Cellular interactions in the pituitary stem cell niche

Thea L. Willis, Emily J. Lodge, Cynthia L. Andoniadou*, Val Yianni*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


Stem cells in the anterior pituitary gland can give rise to all resident endocrine cells and are integral components for the appropriate development and subsequent maintenance of the organ. Located in discreet niches within the gland, stem cells are involved in bi-directional signalling with their surrounding neighbours, interactions which underpin pituitary gland homeostasis and response to organ challenge or physiological demand. In this review we highlight core signalling pathways that steer pituitary progenitors towards specific endocrine fate decisions throughout development. We further elaborate on those which are conserved in the stem cell niche postnatally, including WNT, YAP/TAZ and Notch signalling. Furthermore, we have collated a directory of single cell RNA sequencing studies carried out on pituitaries across multiple organisms, which have the potential to provide a vast database to study stem cell niche components in an unbiased manner. Reviewing published data, we highlight that stem cells are one of the main signalling hubs within the anterior pituitary. In future, coupling single cell sequencing approaches with genetic manipulation tools in vivo, will enable elucidation of how previously understudied signalling pathways function within the anterior pituitary stem cell niche.

Original languageEnglish
Article number612
JournalCellular and Molecular Life Sciences
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


  • Niche
  • Paracrine
  • Pituitary
  • Single cell RNAseq
  • SOX2
  • Stem cell


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