Seminars in cell & developmental biology vol:18 issue:4 pages:559-570
Hormone balances in the body are primarily governed by the hypothalamus-pituitary system. For its pivotal role, the pituitary gland relies on an assortment of different hormone-producing cell types, the proportions of which dynamically change in response to fluctuating endocrine demands. Mechanisms of pituitary cellular plasticity are at present far from understood, and may include proliferation and transdifferentiation of hormonal cells. Whether new cells also originate by recruitment from stem cells is unsettled, although this idea has frequently been proposed. Here, I will review these data by focusing on the non-hormonal cell types that have been advanced as candidates for the pituitary stem cell position. (c) 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.