Amanda H. Mortensen

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Defects in pituitary gland organogenesis are sometimes associated with congenital anomalies that affect head development. Lesions in transcription factors and signaling pathways explain some of these developmental syndromes. Basic research studies, including the characterization of genetically engineered mice, provide a mechanistic framework for(More)
The intermediate and anterior lobes of the pituitary gland are derived from an invagination of oral ectoderm that forms Rathke's pouch. During gestation proliferating cells are enriched around the pouch lumen, and they appear to delaminate as they exit the cell cycle and differentiate. During late mouse gestation and the postnatal period, anterior lobe(More)
This report introduces a gonadotrope-specific cre transgenic mouse capable of ablating floxed genes in mature pituitary gonadotropes. Initial analysis of this transgenic line, Tg(Lhb-cre)1Sac, reveals that expression is limited to the pituitary cells that produce luteinizing hormone beta, beginning appropriately at e17.5. Cre activity is detectable by a(More)
The pituitary gland is a highly vascularized tissue that requires coordinated interactions between the neural ectoderm, oral ectoderm, and head mesenchyme during development for proper physiological function. The interactions between the neural ectoderm and oral ectoderm, especially the role of the pituitary organizer in shaping the pituitary precursor,(More)
Mutations in the transcription factors PROP1 and PIT1 (POU1F1) lead to pituitary hormone deficiency and hypopituitarism in mice and humans. The dysmorphology of developing Prop1 mutant pituitaries readily distinguishes them from those of Pit1 mutants and normal mice. This and other features suggest that Prop1 controls the expression of genes besides Pit1(More)
Thyroid hormone has pleiotropic effects on cochlear development, and genomic variation influences the severity of associated hearing deficits. DW/J-Pou1f1dw/dw mutant mice lack pituitary thyrotropin, which causes severe thyroid hormone deficiency and profound hearing impairment. To assess the genetic complexity of protective effects on(More)
Humans with PROP1 mutations have multiple pituitary hormone deficiencies (MPHD) that typically advance from growth insufficiency diagnosed in infancy to include more severe growth hormone (GH) deficiency and progressive reduction in other anterior pituitary hormones, eventually including adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) deficiency and hypocortisolism.(More)
Genetic cases of congenital pituitary hormone deficiency are common and many are caused by transcription factor defects. Mouse models with orthologous mutations are invaluable for uncovering the molecular mechanisms that lead to problems in organ development and typical patient characteristics. We are using mutant mice defective in the transcription factors(More)
ISLET1 is a homeodomain transcription factor necessary for development of the pituitary, retina, motor neurons, heart, and pancreas. Isl1-deficient mice (Isl1(-/-)) die early during embryogenesis at embryonic day 10.5 due to heart defects, and at that time, they have an undersized pituitary primordium. ISL1 is expressed in differentiating pituitary cells in(More)
Pitx2 is a homeodomain transcription factor required in a dose-dependent manner for the development of multiple organs. Pitx2-null homozygotes (Pitx2(-/-)) have severe pituitary hypoplasia, whereas mice with reduced-function alleles (Pitx2(neo/neo)) exhibit modest hypoplasia and reduction in the developing gonadotroph and Pou1f1 lineages. PITX2 is expressed(More)