Electron microscopically the percentages of various pituitary cell types were calculated at 30 and 90 days of age. Prolactin cell percentage was more at 90 days of age than at 30 days in both intact male and female rats. No sexual difference was observed in the percentage of prolactin cells at 30 days of age, but at 90 days female pituitaries contained more numerous prolactin cells than male ones. Neonatal ovariectomy did not affect the prolactin cell percentage at 30 days of age, while it lowered the percentage at 90 days. Neonatal orchidectomy did not affect the prolactin cell percentage at both 30 and 90 days of age. Mitotic prolactin cells were more frequently observed in intact female rats at estrus than in intact male rats at 90 days of age. These results show the presence of the sexual difference in the proliferation of prolactin cells. Serum prolactin levels increased with age in intact male and female rats. In neonatall·y gonadectomized male and female rats the serum prolactin levels failed to increase at 60 and 90 days of age. In general conclusion, the changes in serum prolactin levels are in line with the changes in prolactin cell population during postnatal development.
- Development Neonatal gonadectomy
- Prolactin cell
- Prolactin secretion
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