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Immunohistochemical techniques were used to determine the distribution of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in the adult rat pituitary gland. In the posterior lobe, BDNF staining was found only within fibers. Within the intermediate lobe, nearly all cells were labeled intensely for BDNF. In the anterior lobe, varying degrees of BDNF immunoreactivity were observed exclusively in cells shown by double-labeling techniques to contain thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH), although not all TSH-positive cells contained detectable BDNF labeling. These results are consistent with and extend information from previous studies demonstrating BDNF expression in the pituitary gland and further support the idea that this neurotrophin plays a role in endocrine function.

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