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Development of the Pituitary Gland

Alatzoglou, KS; Gregory, LC; Dattani, M; (2020) Development of the Pituitary Gland. Comprehensive Physiology , 10 (2) pp. 389-413. 10.1002/cphy.c150043. Green open access

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Abstract

The development of the anterior pituitary gland occurs in distinct sequential developmental steps, leading to the formation of a complex organ containing five different cell types secreting six different hormones. During this process, the temporal and spatial expression of a cascade of signaling molecules and transcription factors plays a crucial role in organ commitment, cell proliferation, patterning, and terminal differentiation. The morphogenesis of the gland and the emergence of distinct cell types from a common primordium are governed by complex regulatory networks involving transcription factors and signaling molecules that may be either intrinsic to the developing pituitary or extrinsic, originating from the ventral diencephalon, the oral ectoderm, and the surrounding mesenchyme. Endocrine cells of the pituitary gland are organized into structural and functional networks that contribute to the coordinated response of endocrine cells to stimuli; these cellular networks are formed during embryonic development and are maintained or may be modified in adulthood, contributing to the plasticity of the gland. Abnormalities in any of the steps of pituitary development may lead to congenital hypopituitarism that includes a spectrum of disorders from isolated to combined hormone deficiencies including syndromic disorders such as septo‐optic dysplasia. Over the past decade, the acceleration of next‐generation sequencing has allowed for rapid analysis of the patient genome to identify novel mutations and novel candidate genes associated with hypothalmo‐pituitary development. Subsequent functional analysis using patient fibroblast cells, and the generation of stem cells derived from patient cells, is fast replacing the need for animal models while providing a more physiologically relevant characterization of novel mutations. Furthermore, CRISPR‐Cas9 as the method for gene editing is replacing previous laborious and time‐consuming gene editing methods that were commonly used, thus yielding knockout cell lines in a fraction of the time.

Type: Article
Title: Development of the Pituitary Gland
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1002/cphy.c150043
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1002/cphy.c150043
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher's terms and conditions.
Keywords: pituitary, endocrinology and metabolism, anterior pituitary, neurophysiology
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Population Health Sciences > UCL GOS Institute of Child Health > Genetics and Genomic Medicine Dept
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10094923
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