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Expression studies of neuronatin in prenatal and postnatal rat pituitary

Expression studies of neuronatin in prenatal and postnatal rat pituitary

Cell and Tissue Research 364(2): 273-288

ISSN/ISBN: 0302-766X

PMID: 26613603

DOI: 10.1007/s00441-015-2325-2

The pituitary gland, an indispensable endocrine organ that synthesizes and secretes pituitary hormones, develops with the support of many factors. Among them, neuronatin (NNAT), which was discovered in the neonatal mouse brain as a factor involved in neural development, has subsequently been revealed to be coded by an abundantly expressing gene in the pituitary gland but its role remains elusive. We analyze the expression profile of Nnat and the localization of its product during rat pituitary development. The level of Nnat expression was high during the embryonic period but remarkably decreased after birth. Immunohistochemistry demonstrated that NNAT appeared in the SOX2-positive stem/progenitor cells in the developing pituitary primordium on rat embryonic day 11.5 (E11.5) and later in the majority of SOX2/PROP1 double-positive cells on E13.5. Thereafter, during pituitary embryonic development, Nnat expression was observed in some stem/progenitor cells, proliferating cells and terminally differentiating cells. In postnatal pituitaries, NNAT-positive cells decreased in number, with most coexpressing Sox2 or Pit1, suggesting a similar role for NNAT to that during the embryonic period. NNAT was widely localized in mitochondria, peroxisomes and lysosomes, in addition to the endoplasmic reticulum but not in the Golgi. The present study thus demonstrated the variability in expression of NNAT-positive cells in rat embryonic and postnatal pituitaries and the intracellular localization of NNAT. Further investigations to obtain functional evidence for NNAT are a prerequisite.

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Accession: 057845869

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