Transcriptional control of cell phenotypes in the neuroendocrine system

Michael G. Rosenfeld, Ingolf Bach, Linda Erkman, Peng Li, Chijen Lin, Shengcai Lin, Robert Mcevilly, Aimee Ryan, Simon Rhodes, Marcus Schonnemann, Kathleen Scully

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

32 Scopus citations


A fundamental aspect of the development of complex organ systems is a requirement for precise temporal and spatial coordination in the genesis of tissues of distinct embryonic origins, in order to form functional units required for physiological homeostasis and survival. Such a requirement is particularly well exemplified in mammalian development in the formation of the hypothalamic-pituitary axis. Neuronally expressed POU domain factors might exert effects on terminal differentiation events similar to those of Pit-1 in the maturation of anterior pituitary gland cell phenotypes. Neurons comprising the endocrine hypothalamus develop in tandem with their ultimate target, the pituitary gland, and arise from a primordium in which three related class III POU domain factors - Brn-2, Brn-4, and Brn-1 - are initially co-expressed These factors subsequently exhibit stratified patterns of ontogenic expression, correlating with the appearance of distinct neuropeptides that define three major endocrine hypothalamic cell types. Deletion of the Brn-2 genomic locus affects terminal differentiation and/or maintenance of hypothalamic neurosecretory neurons and development of the posterior pituitary gland. Thus, both neuronal and endocrine components of the hypothalamic-pituitary axis are critically dependent upon the action of specific POU domain factors at a penultimate step in the sequential events that underlie the appearance of mature cellular phenotypes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)217-238
Number of pages22
JournalRecent Progress in Hormone Research
StatePublished - Dec 1 1996
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology

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    Rosenfeld, M. G., Bach, I., Erkman, L., Li, P., Lin, C., Lin, S., Mcevilly, R., Ryan, A., Rhodes, S., Schonnemann, M., & Scully, K. (1996). Transcriptional control of cell phenotypes in the neuroendocrine system. Recent Progress in Hormone Research, 51, 217-238.