Biosynthesis of a Vasotocin-Like Peptide in Cell Cultures from Pineal Glands of Human Fetuses

Science  28 Sep 1973:
Vol. 181, Issue 4106, pp. 1252-1253
DOI: 10.1126/science.181.4106.1252


Cultured cells from pineal glands of human fetuses release into their media a substance that has antidiuretic and hydroosmotic activities. The ratio of these activities as well as their susceptibility to tryptic digestion, specific oxidative inactivation by tyrosinase, and reductive inactivation by sodium thioglycollate, indicates the presence of a basic peptide, presumably identical with arginine vasotocin. The total amount of this peptide released into the culture media during 38 days of incubation is about ten times greater than the amount contained in nonincubated pineal glands from fetuses of the same age, strongly suggesting that fetal ependymal cells from the pineal gland can synthesize in vitro a peptide similar to arginine vasotocin.