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Development of the pituitary and genetic forms of hypopituitarism 

Development of the pituitary and genetic forms of hypopituitarism
Chapter:
Development of the pituitary and genetic forms of hypopituitarism
Author(s):

Kyriaki S. Alatzoglou

and Mehul T. Dattani

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199235292.003.2040
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date: 13 November 2019

Pituitary development occurs in distinct and sequential developmental steps, leading to the formation of a complex organ containing five different cell types secreting six different hormones. During this process the sequential temporal and spatial expression of a cascade of signalling molecules and transcription factors play a crucial role in organ commitment, cell proliferation, patterning, and terminal differentiation. Complex regulatory networks govern the process during which distinct cell types emerge from a common primordium. The mechanisms are not fully elucidated but it seems that opposing signalling gradients induce expression of interacting transcriptional regulators (activators or repressors) in overlapping patterns that act synergistically. Spontaneous or artificially induced mutations in the mouse and identification of mutations associated with human pituitary disease have contributed to defining the genetic cascades responsible for pituitary development.

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