The adenohypophysis of the Australian lungfish, Neoceratodus forsteri-An immunocytological study

Jean M. P. Joss*, Mandy Beshaw, Susan Williamson, Jane Trimble, Robert M. Dores

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


The cell types in the adenohypophysis of Neoceratodus resemble closely those already described for Lepidosiren and Protopterus. Four of these were immunocytochemically identified as prolactin cells, gonadotropes, corticotropes, and melanotropes. Antiserum to bullfrog growth hormone could not distinguish between prolactin cells and somatotropes. Anti-bullfrog prolactin, however, did selectively stain the prolactin cells, which allowed the identification of the somatotropes. The presumptive thyrotropes, as the only remaining cell type in the pars distalis, can then be tentatively identified by default. Likewise a PAS-positive cell type in the pars intermedia had no immunoreactivity to any of the antisera used. The functional significance of this cell remains to be demonstrated. One of the more unexpected findings was the presence of large numbers of cells immunoreactive to α-MSH in the proximal pars distalis. The implications of the presence of these cells in adult lungfish are discussed. The distribution of cell types within the pituitary of Neoceratodus showed more regionalization than is present in the other lungfish and corresponded more closely to that described for primitive actinopterygian fish. The general structure of the pituitary of Neoceratodus also resembled primitive actinopterygian fish more closely than it did amphibians, unlike the pituitaries of Lepidosiren and Protopterus. The evolutionary significance of this is also discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)274-287
Number of pages14
JournalGeneral and Comparative Endocrinology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1990

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