[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: During early postnatal development in the rat, the tissue architecture of the pituitary gland shows changes, revealing an intense migration process of the cells. The aim of this work was to examine anterior pituitary cell migration over type I and III collagen as well as type IV collagen, of cultured pituitary cells from infantile rats and adult rats, and the participation of the epidermal growth factor in this process. Differences in cell migration rate over these two types of collagen substrates were observed at both ages, and all in all, three times more cells migrated over type I/III collagen than over type IV collagen. These data show the migration-promoting role of type I/III collagen for pituitary cells. Furthermore, when infantile cells were challenged to migrate over bovine serum albumin, the migration rate diminished, and, on the contrary, adult cell migration was higher. However, over collagen, infantile cells increased their migration rate with epidermal growth factor stimulation and adult cells showed a decrease in migration when the growth factor was in the medium. During migration, pituitary cells associated and arranged in clusters. This behavior increased in the presence of epidermal growth factor in the infantile cultures. Moreover, epidermal growth-factor-stimulated infantile cells formed larger aggregates. Adult cells also showed associative behavior, but more cells were observed isolated than in cluster arrangements and the growth factor did not induce changes in this behavior. Results showed a difference in the response of cell migration and cell association capacity to epidermal growth factor after migration of infantile and adult pituitary cells. With these observations we propose that epidermal growth factor is a cell regulator of the pituitary tissue re-arrangement process during the infantile period.
Full-text · Article · Jul 2004 · International Journal of Developmental Neuroscience
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The rat anterior pituitary gland undergoes changes in its cyto-architecture during the second and third weeks of postnatal life. However, little is known about the factors that regulate these tissue conformational changes. The epidermal growth factor (EGF) is one of the growth factors that are synthesized by the pituitary gland, and almost all of the pituitary cells have EGF receptors (EGFR). In addition to the effects of the EGF on mitosis and differentiation, this growth factor can modulate cell adhesion, cell migration, and cytoskeletal organization. In this study we focussed our attention in examining the effects of EGF on the adhesion of cells to the extracellular matrix and on the actin cytoskeletal arrangement of pituitary cells from infantile and adult rats. Our results show that in infantile cells the EGF induces cell adhesion with increase in cell surface area. The arrangement of actin-F in infantile EGF-treated cells was in stress fibers and vinculin acquired a striped shape at the membrane border, suggesting the assembly of focal adhesion contacts. In contrast, in adult pituitary cells EGF does not induce any change in cell adhesion, and the cells maintain a rounded shape with an arrangement of actin-F in thin cortical bands even though, immuno-localization of the EGFR was observed in adult cells cultured in defined medium. We also looked for the EGFR in membrane preparations from infantile and adult pituitaries, and a marked difference in membrane EGFR was observed between them, the infantile pituitaries showing a significantly higher amount. Our results suggest that in infantile cells EGF induces the assembly of focal adhesion contacts, and that in adult cells the receptor of this growth factor is uncoupled of the signaling pathway by which a rearrangement of actin cytoskeleton occurs.