells. Twenty minutes after injection with LH-RH, the gonadotropes of both lobes increase in size and number, degranulate, develop vacuoles in the cytoplasm, and appear very similar to castration cells.[1]


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