Pituitary development: a complex, temporal regulated process dependent on specific transcriptional factors

  1. Tânia Maria Ortiga-Carvalho
  1. Laboratório de Endocrinologia Molecular, Instituto de Biofísica Carlos Chagas Filho, Centro de Ciências da Saúde, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Avenida Carlos Chagas Filho, s/n, Rio de Janeiro CEP 21949-900, Brasil
    1Hospital Universitário Clementino Fraga Filho, Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brasil
  1. (Correspondence should be addressed to D C Moraes; Email: deboracmop{at}gmail.com; T M Ortiga-Carvalho; Email: taniaort{at}biof.ufrj.br)
  1. Figure 1

    Early pituitary development. The most anterior portion of the neural plate gives rise to the anterior pituitary and the adjacent midline region forms the endocrine hypothalamus. In mice, at approximately E8, the oral ectoderm proliferates in response to SHH. SIX3, OTX2, HEX1 and SHH participate in the CNS and midline formation. Proliferation continues at approximately E9 in response to neural epithelium signalisation with the expression of BMP4, FGF8, WNT2 and NKX2. At this point, oral ectoderm begins to invaginate to form a rudimental pouch, which expresses LHX3/4 e PITX1/2. BMP2 is expressed at the edge of Rathke's pouch that is in contact with the oral ectoderm and antagonises the FGF8 expressed by the neural epithelium. Thus, an BMP2–FGF8 ventral-dorsal gradient is set, which determines the activation of specific genes in each cell group according to their position in Rathke's pouch. Full colour version of this figure available via http://dx.doi.org/10.1530/JOE-12-0229.

  2. Figure 2

    Temporal and spatial activation of pituitary transcription factors. In response to the BMP2–FGF8 ventral–dorsal gradient, pituitary cell lineages are determined by the activation or repression of each TF. Solid arrows indicate the activation of expression, dotted arrows indicate an unknown role in the activation of expression, dashed arrows indicate an undefined role and dash–dot arrows indicate an action of an important factor in the maintenance of long-term cell function. BMP2, bone morphogenic protein 2; EGR1, early growth response 1; ER, oestrogen receptor; FGF8, fibroblast growth factor 8; GATA2, GATA-binding protein 2; HESX1, HESX homeobox 1; ISL1, ISL LIM homeobox 1; LHX3, LIM homeobox 3; LHX4, LIM homeobox 4; LIF, leukaemia inhibitory factor; MSX1, msh homeobox 1; NeuroD1, neurogenic differentiation 1; PIT1, POU class 1 homeobox 1; PITX1, paired-like homeodomain 1; PITX2, paired-like homeodomain 2; POMC, pro-opiomelanocortin; PROP1, prophet of Pit-1; RAR, retinoic acid receptor; SF1, steroidogenic factor 1; T3r, thyroid hormone nuclear receptor; TEF, thyrotrope embryonic factor; TPIT, T-box 19; Zn15, zinc finger protein Zn15. Full colour version of this figure available via http://dx.doi.org/10.1530/JOE-12-0229.

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