Gonadotropin-Target Cell Interactions: A Model Based on Morphological Localization

  • Peter Petrusz
Part of the Biochemical Endocrinology book series (BIOEND)


Immunocytochemical (ICC) techniques, especially when performed at optimum efficiency (Moriarty and Halmi, 1972; Petrusz et al., 1975), have proved to be capable of revealing the localization of gonadotropic and other protein or polypeptide hormones after in vivo or in vitro binding of the hormones to their target sites. Studies in this laboratory (Petrusz and Uhlarik, 1973; Petrusz, 1974; Petrusz and Sar, 1978; Ordronneau, in preparation) have consistently shown that binding sites for gonadotropins are present not only at the surface of target cells, but also inside the cytoplasm and, occasionally, in the nucleus. For years, these results were viewed (even by ourselves) with skepticism and bewilderment, since they contradicted the general belief that such hormones do not, and in fact cannot, enter their target cells. However, reports of intracellular localization of protein or peptide hormones became more frequent (Mancini et al., 1967; Castro et al., 1970, 1972; Midgley and Beals, 1971; Gourdji et al., 1973; Nordquist and Palmieri, 1974; Sternberger and Petrali, 1975; Nolin and Witorsch, 1976; Carpenter and Cohen, 1976; Chen et al., 1977; Han et al., 1977) and received support from a considerable number of biochemical studies (Brush and Kitabchi, 1970; Coulson et al., 1972; Rao et al., 1972; Sulimovici and Lunenfeld, 1973; McKerns, 1973, 1974; McKerns and Ryschkewitsch, 1974; Sulimovici et al., 1975; Horvat et al., 1975; Goldfine and Smith, 1976; Goldfine et al., 1977; Ascoli and Puett, 1977). As a result, the cumulative weight of the evidence is by now too great to ignore. It has become increasingly clear that a new working hypothesis is needed to incorporate some of the new and seemingly heretical* data into existing concepts regarding the interactions between protein hormones and their target cells. This chapter is an attempt to present such a hypothesis, together with some of our hormone localization studies that provided the impetus for its development.


Luteinizing Hormone Sertoli Cell Corpus Luteum Luteinizing Hormone Release Hormone Secondary Lysosome 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peter Petrusz
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Anatomy and Laboratories for Reproductive BiologyUniversity of North CarolinaChapel HillUSA

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