Cellular distribution within the rat adenohypophysis: A morphometric study



A morphometric analysis of the cell types within the adenohypophysis of the female rat was conducted with an emphasis on regional variations. Type I and type II gonadotropes and corticotropes had the largest volumes, mammotropes and somatotropes were of medium size, and thyrotropes and chromophobes were the smallest cells. There was no regional variation in the volumes of the respective cell types.

Somatotropes and mammotropes were most numerous, followed by the gonadotropes, chromophobes, corticotropes, and thyrotropes. There was no significant regional localization of the somatotropes, mammotropes, corticotropes, and thyrotropes. Gonadotropes were best defined as two populations with type I cells being localized in the central regions and type II cells being distributed throughout the gland. Chromophobes were the only cells with a significant distribution in the anterior regions and were most numerous in the anterior peripheral regions. These fine-structural morphometric findings are discussed in relation to other studies of the adenohypophysis that utilize immunocytochemistry.