Paracrine effect of folliculo-stellate cells on the growth factor-like action of activin A in anterior pituitary cultures

T. Katayama, K. Shiota, H. Sugino, M. Takahashi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)


Several studies have shown that pituitary folliculo-stellate (FS) cells exhibit local functions within the pituitary gland. On the other hand, we have shown previously that activin A increases the number of FSH-producing gonadotropes in cultured rat anterior pituitary cells. In this study, we investigated whether FS cells exert an influence on the action of activin A. FS cells were prepared by culturing the dispersed rat anterior pituitary cells in media containing 15% fetal calf serum and 6 mM glutamine for 15 days. Most cells had the morphological characteristics of FS cells and S-100 protein immunoreactivity, a specific marker of FS cells. The number of FSH cells, which was higher in activin A-treated than in control cultures, was reduced to the control level by incubation with activin A plus conditioned media from FS cell-enriched cultures (FSCM). This inhibitory effect of FSCM was neutralized by a follistatin antibody, but not by anti-S-100 protein or anti-basic fibroblast growth factor. Furthermore, follistatin suppressed activin A stimulated increases in the number of FSH cells in a similar inhibitory pattern to that of FSCM. Meanwhile, the number of FSH cells was not affected by FSCM or follistatin in the absence of activin A. These results suggest that FS cells are involved in the regulation of the function and/or the morphogenesis of the FSH cell-lineage by affecting the action of activin A, and that this paracrine effect of FS cells is mediated by follistatin.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)289-297
Number of pages9
JournalEndocrinologia Japonica
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes


  • Activin
  • Folliculo-stellate cell
  • Follistatin
  • FSH-Gonadotrope
  • Paracrine effect

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology


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