Animal models of pituitary neoplasia.
Lines KE., Stevenson M., Thakker RV.
Pituitary neoplasias can occur as part of a complex inherited disorder, or more commonly as sporadic (non-familial) disease. Studies of the molecular and genetic mechanisms causing such pituitary tumours have identified dysregulation of >35 genes, with many revealed by studies in mice, rats and zebrafish. Strategies used to generate these animal models have included gene knockout, gene knockin and transgenic over-expression, as well as chemical mutagenesis and drug induction. These animal models provide an important resource for investigation of tissue-specific tumourigenic mechanisms, and evaluations of novel therapies, illustrated by studies into multiple endocrine neoplasia type 1 (MEN1), a hereditary syndrome in which ∼ 30% of patients develop pituitary adenomas. This review describes animal models of pituitary neoplasia that have been generated, together with some recent advances in gene editing technologies, and an illustration of the use of the Men1 mouse as a pre clinical model for evaluating novel therapies.