2002 Volume 65 Issue 3 Pages 269-278
We investigated the effects of the leptin and ciliary neurotrophic factor (CNTF) on gap junction formation between folliculo-stellate cells in the anterior pituitary glands of male rats. Thirty-day-old Wistar-Imamichi strain male rats were castrated, and 30 days later they received intraperitoneal injections of either human recombinant leptin or recombinant rat CNTF. They were divided into seven groups according to the injected materials: PBS as a control, either 0.04, 0.2 or 1.0 mg/kg leptin or either 0.004, 0.02, or 0.1 mg/kg CNTF. Five rats from each group were killed 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 days after the injections, and the pituitary gland was removed from each rat. Then the specimens were prepared for observation by transmission electron microscopy. We quantified the number of follicles and gap junctions and calculated the rate of occurrence of gap junctions as the ratio of the number of gap junctions existing between folliculo-stellate cells per intersected follicle profile in electron photomicrographs. The administration of 1.0 mg/kg leptin and 0.1 mg/kg CNTF to castrated male rats increased the number of gap junctions between folliculo-stellate cells. These observations indicate that the formation of gap junctions within the anterior pituitary gland of male rats is under the influence of leptin and CNTF.