Uptake and retention of3H-estradiol by gonadotrophs and lactotrophs in the pituitary glands of the guinea pig, hamster and gerbil

Haruo Nogami, Damon C. Herbert, William B. Winborn, Frank J. Weaker, Peter J. Sheridan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Nuclear uptake and retention of3H-estradiol by luteinizing hormone (LH) and prolactin (PRL) cells was examined in three species of rodents (guinea pigs, hamsters and gerbils) using the combined techniques of immunocyto-chemistry and autoradiography. Castrated animals were injected with3H-estradiol and decapitated 1.5 h later. The pituitary glands were processed for thaw-mount autoradiography followed by conventional immunocytochemical staining for LH and PRL.3H-estradiol accumulated in more than 80% of the anterior pituitary cells in the gerbils, while only 33 and 22% of the cells accumulated3H-estradiol in the hamsters and guinea pigs, respectively. A varying percentage of immunoreactive LH and PRL cells in all three species were found also to contain binding sites for estradiol. Some LH and PRL cells in hamsters and guinea pigs and only some in PRL cells of gerbils were found to be devoid of grains. Quantitative analysis revealed that the number of grains per nucleus differed considerably from cell to cell. LH cells of guinea pigs accumulated much larger amounts of3H-estradiol than did the PRL cells, while the LH cells in the hamsters and gerbils accumulated only slightly more3H-estradiol than the PRL cells. These results confirm the previous observations in rats and baboons that demonstrated tremendous species differences in percentage of cells in the anterior pituitary gland that accumulated3H-estradiol. Also, these data suggest that there are functionally heterogeneous cell types among the LH and PRL cells in hamsters, guinea pigs and gerbils as has been previously demonstrated in rats and baboons.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)75-78
Number of pages4
JournalCell and Tissue Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Apr 1987


  • Autoradiography
  • Estrogen
  • Gerbil
  • Guinea pig
  • Hamster
  • Immunocytochemistry
  • LH-cells
  • Prolactin cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Histology
  • Cell Biology


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