The journal of histochemistry and cytochemistry : official journal of the Histochemistry Society

A unique ball-shaped Golgi apparatus in the rat pituitary gonadotrope: its functional implications in relation to the arrangement of the microtubule network.

PMID 22562559


In polarized exocrine cells, the Golgi apparatus is cup-shaped and its convex and concave surfaces are designated as cis and trans faces, functionally confronting the rough endoplasmic reticulum and the cell surface, respectively. To clarify the morphological characteristics of the Golgi apparatus in non-polarized endocrine cells, the investigators immunocytochemically examined its precise architecture in pituitary gonadotropes, especially in relation to the arrangement of the intracellular microtubule network. The Golgi apparatus in the gonadotropes was not cup-shaped but ball-shaped or spherical, and its outer and inner surfaces were the cis and trans faces, respectively. Centrioles were situated at the center of the Golgi apparatus, from which radiating microtubules isotropically extended to the cell periphery through the gaps in the spherical wall of the Golgi stack. The shape of the Golgi apparatus and the arrangement of microtubules demonstrated in the present study could explain the microtubule-dependent movements of tubulovesicular carriers and granules within the gonadotropes. Furthermore, the spherical shape of the Golgi apparatus possibly reflects the highly symmetrical arrangement of microtubule arrays, as well as the poor polarity in the cell surface of pituitary gonadotropes.