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Glycoprotein secretion in the hypothalamo-neurohypophyseal system of the rat

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Although the secretory products of the hypothalamoneurohypophyseal system are not glycoproteins, synthesis and migration of these macromolecules occur within its secretory neurons. After being labeled with 3H-fucose in the Golgi apparatus, newly synthesized glycoproteins migrate to secretion granules, lysosomes and the plasma membrane of the secretory neurons, as demonstrated by quantitative electron-microscopic radioautography. Secretion granules bearing newly synthesized glycoproteins migrate to the pars nervosa, the labeling pattern of which was studied in rats killed from 4 h to 14 days after the isotope injection. Most of the silver grains were observed to overly the secretory axons. Labeling of pituicytes was negligible and the number of silver grains over the perivascular spaces was about 10% of the total at certain postinjection intervals. In the secretory axons, most of the silver grains were seen to overly the secretion granules. The proportion of silver grains over the different portions of the secretory axons changed with time. At the longer intervals, the percentage of silver grains increased over the nerve swellings (including Herring bodies) and decreased concomitantly in the undilated portions of the axons and in the nerve endings. This labeling pattern conforms with observations on the secretion products. Water deprivation increased the release of neurosecretion as well as glycoproteins from the pars nervosa. However, glycoproteins inside the Herring bodies were not easily releasible. There was a parallel decrease in the amount of secretion granules and 3H-fucose-labeled glycoproteins indicating that the glycoproteins are predominantly a constituent of the granule content. Some newly synthesized glycoproteins were probably also used in the renewal of the axonal membrane. The labeling of smooth vesicles in nerve endings was discussed. In conclusion, most of the glycoproteins synthesized in the perikarion of the hypothalamic secretory neurons migrate inside secretion granules along the axon to the pars nervosa where they are secreted.

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Correspondence to Dr. Antonio Haddad.

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Haddad, A., Guaraldo, S.P., Pelletier, G. et al. Glycoprotein secretion in the hypothalamo-neurohypophyseal system of the rat. Cell Tissue Res. 209, 399–422 (1980). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00234755

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Key words

  • Hypothalamus
  • Neurohypophysis
  • Glycoprotein
  • 3H-fucose