We have previously reported that glia-like folliculo-stellate (FS) cells in the rat anterior pituitary may be involved in heterotopic differentiation of striated muscles which appear during pituitary cell culture. In the present immunocytochemical study, cytological alterations of FS cells in vitro were investigated by using antibodies to marker proteins (i.e., S-100 and vimentin) for FS cells. Expression of skeletal muscle-specific MyoD1 detected by immunocytochemistry, enabled identification of myogenic cells at a stage when they were still unicellular. Elongated myoblasts containing MyoD1-positive nuclei were found as early as the fifth day of monolayer culture of pituitary cells. The double immunostaining technique showed that some of these myoblasts reacted with antiserum to S-100. Although all of the myoblasts were immunoreactive to vimentin, this marker protein was unable to identify FS cells in vitro because rapidly proliferating fibroblasts were also immunoreactive to vimentin. Since the antiserum to S-100 that we used did not react with already differentiated striated muscle fibers, the demonstration of both MyoD1 and S-100-immunoreactive myoblasts in our pituitary cultures suggests that these myogenic cells are derived from FS cells. The present study does not rule out the possibility that fibroblasts, whose origin is presently unknown, are also involved in myogenesis in pituitary cultures.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Animal Science and Zoology