Title: Activated phenotype of the pituitary stem/progenitor cell compartment during the early-postnatal maturation phase of the gland
Authors: Gremeaux, Lies
Fu, Qiuli
Chen, Jianghai
Vankelecom, Hugo # ×
Issue Date: Mar-2012
Publisher: Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.
Series Title: Stem Cells and Development vol:21 issue:5 pages:801-13
Abstract: The rodent pituitary gland undergoes prominent maturation during the first weeks after birth, including a well-known increase in hormone-producing cells. In the past, it has frequently been postulated that stem cells are involved in this early-postnatal growth phase. This hypothesis can now be explored, as pituitary stem/progenitor cells were recently identified. Here, we analyzed in detail the mouse pituitary stem/progenitor cell compartment during the first postnatal week and compared its phenotype with that at the end of the first pituitary growth wave and at adult age. Stem/progenitor cells, as assessed by both side population phenotype and Sox2 expression, are most abundant at birth and gradually decline toward adulthood. The neonatal stem/progenitor cell compartment is clearly more active in terms of proliferation, stemness gene expression, and stem cell-related functional activity including sphere formation and multipotent differentiation capacity. In situ examination of pituitary sections reveals peculiar topographical arrangements of Sox2+ cells, again more pronounced at the neonatal age. Sox2+ cells are particularly prominent at the wedge junction of the anterior and intermediate lobe, and clusters of Sox2+ cells appear to sprout from this and other cleft-lining, marginal zone regions. Colocalization of Sox2 and hormones is generally not observed, thus suggesting mutually exclusive expression. Together, the neonatal pituitary stem/progenitor cell compartment displays an activated phenotype, thus supporting its involvement in the early-postnatal maturation process of the gland.
ISSN: 1547-3287
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Embryo and Stemcells (-)
× corresponding author
# (joint) last author

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