Cell‐to‐cell communication by gap junctions was investigated in the male rat anterior pituitary gland following several experimental regimens involving castration. The regimens included the following animals: (1) Group 1, castrated at 10‐day intervals from day 10 to 50 and sacrificed at 60 days of age; (2) Group 2, castrated every 10 days from days 10 to 50 and sacrificed 50 days after castration; (3) Group 3, castrated at 5 days of age and sacrificed every 10 days from day 10 to 60; or (4) Group 4, remained intact and sacrificed every 10 days from days 10 to 60. In all of the castrated animals, numerous so‐called castration cells were scattered throughout the pars distalis of the pituitary gland, with occasional “signet ring cells” being observed. In Groups 1 and 2, the pattern of gap junction development and their number was no different from the intact control (Group 4). In contrast, the number of gap junctions in the animals castrated on day 5 remained very small even into adulthood. These data demonstrate that gonadal steroids are important in the intial development of gap junctions within the pituitary gland but are not necessary to sustain their presence once an animal becomes an adult. © 1993 Wiley‐Liss, Inc.
- Folliculo‐stellate cells
- Gap junctions
- Pituitary gland
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences (miscellaneous)