A three-dimensional atlas of pituitary gland development in the zebrafish

Chapman, S.C., Sawitzke, A.L., Campbell, D.S., and Schoenwolf, G.C.
The Journal of comparative neurology   487(4): 428-440 (Journal)
Registered Authors
Campbell, Douglas
adenohypophysis; neurohypophysis; forebrain; morphology; anatomy; stomodeum
MeSH Terms
  • Animals
  • Animals, Newborn
  • Embryo, Nonmammalian
  • Imaging, Three-Dimensional/methods*
  • Pituitary Gland*/cytology
  • Pituitary Gland*/embryology
  • Pituitary Gland*/growth & development
  • Zebrafish
15906316 Full text @ J. Comp. Neurol.
The pituitary gland is unique to Chordates, with significant variation within this group, offering an excellent opportunity to increase insight into phylogenetic relationships within this phylum. The structure of the pituitary in adult Teleosts (class: Osteichthyes) is quite different from that in other chordates and is also variable among members of the class. Therefore, a complete description of the structure and development of the pituitary in members of this class is a critical component to our overall understanding of this gland. An obvious teleost model organism is the zebrafish, Danio rerio, as a significant amount of work has been done on the molecular control of pituitary development in this fish. However, very little work has been published on the morphological development of the pituitary in the zebrafish; the present study aims to fill this void. The pituitary develops from cells on the rostrodorsal portion of the head and reaches its final position, ventral to the hypothalamus, as the cephalic flexure occurs and the jaws and mouth form. The pituitary placode is juxtaposed to cells that will form the olfactory vesicles, the stomodeum, and the hatching gland. The volume of the pituitary is greatest at 24 hours post fertilization (hpf). From 24 to 120 hpf, the pituitary decreases in height and width as it undergoes convergent extension, increasing in length with the axis. The adenohypophysis is a morphologically distinct structure by 24 hpf, whereas the neurohypophysis remains indistinct until 72 hpf. The findings of this study correlate well with the available molecular data. J. Comp. Neurol. 487:428-440, 2005. (c) 2005 Wiley-Liss, Inc.
Genes / Markers
Mutations / Transgenics
Human Disease / Model
Sequence Targeting Reagents
Engineered Foreign Genes