Pituitary organoid reveals how the activated state of the maturing gland is established and regulated
“All models are wrong, some are useful” said statistician George Box – we might say something similar about living models like organoids. Grown in a lab from stem cells, this mouse organoid mimics the early development of the pituitary gland. While it’s not an exact copy, fluorescent markers highlight stem cells (red) and pituitary proteins (green), as a high-powered microscope zooms through different levels of cells (all highlighted in blue). Researchers examine the organoid in ways that would be impossible in the real organ – using growth factors to guide the tissue’s growth, or watching as stem cells react to heal damage. The real gland, a pea-sized structure at the base of our brains, produces several essential hormones. Watching how groups of stem cells work in these organoids gives useful clues to how the it might go awry in mice and humans alike.
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