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Översiktsartikel - Refereegranskat, 2013

Stem cells in the canine pituitary gland and in pituitary adenomas

van Rijn, Sarah J.; Tryfonidou, Marianna A.; Hanson, Jeanette; Penning, Louis C.; Meij, Björn P.


Cushing's disease (CD) or pituitary-dependent hypercortisolism is a common endocrinopathy in dogs, with an estimated prevalence of 1 or 2 in 1000 dogs per year. It is caused by an adrenocorticotropic hormone secreting adenoma in the pars distalis or pars intermedia of the pituitary gland. The pituitary gland is a small endocrine gland located in the pituitary fossa. In the postnatal individual, the hypothalamus-pituitary axis plays a central role in maintaining homeostatic functions, like control of metabolism, reproduction, and growth. Stem cells are suggested to play a role in the homeostatic adaptations of the adult pituitary gland, such as the rapid specific cell-type expansion in response to pregnancy or lactation. Several cell populations have been suggested as pituitary stem cells, such as Side Population cells and cells expressing Sox2 or Nestin. These cell populations are discussed in this review. Also, stem and progenitor cells are thought to play a role in pituitary tumorigenesis, such as the development of pituitary adenomas in dogs. There are limited reports on the role of stem cells in pituitary adenomas, especially in dogs. Further studies are needed to identify and characterize this cell population and to develop specific cell targeting therapeutic strategies as a new way of treating canine CD.


canine; dog; pituitary; stem cells; cancer stem cells; hypercortisolism; Cushing

Publicerad i

Veterinary Quarterly
2013, Volym: 33, nummer: 4, sidor: 217-224

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    Other Veterinary Science

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