Transgenic mice expressing LHX3 transcription factor isoforms in the pituitary: Effects on the gonadotrope axis and sex-specific reproductive disease

Jesse J. Savage, Rachel D. Mullen, Kyle W. Sloop, Stephanie C. Colvin, Sally A. Camper, Craig L. Franklin, Simon J. Rhodes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

The LHX3 transcription factor plays critical roles in pituitary and nervous system development. Mutations in the human LHX3 gene cause severe hormone deficiency diseases. The gene produces two mRNAs which can be translated to three protein isoforms. The LHX3a protein contains a central region with LIM domains and a homeodomain, and a carboxyl terminus with the major transactivation domain. LHX3b is identical to LHX3a except that it has a different amino terminus. M2-LHX3 lacks the amino terminus and LIM domains of LHX3a/b. In vitro experiments have demonstrated these three proteins have different biochemical and gene regulatory properties. Here, to investigate the effects of overexpression of LHX3 in vivo, the alpha glycoprotein subunit (αGSU) promoter was used to produce LHX3a, LHX3b, and M2-LHX3 in the pituitary glands of transgenic mice. Alpha GSU-beta galactosidase animals were generated as controls. Male αGSU-LHX3a and αGSU-LHX3b mice are infertile and die at a young age as a result of complications associated with obstructive uropathy including uremia. These animals have a reduced number of pituitary gonadotrope cells, low circulating gonadotropins, and possible sex hormone imbalance. Female αGSU-LHX3a and αGSU-LHX3b transgenic mice are viable but have reduced fertility. By contrast, αGSU-M2-LHX3 mice and control mice expressing beta galactosidase are reproductively unaffected. These overexpression studies provide insights into the properties of LHX3 during pituitary development and highlight the importance of this factor in reproductive physiology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)105-117
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of cellular physiology
Volume212
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology

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