cAMP in the pituitary: an old messenger for multiple signals

    1. Anna Spada1,
    1. 1Endocrine Unit, Department of Clinical Sciences and Community Health, Fondazione IRCCS Ca' Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico
      2Endocrine Unit, IRCCS Humanitas Clinical Institute, Rozzano, University of Milan, Milan, Italy
    1. Correspondence should be addressed to A Spada; Email: anna.spada{at}


    The cyclic nucleotide cAMP is a universal regulator of a variety of cell functions in response to activated G-protein coupled receptors. In particular, cAMP exerts positive or negative effects on cell proliferation in different cell types. As demonstrated by several in vitro studies, in somatotrophs and in other endocrine cells, cAMP is a mitogenic factor. In agreement with this notion, it has been found that the mutations of genes coding for proteins that contribute to increases in the cAMP signaling cascade may cause endocrine tumor development. This review will discuss the central role of cAMP signaling in the pituitary, focusing on the cAMP pathway alterations involved in pituitary tumorigenesis, as well as on poorly investigated the aspects of cAMP cascade, such as crosstalk with the ERK signaling pathway and new cAMP effectors.

    • Revision received 13 September 2013
    • Accepted 18 September 2013
    • Made available online as an Accepted Preprint 18 September 2013
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