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J Histochem Cytochem. 2010 May;58(5):463-79. doi: 10.1369/jhc.2010.954768. Epub 2010 Feb 1.

Components of the basal lamina and dystrophin-dystroglycan complex in the neurointermediate lobe of rat pituitary gland: different localizations of beta-dystroglycan, dystrobrevins, alpha1-syntrophin, and aquaporin-4.

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Department of Anatomy, Histology and Embryology, Semmelweis University, Tuzoltó 58, Budapest, H-1094, Hungary.


The so-called neurointermediate lobe is composed of the intermediate and neural lobes of the pituitary. The present immunohistochemical study investigated components of the basal lamina (laminin, agrin, and perlecan), the dystrophin-dystroglycan complex (dystrophin, beta-dystroglycan, alpha1-dystrobrevin, beta-dystrobrevin, utrophin, and alpha1-syntrophin), and the aquaporins (aquaporin-4 and -9). Glia markers (GFAP, S100, and glutamine synthetase) and components of connective tissue (collagen type I and fibronectin) were also labeled. In the neurohypophysis, immunostaining of basal lamina delineated meningeal invaginations. In these invaginations, vessels were seen to penetrate the organ without submerging into its parenchyma. On the parenchymal side of the invaginations, beta-dystroglycan was detected, whereas utrophin was detected in the walls of vessels. Immunostaining of alpha1-dystrobrevin and alpha1-syntrophin did not delineate the vessels. The cells of the intermediate lobe were fully immunoreactive to alpha1-dystrobrevin and alpha1-syntrophin, whereas components of the basal lamina delineated the contours of the cells. GFAP-immunoreactive processes surrounded them. Aquaporin-4 localized at the periphery of the neurohypophysis, mainly adjacent to the intermediate lobe but not along the vessels. It colocalized only partially with GFAP and not at all with alpha1-syntrophin. Aquaporin-9 was not detected. These results emphasize the possibility that the components of the dystrophin-dystroglycan complex localize differently and raise the question about the roles of dystrobrevins, alpha1-syntrophin, and aquaporin-4 in the functions of the intermediate and neural lobes, respectively.

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