The incorporation of [3H]fucose in the somatotrophic and gonadotrophic cells of the rat adenohypophysis has been studied by electron microscope autoradiography to determine the site of synthesis of glycoproteins and to follow the migration of newly synthesized glycoproteins. The pituitaries were fixed 5 min, 20 min, 1 h, and 4 h after the in vivo injection of [3H]fucose and autoradiographs analyzed quantitatively. At 5 min after [3H]fucose administration, 80–90% of the silver grains were localized over the Golgi apparatus in both somatotrophs and gonadotrophs. By 20 min, the Golgi apparatus was still labeled and some radioactivity appeared over granules. At 1 h and 4 h, silver grains were found predominantly over secretory granules. The kinetic analysis showed that in both protein-secreting cells (somatotrophs) and glycoprotein-secreting cells (gonadotrophs), the glycoproteins have their synthesis completed in the Golgi apparatus and migrate subsequently to the secretory granules. It is concluded from these in vivo studies that glycoproteins which are not hormones are utilized for the formation of the matrix and/or of the membrane of the secretory granules. The incorporation of [3H]fucose in gonadectomy cells (hyperstimulated gonadotrophs) was also studied in vitro after pulse labeling of pituitary fragments in medium containing [3H]fucose. The incorporation of [3H]fucose was localized in both the rough endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and the Golgi apparatus. Later, the radioactivity over granules increased while that over the Golgi apparatus decreased. The concentration of silver grains over the dilated cisternae of the rough ER was not found to be modified at the longest time intervals studied.

This content is only available as a PDF.