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Parathyroid developmental anomalies, which result in hypoparathyroidism, are common and may occur in one in 4,000 live births. Parathyroids, in man, develop from the endodermal cells of the third and fourth pharyngeal pouches, whereas, in the mouse they develop solely from the endoderm of the third pharyngeal pouches. In addition, neural crest cells that arise from the embryonic mid- and hindbrain also contribute to parathyroid gland development. The molecular signaling pathways that are involved in determining the differentiation of the pharyngeal pouch endoderm into parathyroid cells are being elucidated by studies of patients with hypoparathyroidism and appropriate mouse models. These studies have revealed important roles for a number of transcription factors, which include Tbx1, Gata3, Gcm2, Sox3, Aire1 and members of the homeobox (Hox) and paired box (Pax) families.

Original publication




Journal article


Ann N Y Acad Sci

Publication Date





24 - 38


Animals, Disease Models, Animal, Gene Expression Regulation, Developmental, Humans, Hypoparathyroidism, Parathyroid Glands, Signal Transduction, Transcription Factors