Date of Award

12-1-2011

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Molecular Cellular and Systemic Physiology

First Advisor

Ellsworth, Buffy

Abstract

AN ABSTRACT OF THE THESIS OF Adam G. Ploegman, for the Master of Science degree in Physiology, presented on July 12, 2011, at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. TITLE: THE ROLE OF THE FORKHEAD TRANSCRIPTION FACTOR FOXM1 IN PITUITARY GLAND DEVELOPMENT MAJOR PROFESSOR: Dr. Buffy Ellsworth The purpose of this project was to investigate the role of FOXM1 in pituitary gland development. FOXM1 is a member of the forkhead transcription factor family and is expressed in the developing pituitary. FOXM1 is expressed in proliferating cells in many tissues. We hypothesize that FOXM1 is important for promoting cell proliferation in the developing pituitary. Objective one examined the temporal and spatial expression pattern of FOXM1 throughout pituitary development. Objective two investigated Foxm1 deficient mice, to examine characteristics of morphology, proliferation and cell differentiation. FOXM1 expression was observed throughout pituitary development, from e10.5 through e18.5. FOXM1 was expressed in actively proliferating cells as marked by BrdU (e16.5) and Ki67 (e14.5, e16.5) staining. FOXM1 did not co-localize with cells that have either exited the cell cycle (p57) or cells that have differentiated (p27). In objective 2, we observed no difference in pituitary morphology or proliferation as measured by BrdU and pHH3 IHC. We did not observe differences in differentiated cells as marked by p27, p57, SOX2 and the pituitary hormones LHb, ACTH, GH, TSHb and the common subunit, a-GSU. These studies suggest that FOXM1 is not critical for embryonic pituitary development.

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