Section of the pituitary stalk in the rhesus monkey: I. endocrine studies

Luke Vaughan, Peter W. Carmel, Inge Dyrenfurth, Andrew G. Frantz, J. Lobo Antunes, Michel Ferin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


The effects of pituitary stalk section on anterior pituitary secretion were studied in 20 female rhesus monkeys. Vascular connections between the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland were permanently interrupted in all but 4 animals. Prolactin levels rose rapidly and remained significantly elevated in all effectively stalk-sectioned animals for as long as the observation period (up to 3 years). Only smaller and transient elevations of prolactin were seen in the animals in which revascularization of the anterior pituitary gland had occurred. Growth hormone and cortisol were significantly decreased after stalk section, and were not released by insulin. Radioimmunoassayable luteinizing hormone (LH) levels decreased following surgery and, by bioassay, LH became undetectable within 5 weeks after stalk section, indicating that gonadotropin-releasing hormone is essential for the viability of the gonadotrope. The results indicate that plasma prolactin concentrations can be used to monitor completeness of pituitary gland isolation from direct hypothalamic influence. Stalk-sectioned monkeys provide good models to study direct pituitary effects of various hormones or drugs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)70-75
Number of pages6
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1980
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology
  • Endocrine and Autonomic Systems
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


  • Pituitary gland
  • Pituitary hormones
  • Pituitary stalk section


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