Hypothalamic sonic hedgehog is required for cell specification and proliferation of LHX3/LHX4 pituitary embryonic precursors

Gabriela Carreno, John R. Apps, Emily J. Lodge, Leonidas Panousopoulos, Scott Haston, Jose Mario Gonzalez-Meljem, Heidi Hahn, Cynthia L. Andoniadou, Juan Pedro Martinez-Barbera

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41 Citations (Scopus)
218 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

Sonic hedgehog (SHH) is an essential morphogenetic signal dictating cell fate decisions in several developing organs in mammals. In vitro data suggest that SHH is required to specify LHX3+/LHX4+ Rathke's pouch (RP) progenitor identity. However, in vivo studies have failed to reveal such a function, supporting instead, a critical role for SHH in promoting proliferation of these RP progenitors and for differentiation of pituitary cell types. Here, we have used a genetic approach to demonstrate that activation of the SHH pathway is necessary to induce LHX3+/LHX4+ RP identity in mouse embryos. First, we show that conditional deletion of Shh in the anterior hypothalamus results in a fully penetrant phenotype characterised by a complete arrest of RP development, with lack of Lhx3/Lhx4 expression in RP epithelium at 9.0 dpc (days post coitum) and total loss of pituitary tissue by 12.5 dpc. Conversely, over-activation of the SHH pathway by conditional deletion of Ptch1 in RP progenitors leads to severe hyperplasia and enlargement of the Sox2+ve stem cell compartment by the end of gestation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3289-3302
JournalDevelopment
Volume144
Issue number18
Early online date14 Aug 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sept 2017

Keywords

  • Journal Article

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