Development and Differentiation of the Vertebrate Pituitary Gland
Reyes Rodríguez, Ricardo
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A detailed study was made in this doctoral thesis on the development and differentiation of the vertebrate pituitary gland, with the aim to establish a fate map in Rathke's pouch of the origin of different hormone producing cells present in the adult pituitary gland, that explain if the differences observed in the distribution pattern of different hormone producing cells in the adult is the consecuence of differences in their development. For this reason, the study was made in two vertebrate groups, Mammals and Avian, that present notable differences in their hormone producing cell distribution patterns. The results allowed us to conclude that the origin of different hormone producing cells in Rathke’s pouch determine their definitive distribution in the adult gland. At the same time, the relationship between proliferation and differentiation was studied, showing us that after differentiation, hormone producing cells continue proliferating with a low rate, contributing to the establishment of differentiated populations. Using immunochemicals and in situ hidridization techniques, the expression of different molecules such as hypothalamic releasing factors; different peptides, whose role as modulators in different pituitary axis have been proposed in the adult animal; different calcium binding proteins and transcription factors in relation to the differentiation of different hormone producing cells, was also studied in this work, allowing us to establish different relationships between some of these factors and specific aspects of the development and differentiatin of the pituitary gland.