Research Papers:

Plurihormonal cells of normal anterior pituitary: Facts and conclusions

Lubov B. Mitrofanova _, Petr V. Konovalov, Julia S. Krylova, Victoria O. Polyakova and Igor M. Kvetnoy

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Oncotarget. 2017; 8:29282-29299. https://doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.16502

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Lubov B. Mitrofanova1, Petr V. Konovalov1, Julia S. Krylova2, Victoria O. Polyakova2, Igor M. Kvetnoy2

1Federal Almazov North-West Medical Research Center, St. Petersburg, 197341, Russian Federation

2Ott Research Institute of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductology, St. Petersburg, 199034, Russian Federation

Correspondence to:

Lubov B. Mitrofanova, email: lubamitr@yandex.ru

Keywords: pluriihormonality of normal anterior pituitary, confocal laser scanning microscopy, pituitary adenoma

Received: August 11, 2016    Accepted: February 27, 2017    Published: March 23, 2017


Introduction. plurihormonality of pituitary adenomas is an ability of adenoma cells to produce more than one hormone. After the immunohistochemical analysis had become a routine part of the morphological study, a great number of adenomas appeared to be multihormonal in actual practice. We hypothesize that the same cells of a normal pituitary gland releases several hormones simultaneously.

Objective. To analyse a possible co-expression of hormones by the cells of the normal anterior pituitary of adult humans in autopsy material.

Materials and methods. We studied 10 pituitary glands of 4 women and 6 men with cardiovascular and oncological diseases. Double staining immunohistochemistry using 11 hormone combinations was performed in all the cases. These combinations were: prolactin/thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), prolactin/luteinizing hormone (LH), prolactin/follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), prolactin/adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), growth hormone (GH)/TSH, GH/LH, GH/FSH, GH/ACTH, TSH/LH, TSH/FSH, TSH/ACTH. Laser Confocal Scanning Microscopy with a mixture of primary antibodies was performed in 2 cases. These mixtures were ACTH/prolactin, FSH/prolactin, TSH/prolactin, ACTH/GH, and FSH/GH.

Results. We found that the same cells of the normal adenohypophysis can co-express prolactin with ACTH, TSH, FSH, LH; GH with ACTH, TSH, FSH, LH, and TSH with ACTH, FSH, LH. The comparison of the average co-expression coefficients of prolactin, GH and TSH with other hormones showed that the TSH co-expression coefficient was significantly the least (9,5±6,9%; 9,6±7,8%; 1,0±1,3% correspondingly).

Conclusion. Plurihormonality of normal adenohypophysis is an actually existing phenomenon. Identification of different hormones in pituitary adenomas enables to find new ways to improve both diagnostic process and targeted treatment.

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