Ontogeny of Pituitary Endocrine Signaling in Embryonic and Post-Embryonic Development

Our new transgenic tools have allowed us to monitor the ontogeny of endocrine function both under normal conditions, and when an embryo experiences embryonic stressors as can occur in complicated human pregnancies. We have begun to examine the effects of altered thyroid hormone levels on thyrotrope development and the establishment of negative feedback regulation within the Hypothalamic pituitary thyroid (HPT) axis. We are also examining how Hh signaling may affect pituitary function, and the consequences this may have on the endocrine regulation of osmotic balance. These new studies are bringing the power of zebrafish genetics and transgenics to the study of endocrine physiology.