Medical Molecular Morphology

, Volume 51, Issue 3, pp 147–155 | Cite as

Characteristics of pericytes in diethylstilbestrol (DES)-induced pituitary prolactinoma in rats

  • Depicha JindatipEmail author
  • Ken Fujiwara
  • Tewarit Sarachana
  • Apiwat Mutirangura
  • Takashi YashiroEmail author
Original Paper


Prolactinomas are the most common tumor of the human pituitary. They result in excessive prolactin secretion and important changes in the vasculature. Pericytes are perivascular cells associated with capillaries and have crucial roles in physiological and pathological neovascularization. We previously reported that pericytes produce type I and III collagens in the anterior pituitary of adult rats. In addition, pituitary pericytes contained well-developed cell organelles and actively synthesized collagens during early postnatal development. However, the characteristics of pericytes in pituitary tumors are unclear. In this study, we used diethylstilbestrol (DES)-treated rats as an animal model of prolactinoma. Using five common pericyte markers, more pericytes were observed in rats treated with DES for 3 months (prolactinoma) compared to the control. Transmission electron microscopy revealed that attached and semidetached pericytes exhibited active cell organelles. Moreover, we identified pericyte migration between capillaries. Although the fine structure of pituitary pericytes was active in prolactinoma, expressions of type I and III collagen mRNAs were greatly diminished. In sum, the characteristics and functions of pericytes were altered in pituitary tumors. This study is the first to clarify fine structural changes of pericytes in rat prolactinomas and improves our understanding of the function of pericytes under pathological conditions.


Anterior pituitary gland Collagen Diethylstilbestrol Pericytes Prolactinoma 



We are grateful to Megumi Yatabe and Dr. Dini Ramadhani (Jichi Medical University, School of Medicine, Japan) for their suggestions regarding the prolactinoma rat model. We also thank David Kipler of Supernatant Communications for revising the language of the manuscript. This work was supported by grants as follows; Dr. Depicha Jindatip was supported by the Ratchadaphiseksomphot Endowment Fund Part of the Research Grant for New Scholar CU Researcher’s Project Grant Number RGN_2558_015_07_30, Dr. Ken Fujiwara was supported by JSPS KAKENHI Grant Number 17K08517, Dr. Apiwat Mutirangura was supported by the Thailand Research Fund Grant Number DPG5980005, and Dr. Takashi Yashiro was supported by promotional funds for the Keirin Race of the Japan Keirin Association.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest that could be perceived as prejudicing the impartiality of this research.

Supplementary material

795_2018_180_MOESM1_ESM.pdf (120 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (PDF 120 KB)


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Copyright information

© The Japanese Society for Clinical Molecular Morphology 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Anatomy, Faculty of MedicineChulalongkorn UniversityBangkokThailand
  2. 2.Division of Histology and Cell Biology, Department of AnatomyJichi Medical University, School of MedicineShimotsukeJapan
  3. 3.Age-related Inflammation and Degeneration Research Unit, Department of Clinical Chemistry, Faculty of Allied Health SciencesChulalongkorn UniversityBangkokThailand

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