Development of the pituitary and genetic forms of hypopituitarism

Kyriaki S. Alatzoglou and Mehul T. Dattani

in Oxford Textbook of Endocrinology and Diabetes

Second edition

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print July 2011 | ISBN: 9780199235292
Published online July 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780199608232 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Textbooks

Development of the pituitary and genetic forms of hypopituitarism

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Pituitary development occurs in distinct and sequential developmental steps, leading to the formation of a complex organ containing five different cell types secreting six different hormones. During this process the sequential temporal and spatial expression of a cascade of signalling molecules and transcription factors play a crucial role in organ commitment, cell proliferation, patterning, and terminal differentiation. Complex regulatory networks govern the process during which distinct cell types emerge from a common primordium. The mechanisms are not fully elucidated but it seems that opposing signalling gradients induce expression of interacting transcriptional regulators (activators or repressors) in overlapping patterns that act synergistically. Spontaneous or artificially induced mutations in the mouse and identification of mutations associated with human pituitary disease have contributed to defining the genetic cascades responsible for pituitary development.

Chapter.  11359 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Endocrinology and Diabetes

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