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Recent advances in tridimensional (3D) tissue imaging have considerably enriched our view of the pituitary gland and its development. Whereas traditional histology of the pituitary anterior lobe portrayed this tissue as a patchwork of cells, 3D imaging revealed that cells of each lineage form extensive and structured homotypic networks. In the adult gland these networks contribute to the robustness and coordination of the cell response to secretagogs. In addition, the network organization adapts to changes in endocrine environment, as revealed by the sexually dimorphic growth hormone (GH) cell network. Further work is required to establish better the molecular basis for homotypic and heterotypic interactions in the pituitary as well as the implications of these interactions for pituitary function and dysfunction in humans.

Original publication




Journal article


Trends Endocrinol Metab

Publication Date





261 - 269


Animals Cell Communication/physiology Cell Differentiation/physiology Humans Imaging, Three-Dimensional/*trends Mice Pituitary Gland/cytology/*embryology/*physiology Pituitary Gland, Anterior/cytology/embryology/physiology Signal Transduction/physiology