Notch signaling in postnatal pituitary expansion: Proliferation, progenitors, and cell specification

Leah B. Nantie, Ashley D. Himes, Dan R. Getz, Lori T. Raetzman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Mutations in PROP1 account for up to half of the cases of combined pituitary hormone deficiency that result from known causes. Despite this, few signaling molecules and pathways that influence PROP1 expression have been identified. Notch signaling has been linked to Prop1 expression, but the developmental periods during which Notch signaling influences Prop1 and overall pituitary development remain unclear. To test the requirement for Notch signaling in establishing the normal pituitary hormone milieu, we generated mice with early embryonic conditional loss of Notch2 (conditional knockout) and examined the consequences of chemical Notch inhibition during early postnatal pituitary maturation. We show that loss of Notch2 has little influence on early embryonic pituitary proliferation but is crucial for postnatal progenitor maintenance and proliferation. In addition, we show that Notch signaling is necessary embryonically and postnatally for Prop1 expression and robust Pit1 lineage hormone cell expansion, as well as repression of the corticotrope lineage. Taken together, our studies identify temporal and cell type-specific roles for Notch signaling and highlight the importance of this pathway throughout pituitary development.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)731-744
Number of pages14
JournalMolecular Endocrinology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Endocrinology


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