Electron microscopic study of rat pituitary primordium in organ culture

  • Yûichi G. Watanabe
  • Hideo Matsumura
  • Shigeo Daikoku


To see whether adenohypophysial tissue has the capacity of self-differentiation, Rathke's pouch together with part of the neurohypophysial primordium was isolated from 12-(Group A), 14- (Group B) and 15-day-old (Group C) rat fetuses and cultivated for 9, 6 and 5 days, respectively. Electron microscopic examination of these explants showed many adenohypophysial cells containing electron dense granules, indicative of cytodifferentiation in all groups. Three cell types were distinguishable on the basis of the size of their granules. Variable amounts of neurohypophysial tissue were seen in some explants of Groups B and C, but not A. This “pars nervosa” contained pituicytes with lipid-like inclusions in their cytoplasm but no neurosecretory axons. The adenohypophysial cells abutting on the pars nervosa were arranged rather regularly like cells of the pars intermedia which contained a few granules of about 200 mμ diameter.

From these data it is concluded that in rats granule formation in the adenohypophysial primordial cells starts in the absence of hypothalamic neurosecretory substances. It is uncertain from this study whether these cells actually contain hypophysial hormones.

Key words

Hypophysis Primordium Rat Organ culture Electron microscopy 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1973

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yûichi G. Watanabe
    • 1
  • Hideo Matsumura
    • 1
  • Shigeo Daikoku
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Anatomy, School of MedicineTokushima UniversityKuramoto, TokushimaJapan

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