Transgenic studies on the regulation of the anterior pituitary gland function by the hypothalamus

Sara Wells, David Murphy*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


The anterior pituitary gland is composed of five different cell types secreting hormones whose functions include the regulation of post-natal growth (growth hormone, GH), lactation (prolactin, PRL), reproduction (luteinising hormone, LH, and follicle stimulating hormone, FSH), metabolism (thyroid stimulating hormone, TSH), and stress (adrenocorticotrophic hormone, ACTH). The synthesis and secretion of the anterior pituitary hormones is under the control of neuropeptides released from the hypothalamus into a capillary portal plexus which flows through the external zone of the median eminence to the anterior lobe. This review describes the ways that gene transfer technologies have been applied to whole animals in order to study the regulation of anterior pituitary function by the hypothalamus. The extensive studies on these neuronal systems, within the context of the physiological integrity of the intact organism, not only exemplify the successful application of transgenic technologies to neuroendocrine systems, but also illustrate the problems that have been encountered, and the challenges that lie ahead.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)11-26
Number of pages16
JournalFrontiers in Neuroendocrinology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2003


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