Biologically active pituitary hormones in the rat brain amygdaloid nucleus

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Science  17 Feb 1978:
Vol. 199, Issue 4330, pp. 804-806
DOI: 10.1126/science.203034


While an attempt was being made to identify the source of the growth hormone releasing factor present in cerebral spinal fluid of man, it was discovered that cells of the rat amygdaloid nucleus, grown in tissue culture, produce a material that is immunologically and chromatographically identical to growth hormone found in the pituitary. Immunoperoxidase staining revealed dense accumulation of the peroxidase-antibody to growth hormone complex in amygdala cells. Significant amounts of growth hormone and adrenocorticotropin could be extracted from this limbic structure. Extracts containing immunoequivalent amounts of growth hormone were measured by bioassay in hypophysectomized rats. Stimulation of the growth of epiphyseal cartilage by extracts of the amygdala was comparable to the stimulation by extracts of anterior pituitary glands. The stimulatory effect of amygdala extracts on adrenal and gonadal size and weight and on growth of thyroid follicular epithelium was also comparable to that of pituitary extracts.