General and Comparative Endocrinology vol:120 issue:2 pages:127-136
Pit-1 is a pituitary-specific POU-domain DNA binding factor, which binds to and transactivates promoters of growth hormone (GH)-, prolactin (PRL)-, and thyroid-stimulating hormone-beta (TSH beta)-encoding genes. Pit-1 has been identified in several mammalian species. In birds, it has been identified only in the turkey and chicken pituitary. Several (gg) Pit-1 cDNA sequences have been identified in the anterior pituitary of the chicken (Gallus domesticus). As in turkey, three different transcripts (ggPit-1*, ggPit-1 beta*, and ggPit-1W*) of the Pit-1 gene were identified. This suggests that the chicken pituitary expresses more variants than reported earlier. Previous studies have concentrated on expressions during posthatch life of the turkey and chicken. The present study has determined the ontogeny of Pit-1 during the embryonic life of the chicken (day 1-day 21 of incubation). The mRNA for Pit-1 was first detected in the pituitary on day 5 of embryonic life. The expression of the mRNA was maintained until hatch. The presence of Pit-1 at this stage of embryonic development suggests that Pit-1 may be physiologically important during embryonic development of birds, as it precedes the gene expression and secretion of GH, PRL, and TSH beta. A similar sequence for the expression of Pit-1 relative to GH and PRL during embryonic/fetal development has been reported for rodents. (C) 2000 Academic Press.