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INTRODUCTION Organogenesis in mammals is a highly complex process that

Organogenesis in mammals is a highly complex process that
has been difficult to study experimentally. The anterior
pituitary gland is an excellent model system for the study of
cellular differentiation during organogenesis since the appear-
ance of its five constituent endocrine cell types occurs in a
well-defined order based on the expression of specific hormone
genes. Thus, defining the regulation of hormone gene
expression at various stages of anterior pituitary development
will also enable us to elucidate the mechanisms of regulation
of cytodifferentiation in this multifunctional organ. To this
end, we have focused on creating cultured models that reflect
distinct steps in anterior pituitary development.
The anterior pituitary is derived from a single epithelial layer
referred to as Rathke's pouch (Simmons et al., 1990). The
earliest marker of anterior lobe differentiation is the glycopro-
tein hormone -subunit gene which is expressed at approxi-
mately embryonic day 11.5 (E11.5) of gestation in the mouse
(Japon et al., 1994). Beginning on E13.5, there is a clear pro-
gression of cell differentiation initiated by the commitment of


Source: Alarid, Elaine T. - Molecular and Cellular Pharmacology Training Program & Department of Oncology,University of Wisconsin at Madison


Collections: Biology and Medicine