Patients with familial isolated pituitary adenoma are predisposed to pituitary adenomas, which in a subset of cases is due to germline inactivating mutations of the aryl hydrocarbon receptor-interacting protein (AIP) gene. Using Cre/lox and Flp/Frt technology, a conditional mouse model was generated to examine the loss of the mouse homolog, Aip, in pituitary somatotrophs. By 40 weeks of age, > 80% of somatotroph specific Aip knockout mice develop growth hormone (GH) secreting adenomas. The formation of adenomas results in physiologic effects recapitulating the human syndrome of acromegaly, including increased body size, elevated serum GH and insulin-like growth factor 1 levels, and glucose intolerance. The pretumorigenic Aip-deficient somatotrophs secrete excess GH and exhibit pathologic hyperplasia associated with cytosolic compartmentalization of the cyclin-dependent kinase (CDK) inhibitor p27kip1 and perinuclear accentuation of CDK-4. Following tumor formation, the Aip-deficient somatotrophs display reduced expression of somatostatin receptor subtype 5 with impaired response to octreotide. The delayed tumor emergence, even with loss of both copies of Aip, implies that additional somatic events are required for adenoma formation. These findings suggest that pituitary hyperplasia precedes adenomatous transformation in somatotroph-specific Aip-deficient mice and reveal potential mechanisms involved in the pretumorigenic state that ultimately contribute to transformation.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism