Coexistence of thyrotropin-releasing hormone and insulin in cultured fetal rat islets: a light and electron microscopic immunocytochemical study during islet neoformation

Biol Cell. 1989;66(3):291-6.


Pancreatic thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) is without doubt localized in the insulin-containing beta-cells. A previous study reported cellular continuity between beta-cells and ducts in cultured fetal rat islets, but it is not known whether these insulin-containing beta-cells form a cell type that is different from the TRH cells producing insulin. On the other hand, the subcellular coexistence of both peptides as yet remains unresolved. To overcome these problems the present study was conducted, using light microscopic immunocytochemistry, to verify the cellular distribution of TRH in cultured fetal rat islets with particular regard to the interrelationship between beta-cells and ducts, and using electron microscopic double labeling cytochemistry, to study the subcellular distribution of TRH and insulin. Our data show that both TRH and insulin are expressed in the same cells during islet cell neogenesis, and are localized in the same secretory granules. No topographic segregation of their respective immunoreactive moieties are seen within the secretory granule.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Embryonic and Fetal Development / physiology
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Insulin / analysis*
  • Islets of Langerhans / analysis
  • Islets of Langerhans / cytology
  • Islets of Langerhans / embryology*
  • Microscopy, Electron
  • Rats
  • Thyrotropin-Releasing Hormone / analysis*


  • Insulin
  • Thyrotropin-Releasing Hormone