Identity and distribution of immunoreactive adenohypophysial cells in the pituitary during the life cycle of sea lampreys, Petromyzon marinus.
ABSTRACT Adrenocorticotropin (ACTH), melanotropins (MSHs), growth hormone (GH) and gonadotropin (GTH) have been identified or cloned from the pituitary gland of sea lampreys (Petromyzon marinus). The present study was designed to gain insights into the functional significance of these hormones through a description of changes in the occurrence and distribution of cells immunoreactive to their antibodies at several different stages of the sea lamprey life cycle. ACTH-like cells and MSH-like cells were distributed in the rostral pars distalis and the pars intermedia, respectively, throughout the life cycle from ammocoetes (larvae) to pre-spawning adults. A large number of ACTH-like cells were observed during the pre-spawning period when animals may experience the highest stressful conditions. On the other hand, the number of MSH-like cells increased markedly during metamorphosis, in accordance with the completion of eye development. A small number of GH-like cells were present in the proximal pars distalis during the larval and metamorphic phases, but the number of cells increased markedly during the parasitic period, which corresponded well with the rapid somatic growth. GTH-like cells were not observed in the pituitary during the larval and metamorphic phases, but were present in the proximal pars distalis of immediately post-metamorphosed animals. Since there was a high accumulation of GTH-like cells in pre-spawning adults, these cells appeared to be involved in gonadotropic functions. The results of changing immunoreactivity during the lamprey life cycle suggest that lamprey adenohypophysial hormones, ACTH, MSH, GH and GTH, may possess biological functions similar to those of more advanced gnathostome vertebrates. Given that lampreys represent the most ancient group of vertebrates, it is most likely that these hormones have been conserved for their functions throughout vertebrate evolution.
[show abstract] [hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The pituitary gland is present in all vertebrates, from agnathans (jawless fishes) to mammals, but not in invertebrates. Hagfishes, which lack both jaws and vertebrae, are considered the most primitive vertebrate known, living or extinct. Accordingly, studies on hagfishes are indispensable for understanding the origin and evolution of the pituitary hormones. Nevertheless, little is known about the hagfish adenohypophysial hormones. Our recent immunohistochemical and lectin histochemical studies have revealed that gonadotropin (GTH), adrenocorticotropin (ACTH), and growth hormone (GH) are present in the hagfish pituitary gland. This review summarizes the latest data regarding the hagfish adenohypophysial hormones from an evolutionary point of view.ZOOLOGICAL SCIENCE 11/2008; 25(10):1028-36. · 0.95 Impact Factor