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Evidence for a progenitor cell population in the human pituitary

Weiss, S., Siebzehnrubl, Florian ORCID:, Kreutzer, J., Bluemcke, I. and Buslei, R. 2009. Evidence for a progenitor cell population in the human pituitary. Clinical Neuropathology 28 (4) , pp. 309-318.

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The ability to isolate and propagate adult stem/progenitor cells from the human brain opens novel avenues for cell replacement therapy. This will also apply to the pituitary gland, i.e., following tumor induced endocrine deficiency. Herein, we examine autopsy derived pituitaries to unravel a putative stem/progenitor cell population in humans. In tissue sections of the anterior lobe nestin immunoreactive cells co-expressing smooth muscle actin (SMA) were identified in the perivascular space, indicating a pericytic differentiation. Under clonal conditions, this particular cell population generated primary and secondary cell aggregates (spheres). Pituitary cell cultures maintained a stable cell cycle length with a doubling time of 10 days for over eight months. Forskolin treatment induced a prolactin-expressing phenotype in the majority of cell progenies as well as few betaIII-tubulin (Tuj1) expressing cells of putative neuronal lineage. The presence of sphere-forming, nestin-immunoreactive cells and their ability to generate differentiated cell lineages indicates the existence of a progenitor cell population persisting in the adult human pituitary. Further studies are needed to characterize this cell population in more detail and to clarify their potential to initiate neoplastic transformation for example in the cellular pathogenesis of pituitary adenoma.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Biosciences
European Cancer Stem Cell Research Institute (ECSCRI)
Publisher: Dustri-Verlag
ISSN: 0722-5091
Last Modified: 25 Oct 2022 10:12

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