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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

Pituitary transcription factor-1 induces transient differentiation of adult hepatic stem cells into prolactin-producing cells in vivo.

A subset of transcription factors function as pivotal regulators of cell differentiation pathways. Pituitary transcription factor-1 ( Pit-1) is a tissue-specific homeodomain protein that specifies the development of pituitary somatotropes and lactotropes. In this study, adenovirus was used to deliver rat Pit-1 to mouse liver. Pit-1 expression was detected in the majority (50-80%) of hepatocyte nuclei after tail vein injection (2 x 10(9) plaque forming units). Pit-1 activated hepatic expression of the endogenous prolactin (PRL), GH, and TSHbeta genes along with several other markers of lactotrope progenitor cells. Focal clusters (0.2-0.5% of liver cells per tissue section) of periportal cells were positive for PRL by immunofluorescent staining. The PRL- producing cells also expressed proliferating cell nuclear antigen as well as the hepatic stem cell markers (c-Kit, Thy1, and cytokeratin 14). These data indicate that Pit-1 induces the transient differentiation of hepatic progenitor cells into PRL-producing cells, providing additional evidence that transcription factors can specify the differentiation pathway of adult stem cells.[1]


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