Title
Pituitary progenitor cells tracked down by side population dissectionPituitary progenitor cells tracked down by side population dissection
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Research group
Molecular Imaging, Pathology, Radiotherapy & Oncology (MIPRO)
Publication type
article
Publication
Dayton, Ohio,
Subject
Biology
Human medicine
Source (journal)
Stem cells. - Dayton, Ohio, 1993, currens
Volume/pages
27(2009):5, p. 1182-1195
ISSN
1066-5099
1549-4918
ISI
000266179500021
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
The pituitary gland represents the endocrine core, governing the body's hormonal landscape by adapting its cellular composition to changing demands. It is assumed that stem/progenitor cells are involved in this remodeling. Recently, we uncovered a candidate stem/progenitor cell population in the anterior pituitary. Here, we scrutinized this "side population" (SP) and show that, unexpectedly, not the subset expressing high levels of "stem cell antigen-1" (Sca1high) but the remainder non-Sca1high fraction clusters the pituitary progenitor cells. Transcriptomal interrogation revealed in the non-Sca1high SP upregulated expression of the pituitary stem/progenitor cell markers Sox2 and Sox9, and of multiple factors critically involved in pituitary embryogenesis. The non-Sca1high SP encloses the cells that generate spheres and display multipotent hormone differentiation capacity. In culture conditions selecting for the non-Sca1high subset within the SP, stem cell growth factors that induce SP expansion, affect transcription of embryonic factors, suggesting impact on a developmental program that unfolds within this SP compartment. Non-Sca1high SP cells, revealed by Sox2 expression, are observed in the postulated periluminal stem/progenitor cell niche, but also in small groups scattered over the gland, thereby advocating the existence of multiple niches. In early postnatal mice undergoing a pituitary growth wave, Sox2+ cells are more abundant than in adults, concordant with a larger SP and higher non-Sca1high proportion. Together, we tracked down pituitary progenitor cells by SP phenotype, and thus provide a straightforward method to isolate and scrutinize these cells from the plastic pituitary ex vivo, as well as a culture system for in-depth exploration of their regulatory network.
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