Basic Research Advances on Pituitary Stem Cell Function and Regulation

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As a central regulator of major physiological processes, the pituitary gland is a highly dynamic organ, capable of responding to hormonal demand and hypothalamic influence, through adapting secretion as well as remodelling cell numbers among its seven populations of differentiated cells. Stem cells of the pituitary have been shown to actively generate new cells during postnatal development but remain mostly quiescent during adulthood, where they persist as a long-lived population. Despite a significant body of research characterising attributes of anterior pituitary stem cells, the regulation of this population is poorly understood. A better grasp on the signalling mechanisms influencing stem proliferation and cell fate decisions can impact on our future treatments of pituitary gland disorders such as organ failure and pituitary tumours, which can disrupt endocrine homeostasis with life-long consequences. This minireview addresses the current methodologies aiming to understand better the attributes of pituitary stem cells, the normal regulation of this population in the organ and discusses putative future avenues to manipulate pituitary stem cells during disease states or regenerative medicine approaches. 

Original languageEnglish
Early online date14 Mar 2018
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 14 Mar 2018


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