Involvement of the adrenal glands and testis in gap junction formation via testosterone within the male rat anterior pituitary gland

Eisuke Sakuma, Ikuo Wada, Takanobu Otsuka, Kenjiro Wakabayashi, Kinya Ito, Tsuyoshi Soji, Damon C. Herbert

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


We investigated the influence of testicular and adrenal androgens on the presence of gap junctions between folliculo-stellate cells in the anterior pituitary glands of 60-day-old Wistar-Imamichi strain male rats. The animals were separated into six groups: Group A served as the controls and had free access to a normal diet and water, Group B was given a normal diet and 0.9% NaCl for their drinking water as the controls of adrenalectomized groups, Group C was castrated, Group D was adrenalectomized, Group E was both castrated and adrenalectomized, and Group F was also both castrated and adrenalectomized. In addition, the animals of Group F were administered a dose of testosterone that is known to produce high physiological levels of the hormones in plasma. Five rats from each group were sacrificed 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7 days after their respective operation, and the anterior pituitary glands were removed and prepared for observation by transmission electron microscopy. We quantified the number of follicles and gap junctions and calculated the rate of occurrence as the ratio of the number of gap junctions existing between folliculo-stellate cells per intersected follicle profile. Simultaneous removal of adrenal glands with castration resulted in a significantly decrease in the number of gap junctions, whereas the administration of testosterone to these rats compensated for this change. These observations indicate that the preservation of gap junctions between folliculo-stellate cells is mainly dependent on androgens from both the testes and adrenal glands in adult male rats.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1632-1638
Number of pages7
JournalMicroscopy Research and Technique
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2012


  • Adrenal gland
  • Anterior pituitary gland
  • Folliculo-stellate cell
  • Gap junction
  • Rat

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anatomy
  • Histology
  • Instrumentation
  • Medical Laboratory Technology


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