Establishment of a protocol to extend the lifespan of human hormone-secreting pituitary adenoma cells

Aurora Aiello, Maria Francesca Cassarino, Simona Nanni, Antonella Sesta, Francesco Ferraú, Claudio Grassi, Marco Losa, Francesco Trimarchi, Alfredo Pontecorvi, Salvatore Cannavò, Francesca Pecori Giraldi, Antonella Farsetti

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Purpose: The aim of this study was to generate immortalized human anterior pituitary adenoma cells. Reliable cell models for the study of human pituitary adenomas are as yet lacking and studies performed so far used repeated passaging of freshly excised adenomas, with the attendant limitations due to limited survival in culture, early senescence, and poor reproducibility. Methods & Results: We devised a technique based upon repeated co-transfections of two retroviral vectors, one carrying the catalytic subunit of human telomerase, hTERT, the other SV40 large T antigen. This approach extended the lifespan of cells derived from a human growth hormone-secreting adenoma up to 18 months while retaining morphology of primary cells, growth hormone synthesis and growth hormone secretion. Conclusions: Our attempt represents the first demonstration of successful lifespan extension of human growth hormone-secreting pituitary adenoma cells via co-transfection of hTERT and SV40T and paves the way to future attempts to obtain stable cell lines.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2018



  • GH-secreting adenoma
  • Immortalization
  • Pituitary cell line
  • SV40 T-antigen
  • TERT

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Endocrinology

Cite this

Aiello, A., Cassarino, M. F., Nanni, S., Sesta, A., Ferraú, F., Grassi, C., Losa, M., Trimarchi, F., Pontecorvi, A., Cannavò, S., Pecori Giraldi, F., & Farsetti, A. (2018). Establishment of a protocol to extend the lifespan of human hormone-secreting pituitary adenoma cells. Endocrine, 1-6.