[Cite as http://purl.org/au-research/grants/nhmrc/284545]
Prof Paul Thomas
Brief description Many of the processes that are essential for normal bodily function such as growth, the ability to cope with stress, sexual organ development and metabolism are controlled by the pituitary gland. This organ is located at the base of the brain and regulates these bodily functions through the release of six different hormones. Formation of the pituitary gland occurs during development of the foetus. This process requires a specific set of genes that shape the pituitary and allow the hormone-secreting cells to arise. Changes in these pituitary formation genes results in dysfunction of the pituitary (hypopituitarism) in newborn babies. In severe cases, where the pituitary has failed to form completely, these babies are extremely ill and in some instances do not survive. We are studying families with an inherited form of hypopituitarism in which only male children are affected. This disorder is due to the presence of an extra piece of genetic material (DNA) on the X chromosome. We have recently discovered that one of the duplicated genes, SOX3, causes this disorder. The overall aim of this proposal is to understand how SOX3 causes hypopituitarism by generating a mouse model for this disorder. Analysis of this mouse model will help us to understand the clinical features of hypopituitarism and may allow us to identify previously uncharacterised anatomical defects associated with this disorder. Ultimately,we hope to develop new and improved therapies for hypopituitarism using this mouse model.
Funding Amount $AUD 331,000.00
Funding Scheme NHMRC Project Grants
Standard Project Grant