The pituitary is the target of different neurohormones that have a crucial role in the control of cell differentiation, cell proliferation and hormone secretion by recognizing specific receptors belonging to the G Protein-Coupled Receptor super-family (GPCR). Evidence from in vitro studies and naturally occurring human diseases indicate that several endocrine cells, and particularly somatotrophs, recognize cAMP as a growth factor. Accordingly, mutations of the alpha subunit of the stimulatory G protein gene (. GNAS) leading to the constitutive activation of adenylyl cyclase (i.e. gsp oncogene) have been recognized in a significant proportion of GH-secreting pituitary adenomas. The role of cAMP in the control of cell proliferation in selected cell types and in particular in somatotroph cells has been further confirmed by identification of genetics defect affecting the regulatory subunit IA of PKA. The role of cAMP in the control of cell proliferation as well as the crosstalk with different intracellular signalling pathways will be discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism