Project Details


Anterior and intermediate lobe proopiomenancortin (POMC) producing cells
originate from different regions of an apparently homogeneous precursor
structure (Rathke's pouch) that experience different cellular and
extracellular interactions during early development. In the adult
pituitary gland, these two cell POMC populations exhibit differences in
the extent of post translational and regulation of transcription and
secretion. In this proposal, we will continue to study the
differentiation of these two cell POMC populations and also begin to
investigate the differentiation of the adrenal cortex. We will
determine the prenatal levels of the POMC primary transcript and mature
mRNa by using probes spanning intron-exon splice junctions for solution
hybridization and will identify POMC primary transcript containing cells
with POMC intron-specific probes for in situ hybridization; taken
together, these studies will allow us to identify the earliest stages of
POMC transcription in the fetal pituitary. We will analyze the forms of
processed oligosaccharides associated with the POMC precursor and POMC
derived peptides to determine the intracellular site of POMC cleavage in
fetal POMC cells. We will investigate the ontogeny of identified
components of endocrine secretory granules to determine whether they are
present at stages when we have demonstrated regulated release from fetal
POMC cells. We will also investigate the ontogeny of gene expression in
the fetal adrenal for three enzymes in the steroid synthetic pathway by
solution and in situ hybridization in order to gain insight into the
process of differentiation in this tissue. Finally, we will continue to
characterize additional components of basement membranes and cell
surface receptors for extracellular matrix molecules during stages of
fetal pituitary development when phenotypic expression in the fetal
pituitary is occurring. Taken together, these studies will advance our
understanding of differentiation in distinct populations of fetal POMC
cells, provide information about the maturation of the pituitary-adrenal
axis and will contribute to our long-range goal of determining the basis
for selective hormone gene expression in different regions of the
pituitary primordium.
Effective start/end date8/1/863/31/04


  • National Institutes of Health: $236,969.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $258,797.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $244,031.00
  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Institutes of Health: $217,760.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $228,985.00
  • National Institutes of Health: $251,305.00
  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Institutes of Health
  • National Institutes of Health: $212,360.00


  • Medicine(all)

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