Specific in vitro uptake of serotonin by cells in the anterior pituitary of the rat

M. A. Johns, E. C. Azmitia, D. T. Krieger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


In vivo studies have suggested that serotonin (5HT) influences anterior pituitary function at the hypothalamic level.The present in vitro study investigated the possibility that 5HT may act directly on the anterior pituitary.The high affinity uptake of [3H]5HT into adult rat anterior pituitary tissue was examined in two types of experiments.1) To test the specificity and saturability of uptake of 5HT in the anterior pituitary, pituitary tissue was incubated (37 C) with [3H]5HT (10−8−10−6 M) in the presence and absence of excess (10−5 M) unlabeled 5HT, norepinephrine, fluoxetine (FLUOX), metergoline, or cyproheptadine.A Hofstee analysis of the specific uptake of [3H] 5HT gave an apparent Km value of 4.23 × 10−7 M and a Vmax of 1576 pmol/g/10 min [3H]5HT.The total uptake of [3H]5HT was not altered by norepinephrine or metergoline, but was significantly reduced (P < 0.01-0.001) by FLUOX and cyproheptadine.Uptake was shown to be temperature and sodium dependent and not directly dependent on energy derived from glycolysis or aerobic metabolism. 2) To study the site of uptake of 5 HT in the anterior pituitary, in concomitant radioautographic experiments, tissue was incubated with [3H]5HT with and without excess 5HT or FLUOX.Three patterns of silver grain distribution were observed: 1) nonrandom concentrations over select anterior pituitary cells near blood vessels, 2) heavy aggregates of silver grains usually associated with blood vessels, and 3) a seemingly random dispersal of grains over pituitary tissue.Tissue incubated with [3H] 5HT alone contained 10% heavily labeled cells, 32% moderately labeled cells, and 58% weakly labeled cells.In contrast, no heavily labeled cells were seen when tissue was incubated with either excess 5HT or FLUOX in addition to [3H]5HT.Our findings of saturable and specific high affinity uptake of [3H]5HT into a subgroup of anterior pituitary cells suggest a direct pituitary action of 5HT.(Endocrinology 110: 754, 1982).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)754-760
Number of pages7
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1982

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology


Dive into the research topics of 'Specific in vitro uptake of serotonin by cells in the anterior pituitary of the rat'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this