Folliculo-stellate (FS) cells are non-endocrine cells found in the adenohypophysis and are identified in many animals by the S100 protein marker. Although keratin is another FS marker in several animals, there is no information on localization of keratin in the avian adenohypophysis. In this study, localization of cytokeratin in chicken adenohypophyseal cells was investigated immunohistochemically. Basic cytokeratin (bCK)-positive cells were arranged radially in the cell cords with their cytoplasmic processes reaching the basal lamina. The cell bodies encircled a follicle in the center of the cell cord. Furthermore, the bCK-positive cells were also S100B-positive. Growth hormone, prolactin, adrenocorticotrophic hormone, and luteinizing hormone β-subunit did not co-localize with the bCK-positive cells. In addition, the bCK-positive cells had a laminin-positive area in their cytoplasm. Transmission electron microscopy observed agranular cells equipped with several microvilli that encircled a follicle. These results indicate that bCK-positive cells in the chicken adenohypophysis may be a predominant FS cell population and produce laminin. It is suggested that they function as sustentacular cells to sustain the adjacent endocrine cells and the structure of the cell cords in the chicken adenohypophysis.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)