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Isolation, culture and cell-type identification of adult human pituitary cells

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Pituitary cells were isolated from adult human pituitary glands obtained at autopsy 4–12 h postmortem by enzyme treatment (collagenase and dispase) and by Percoll density gradients. Cells thus isolated were maintained in culture for more than 6 months.

By immunoperoxidase staining methods using rabbit sera monospecific against various pituitary hormones, a large number of cultured cells reacted positively. The hormones identified in these cells were growth hormone, prolactin, adrenocorticotropin, follicle-stimulting hormone, luteinizing hormone and thyrotropin. Electron-microscopic examination of cultured cells revealed the presence of secretory granules in cytoplasm characteristic of in vivo human pituitary cells.

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Correspondence to S. U. Kim.

Additional information

Supported by grants from the Medical Research Council of Canada, the BC Medical Service Foundation and the BC Biomedical Laboratory

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Kim, S.U., Shin, D.H. & Moretto, G. Isolation, culture and cell-type identification of adult human pituitary cells. Acta Neuropathol 68, 205–208 (1985).

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Key words

  • Human pituitary gland
  • Tissue culture
  • Density gradients
  • Immunocytochemistry
  • Growth hormone
  • Prolactin
  • Adrenocorticotropin
  • Follicle-stimulating hormone
  • Luteinizing hormone
  • Thyrotropin