A neuropeptide, pituitary adenylate cyclase–activating polypeptide (PACAP) has possible potency as a hypothalamic factor mediating the release of pituitary hormones, especially growth hormone (GH), in the fish pituitary. We used double-immunostaining to examine the relationship between PACAP nerve fibers and adenohypophysial hormone-producing cells in the pituitary of a teleost, the stargazer Uranoscopus japonicus, and enzyme immunoassay to determine the quantity of PACAP in the stargazer brain, in conjunction with the body mass and gonad somatic index (GSI) of fish. In adult stargazer, PACAP-like immunoreactive (PACAP-LI) nerve fibers and endings were identified in both the neurohypophysis and adenohypophysis in close proximity to pituitary cells containing immunoreactive hormones such as prolactin, somatolactin, the N-terminal peptide of proopiomelanocortin, and N-acetyl endorphin. PACAP-LI nerve fibers were also identified close to immunoreactive GH cells in the pituitary of young fish. The concentration of immunoreactive PACAP in whole brain ranged from 100 to 800 pmol/g wet weight, in fish with weighing 70–480 g. A negative correlation was found between the concentration of immunoreactive PACAP in the whole brain and body weight, but there was no relation between the former and GSI. These results suggest that PACAP may act as a hypophysiotropic factor in the stargazer pituitary.
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1 January 2005
Immunohistochemical Observation of Pituitary Adenylate Cyclase–activating Polypeptide (PACAP) and Adenohypophysial Hormones in the Pituitary of a Teleost, Uranoscopus japonicus