Most spontaneously developing hyperplastic and neoplastic lesions of the pituitary occur in the anterior pituitary. Targeted disruption of various cell-cycle proteins, including Rb, p27kip1 (p27), and p18INK4c (p18), is associated with intermediate lobe pituitary hyperplasia. To develop a model of anterior pituitary proliferation to study the pathogenesis of pituitary tumors, we crossed the glycoprotein hormone α-subunit (αSU)-null mice that develop thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) cell hyperplasia with p18-null mice. The resulting offsprings developed accelerated enlargement of the anterior lobe with predominantly TSH cell hyperplasia. Immunohistochemical and histological analyses of these mice along with p27/p18 double-null mice, p18-null mice, and p27-null mice showed evidence of TSH, adrenocorticotropic hormone, prolactin, and luteinizing hormone hyperplasia. To determine whether there were alterations of p27 and the target proteins implicated in the ubiquitin degradation of p27 and other cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors, we examined expression of SKP 2, Grb 2, and Jab 1 in the pituitaries of null mice. In the αSU-null mice there were decreased levels of SKP 2 and elevated levels of Grb 2 expression by Western blot analysis. Immunohistochemical analysis of the pituitary showed elevated Grb 2 in αSU-null and p18/αSU double-null mice. Jab I levels were not different from controls in the pituitary. These results show that 1) the p18/αSU double-null mice represent a good model to study the rapid development of anterior pituitary hyperplasia, and 2) various proteins important in p27 and other cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor protein degradation are altered in the pituitary of αSU-null and p18/αSU double-null mouse models.
Lloyd, R. V., Ruebel, K. H., Zhang, S., & Jin, L. (2002). Pituitary hyperplasia in glycoprotein hormone alpha subunit-, p18INK4C-, and p27kip-1-null mice: Analysis of proteins influencing p27kip-1 ubiquitin degradation. American Journal of Pathology, 160(3), 1171–1179. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0002-9440(10)64936-X