Characterization of the rat pituitary capsule: Evidence that the cerebrospinal fluid filled the pituitary cleft and the inner side of the capsule
by Edgar Giovanhi Gómez-Domínguez, César Gabriel Toriz, Sirenia González-Pozos, Margarita González-del-Pliego, Elsa Liliana Aguirre-Benítez, Armando Pérez-Torres, Yazmin Monserrat Flores-Martinez, Carmen Solano-Agama, Verónica Rodríguez-Mata, Alejandro García-Godínez, Daniel Martínez-Fong, María Eugenia Mendoza-GarridoIn humans, the pituitary gland is covered by a fibrous capsule and is considered a continuation of the meningeal sheath. However, in rodents some studies concluded that only the pars tuberalis (PT) and pars nervosa (PN) are enwrapped by the pia mater, while others showed that the whole gland is covered by this sheath. At PT the median eminence subarachnoid drains cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) to its cisternal system representing a pathway to the hypothalamus. In the present study we examined the rat pituitary capsule to elucidate its configuration, its physical interaction with the pituitary border and its relationship with the CSF. Furthermore, we also revisited the histology of the pituitary cleft and looked whether CSF drained in it. To answer such questions, we used scanning and transmission electron microscopy, intracerebroventricular infusion of Evan´s blue, fluorescent beads, and sodium fluorescein. The latter was measured in the pars distalis (PD) and various intracranial tissues. We found a pituitary capsule resembling leptomeninges, thick at the dorsal side of the pars intermedia (PI) and PD, thicker at the level of PI in contiguity with the PN and thinner at the rostro-ventral side as a thin membrane of fibroblast-like cells embedded in a fibrous layer. The capsule has abundant capillaries on all sides. Our results showed that the CSFs bathe between the capsule and the surface of the whole gland, and ciliate cells are present in the pituitary border. Our data suggest that the pituitary gland intercommunicates with the central nervous system (CNS) through the CSF.