The pars distalis from the pituitary gland of adult female desert lizards (Uromastyx acanthinura), captured during vitellogenesis (late may) and hivernal period, was studied with immunocytochemical methods using specific antisera against human FSH (hFSH) and LH (hLH). The immunostaining with anti-hLH and anti-hFSH allowed the identification of only FSH-like containing cells. The FSH-like immunoreactive cells were affected differently by a physiological stage and showed some heterogenous cytological characteristics. During vitellogenesis, four aspects of rostral FSH-like immunoreactive cells could be recognized. The expression of FSH-like in mainly immunoreactive cells was parallel to an intense synthetic activity and to the presence of ultrastructural features indicating an intense release of the hormone. This release was considerably altered in winter, the immunoreactive cells stored an important amount of secretion granules which increased in size and undergo a crinophagic process. © 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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