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Title

Anterior pituitary thyrotropes are multifunctional cells

AuthorsVillalobos, Carlos ; Núñez, Lucía ; García-Sancho, Javier
Issue Date2004
PublisherAmerican Physiological Society
CitationAJP - Endocrinology and Metabolism 287(6): E1166-E1170 (2004)
AbstractAnterior pituitary (AP) contains some unorthodox multifunctional cells that store and secrete two different AP hormones (polyhormonal cells) and/or respond to several hypothalamic-releasing hormones (HRHs; multiresponsive cells). Multifunctional cells may be involved in paradoxical secretion (secretion of a given AP hormone evoked by a noncorresponding HRH) and transdifferentiation (phenotypic switch between different mature cell types without cell division). Here we combine calcium imaging (to assess responses to the four HRHs) and multiple sequential immunoassay of the six AP hormones to perform a single-cell phenotypic study of thyrotropes in normal male and female mice. Surprisingly, most of the thyrotropes were polyhormonal, containing, in addition to thyrotropin (TSH), luteinizing hormone (40-42%) and prolactin (19-21%). Thyrotropes costoring growth hormone and/or ACTH were found only in females (24% of each type). These results suggest that costorage of the different hormones does not happen at random and that gender favors certain hormone combinations. Our results indicate that thyrotropes are a mosaic of cell phenotypes rather than a single cell type. The striking promiscuity of TSH storage should originate considerable mix-up of AP hormone secretions on stimulation of thyrotropes. However, response to thyrotropin-releasing hormone was much weaker in the polyhormonal thyrotropes than in the monohormonal ones. This would limit the appearance of paradoxical secretion under physiological conditions and suggests that timing of hormone and HRH receptor expression during the transdifferentiation process is finely and differentially regulated.
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/10261/69773
DOI10.1152/ajpendo.00194.2004
Identifiersdoi: 10.1152/ajpendo.00194.2004
issn: 0193-1849
e-issn: 1522-1555
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