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The origin of pituitary cysts in the rostral pars distalis of the nine-spined stickleback, Pungitius pungitius L.

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Summary

Pituitary cysts in the nine-spined stickleback, Pungitius pungitius L., develop next to blood vessels passing through the prolactin zone of the rostral pars distalis to the connective tissue capsule at its periphery. Cysts were most frequent when pituitaries were large compared with body lengths. However, the incidence of cysts could not be closely related to body length alone. As the rostral pars distalis is more highly vascularised in fish with large pituitaries, and as there was no evidence of accumulating secretion around these blood vessels, it is suggested that cysts develop when vascular demands (or supplies) become excessive. Associated with the greater vascularity of the rostral pars distalis in large pituitaries was a remarkable development of non-granulated cells. Indeed cysts may originate as enlarged intercellular spaces between such cells, as the latter often surround blood vessels. The non-granulated cells are also important in enlarging cyst cavities (by phagocytosing prolactin-cell debris) and perhaps for maintaining their structural integrity. It is suggested that the macrophages within cyst cavities are derived from the non-granulated cells.

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Correspondence to Dr. Michael Benjamin.

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Benjamin, M. The origin of pituitary cysts in the rostral pars distalis of the nine-spined stickleback, Pungitius pungitius L.. Cell Tissue Res. 214, 417–430 (1981). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00249222

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Key words

  • Pituitary
  • Cyst
  • Prolactin cell
  • Non-granulated cell
  • Blood vessels