[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We reported recently that a pituitary-specific transcription factor PROP1 is present in SOX2-positive cells and disappears at the early stage of the transition from progenitor cell to committed cell during the embryonic development of the rat pituitary. In the present study, we examined the localisation and identification of SOX2-positive and PROP1/SOX2-positive cells in the neonatal and postnatal rat pituitaries by immunohistochemistry. Quantitative analysis of immunoreactive cells demonstrated that SOX2-positive pituitary stem/progenitor cells are not only predominantly localised in the marginal cell layer, but also are scattered in the parenchyma of the adult anterior lobe. In the marginal cell layer, the number of PROP1/SOX2-positive cells significantly decreased after postnatal day 15, indicating that a significant quantitative transition is triggered in the marginal cell layer during the first postnatal growth wave of the anterior pituitary. By contrast, other phenotypes of SOX2-positive stem/progenitor cells that express S100β appeared in the postnatal anterior pituitary. These data suggested that quantitative and qualitative transition occurs by acquisition of a novel mechanism in terminal differentiation in the postnatal development of the anterior pituitary.
Full-text · Article · Aug 2011 · Journal of Neuroendocrinology