Characterization of GFAP expression and cell proliferation in the rat median eminence following hypophysectomy


  • R. Vázquez
  • E. Blanco
  • F. Sánchez
  • J. A. Juanes
  • M. Rubio
  • M. Santos
  • G. Vázquez
  • E. Hernández
  • J. M. Riesco
  • J. Carretero


median eminence, GFAP-cells, cellular proliferation, hypophysectomy, immunohistochemistry


To analyze whether the reorganization of the rat median eminence after hypophysectomy might be related to changes in glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP)- and cellular proliferation, the distribution of cells immunoreactive for GFAP and the proliferation rate of such cells were analyzed at 20, 40 and 60 days posthypophysectomy. For this study, four rostro-caudal regions of the median eminence were differentiated: the retrochiasmatic, preinfundibular, infundibular and postinfundibular regions. In each of these regions, three layers were studied: the ependymal, the internal and the external. At 20 and 40 days after hypophysectomy, significant increases in cellular proliferation affecting all three layers studied in the preinfundibular and infundibular regions were found. At the same time points, increases in GFAP expression were also observed. However, after 60 days, GFAP and proliferative cellular nuclear antigen (PCNA) expression decreased. Although variations of PCNA and GFAP levels were evident, no colocalisation of PCNA and GFAP was found in the cells of the median eminence in untreated or hypophysectomized rats when sections were analyzed by double immunohistochemical staining. Our results suggest that reorganization of median eminence involves alterations (or modulation) of GFAPimmunoreactive cells together with a proliferation of cells that are not GFAP-immunoreactive. This study also demonstrates that this reorganization is completed within the first two months after hypophysectomy.