Characteristics of pericytes in diethylstilbestrol (DES)-induced pituitary prolactinoma in rats
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.
KeywordsAnterior 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.
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Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest that could be perceived as prejudicing the impartiality of this research.
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