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      Molecular Mechanisms of Pituitary Cell Plasticity


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          The mechanisms that mediate plasticity in pituitary function have long been a subject of vigorous investigation. Early studies overcame technical barriers and challenged conceptual barriers to identify multipotential and multihormonal cell populations that contribute to diverse pituitary stress responses. Decades of intensive study have challenged the standard model of dedicated, cell type-specific hormone production and have revealed the malleable cellular fates that mediate pituitary responses. Ongoing studies at all levels, from animal physiology to molecular analyses, are identifying the mechanisms underlying this cellular plasticity. This review describes the findings from these studies that utilized state-of-the-art tools and techniques to identify mechanisms of plasticity throughout the pituitary and focuses on the insights brought to our understanding of pituitary function.

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          Molecular physiology of pituitary development: signaling and transcriptional networks.

          The pituitary gland is a central endocrine organ regulating basic physiological functions, including growth, the stress response, reproduction, metabolic homeostasis, and lactation. Distinct hormone-producing cell types in the anterior pituitary arise from a common ectodermal primordium during development by extrinsic and intrinsic mechanisms, providing a powerful model system for elucidating general principles in mammalian organogenesis. The central purpose of this review is to inspect the integrated signaling and transcriptional events that affect precursor proliferation, cell lineage commitment, terminal differentiation, and physiological regulation by hypothalamic tropic factors.
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            Stem cell-derived organoids and their application for medical research and patient treatment.

            3D culture has allowed the initiation and expansion of organ-like structures, called organoids, from either tissue-resident adult stem cells or pluripotent stem cells. Today, organoids can be grown to resemble a wide variety of organs, exhibiting remarkable similarity to their in vivo counterparts. As successful organoid generation is possible from virtually every patient, organoids hold a great promise for medical research and the development of new treatments. They have already found their way into the clinic, enabling personalized medicine in small patient trials. In this review, we provide an update on current organoid technology and summarize their application in basic research, disease modelling, drug development, personalized treatment and regenerative medicine.
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              Single-cell RNA sequencing reveals novel markers of male pituitary stem cells and hormone-producing cell-types

              Transcription factors and signaling pathways that regulate stem cells and specialized hormone-producing cells in the pituitary gland have been the subject of intense study and have yielded a mechanistic understanding of pituitary organogenesis and disease. However, the regulation of stem cell proliferation and differentiation, the heterogeneity among specialized hormone-producing cells, and the role of nonendocrine cells in the gland remain important, unanswered questions. Recent advances in single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNAseq) technologies provide new avenues to address these questions. We performed scRNAseq on ∼13,663 cells pooled from six whole pituitary glands of 7-week-old C57BL/6 male mice. We identified pituitary endocrine and stem cells in silico , as well as other support cell types such as endothelia, connective tissue, and red and white blood cells. Differential gene expression analyses identify known and novel markers of pituitary endocrine and stem cell populations. We demonstrate the value of scRNAseq by in vivo validation of a novel gonadotrope-enriched marker, Foxp2 . We present novel scRNAseq data of in vivo pituitary tissue, including data from agnostic clustering algorithms that suggest the presence of a somatotrope subpopulation enriched in sterol/cholesterol synthesis genes. Additionally, we show that incomplete transcriptome annotation can cause false negatives on some scRNAseq platforms that only generate 3′ transcript end sequences, and we use in vivo data to recover reads of the pituitary transcription factor Prop1 . Ultimately, scRNAseq technologies represent a significant opportunity to address long-standing questions regarding the development and function of the different populations of the pituitary gland throughout life.

                Author and article information

                Front Endocrinol (Lausanne)
                Front Endocrinol (Lausanne)
                Front. Endocrinol.
                Frontiers in Endocrinology
                Frontiers Media S.A.
                10 September 2020
                : 11
                : 656
                Department of Neurobiology and Developmental Sciences, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences , Little Rock, AR, United States
                Author notes

                Edited by: Finn-Arne Weltzien, Norwegian University of Life Sciences, Norway

                Reviewed by: Giampaolo Trivellin, University of Milan, Italy; Anderson O. L. Wong, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong

                *Correspondence: Melanie C. MacNicol macnicolmelanie@ 123456uams.edu

                This article was submitted to Neuroendocrine Science, a section of the journal Frontiers in Endocrinology

                Copyright © 2020 Childs, MacNicol and MacNicol.

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.

                : 04 June 2020
                : 11 August 2020
                Page count
                Figures: 4, Tables: 0, Equations: 0, References: 50, Pages: 7, Words: 4362
                Funded by: National Institutes of Health 10.13039/100000002
                Award ID: 1R01DK113776-01
                Award ID: R01HD093461
                Mini Review

                Endocrinology & Diabetes
                pituitary,plasticity,multihormonal cells,multipotential,leptin,mrna translation,musashi,single cell


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