Springer Online Journal Archives 1860-2000
Summary Hypothalamic tissue from 16 to 18-day fetal rats was transplanted onto the choroidal pia overlying the superior colliculus in adult female rats. After survival periods of 2 weeks to 19 months, brains containing transplants were processed for monoamine fluorescence histochemistry, immunohistochemistry for three neuropeptides (LHRH, somatostatin, neurophysin), or for autoradiography in ovariectomized hosts that received [3H] estradiol. Most of the transplants survived and retained or increased in size; 14 of 25 transplants examined by fluorescence histochemistry were found to contain median eminence-like structures. In almost all of the transplants that were stained for neuropeptides, beaded processes and occasional cell bodies were observed. Although immunoreactive fibers were found near blood vessels, no palisade arrangement typical of the normal median eminence was evident. Each of the hypothalamic transplants on which steroid autoradiography was performed contained clusters of estrophilic neurons, the intensity of labeling of which was comparable to that seen in the host hypothalamus. These results indicate that many characteristic morphological and chemical features of the hypothalamus, which are not evident in the 16 to 18-day fetus, are elaborated in transplants during the survival period in the host. Transplantation of fetal hypothalamus to adult choroidal pia thus appears to be a valuable approach for studying the factors, humoral or neural, that regulate the differentiation of this brain region.
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