RIKEN researcher Yoshiki Sasai has led the development of a technique to grow pituitary glands from stem cells.
Yoshiki Sasai Builds Pituitary Gland from Stem Cells
has created pituitary glands from scratch and successfully transplanted them into the brains of mice, according to paper published this week in Nature.
team used a three-dimensional culture to grow both hypothalamus and pituitary tissues together in the correct physical relationship to each other.
"Using this method, we could mimic the early mouse development more smoothly, since the embryo develops in 3-D in vivo," said Sasai
team used fluorescence staining to verify that the cultured pituitary tissue expressed the proper biomarkers and secreted the right hormones.
Yoshiki Sasai is the director of the Nurogenesis & Organogenesis Group at the RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology in Kobe, Japan.
Last year his
group attracted worldwide attention by building retina-like structures from cultured mouse embryonic stem cells.
Sasai graduated from Kyoto University Medical School with an MD in 1986.
served an internship in general and emergency medicine from 1986 to 1988.
From 1988 through 1992 he pursued a PhD course at Kyoto University School of Medicine and earned his PhD in 1993 on the neural specific transcriptional regulators HES family.
From 1993 through 1996 Sasai was a visiting research fellow at UCLA School of Medicine.
In 1996 he
returned to Kyoto University School of Medicine
as an associate professor.
From 1998 through 2003 he was a full professor at the Institute for Frontier Medical Sciences at Kyoto University.
Simultaneously, he has been a group director at RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology since 2000.
In 2010 Sasai
won the Osaka Science Prize for his
mechanistic study and in vitro recapitulation of brain development.