Document Detail

Life span changes in the presence of alpha-melanocyte-stimulating-hormone-containing cells in the human pituitary.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  233377     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Since recent circumstantial evidence has suggested possible functions of alpha-MSH in intrauterine growth and labour, the presence of this hormone in the human pituitary was determined by means of the indirect immunofluorescence procedure during development and adulthood. Cross reaction of the antibodies with other peptides was measured after which they were purified by solid phase absorption. Experiments on the rat pituitary showed that staining of alpha-MSH- and ACTH-containing cells could be obtained well until 48 h after death. In the pars distalis the ability of ACTH-containing cells to take up stain increased during the period of post-mortem storage. In the youngest human fetus studied (15 weeks) only alpha-MSH-containing cells were found in the pars intermedia and no ACTH-containing cells were observed. In the other fetal pituitaries a distinct pars intermedia containing more alpha-MSH cells than ACTH cells was found. In the pars distalis of the fetuses more ACTH- than alpha-MSH-containing cells were observed. From birth to 19 years, progressively fewer alpha-MSH containing cells could be detected in the 'zona intermedia' and pars distalis, while in adults only a few such cells were found in either area. Irrespective of age, sex, cause of death or therapy, alpha-MSH-containing cells were found in all pituitaries throughout life. The number of ACTH containing cells gradually increased in the zona intermedia and pars distalis and reached a high adult level in the latter structure. In the pituitaries of seven anencephalics, no alpha-MSH-containing cells were present. The presence of alpha-MSH in the fetal pars intermedia, the change in the ratio of the alpha-MSH/ACTH cells during the course of development, and the absence of alpha-MSH in anencephaly all support the possibility that human fetal pituitary alpha-MSH is involved in both intrauterine growth and fetal adrenal function and thus also in parturition.
M Visser; D F Swaab
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Journal of developmental physiology     Volume:  1     ISSN:  0141-9846     ISO Abbreviation:  J. Dev. Physiol.     Publication Date:  1979 Apr 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1981-03-27     Completed Date:  1981-03-27     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  7910737     Medline TA:  J Dev Physiol     Country:  ENGLAND    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  161-78     Citation Subset:  IM    
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MeSH Terms
Adrenocorticotropic Hormone / immunology,  metabolism
Anencephaly / metabolism
Fetus / metabolism*
Fluorescent Antibody Technique
Gestational Age
Infant, Newborn
Melanocyte-Stimulating Hormones / immunology,  metabolism*
Middle Aged
Pituitary Gland / metabolism*
Reg. No./Substance:
9002-60-2/Adrenocorticotropic Hormone; 9002-79-3/Melanocyte-Stimulating Hormones

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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