• cadherin;
  • rat;
  • anterior pituitary gland;
  • folliculo-stellate cell;
  • immunohistochemistry


In the rat anterior pituitary gland, folliculo-stellate cells aggregate preferably to form pseudofollicles, and each type of hormone-producing cell shows adhesive affinity with particular types of heterologous hormone-producing cells. Distribution of cadherin types in the rat anterior pituitary was examined immunohistochemically to clarify the unique cell arrangements caused by homologous and heterologous affinities among cells. N- and E-cadherins were detected continuously along cell membranes, while P-cadherin was not. N- and E-cadherins showed distinct isolation in localization, with N-cadherins localized in hormone-producing cells of distal and intermediate lobes in various amounts, and E-cadherins limited to folliculo-stellate cells and marginal layer cells facing the residual lumen of Rathke's pouch. A similar distribution of cadherins was observed in cell clusters of primary cultured anterior pituitary cells. These findings suggest that differential expression of cell adhesion molecules may be partially responsible for localization of hormone-producing cells and folliculo-stellate cells. Anat Rec Part A, 288A:1183–1189, 2006. © 2006 Wiley-Liss, Inc.