Date of Award

8-1-2012

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Molecular Cellular and Systemic Physiology

First Advisor

Ellsworth, Buffy

Abstract

The present study revealed that FOXO1 is present in the nuclei of non-dividing pituitary cells and in a subset of differentiated cells with highest level of expression in somatotrophs, followed by corticotrophs, thyrotrophs and gonadotrophs throughout development and in adulthood stage. A significant difference in Foxo1 transcript between age-matched males and females at 8-9 weeks of age was demonstrated in the anterior pituitary for the first time. IHC data demonstrating (i) FOXO1 co-localization with p27kip1 (ii) an increase in FOXO1 immunopositive cells within anterior pituitary in p27KO embryos compared to WT (iii) absence of FOXO1 in the nucleus of BrdU positive cells suggested that in absence of p27Kip1 FOXO1 might be important for preventing unbridled cell proliferation. Data suggested that FOXO1 might not be important for initiating pituitary cell differentiation but might be involved with p27kip1 in maintaining pituitary cell quiescence. Increase in nuclear localization of FOXO1 in the pituitary of Foxp3 mutant (lacking insulin signaling) suggested that it might be a down-stream target of insulin/PI3K/PKB pathway in the pituitary as it is in several other tissues.

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