Protogynous wrasses (Thalassoma duperrey): females (F), primary males (PM) along with a few terminal-phase males (TM) and sex-changed males (SM), were used to characterize the topographical organization of the pituitary. In general, immunocytochemical and ultrastructural features of the adenohypophyseal cell types of the saddleback wrasse pituitary resemble those of other teleosts. In the rostral pars distalis (RPD), corticotropic cells were found bordering the neurohypophysis (NH) and surrounding the centroventrally located prolactin cells. Thyrotropic cells formed a small group in the anteriodorsal part of the rostral and proximal pars distalis (PPD). The somatotropic cells were distributed in large clusters, mostly organized in cell cords around the interdigitations of the NH of the dorsal PPD. Cells containing gonadotropin I?? subunit were localized in the dorsal parts of the PPD, in close association with somatotropic cells and gonadotropin II?? subunit containing cells were seen in the centroventral parts of the PPD and along the periphery of the pars intermedia (PI). The pars intermedia was composed of melanotropic cells and somatolactin cells that lined the neurohypohysis. Distinct ultrastructural differences in corticotropic and somatotropic cells were not observed between the four groups. In all groups, prolactin cells in the ventral-most RPD could be immature cells or actively secreting prolactin. Gonadotropic II cells of PM and F had relatively higher incidence of "nuclear budding" and cell organelles compared to TM and SM. Besides gonadotropic, the active melanotropic and somatolactin cells might be associated with some aspect(s) of reproduction.
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Immunocytochemical and ultrastructural identification of pituitary cell types in the protogynous Thalassoma duperrey during adult sexual ontogeny