The work brings us closer to being able to bioengineer complex organs for transplant in humans.
a, Adenohypophysis originates in the non-neural head ectoderm rostral to the anterior neural plate. dorsal view. b, Immunostaining of mouse Rathke’s pouch. c, Signals from adjacent tissues to Rathke’s pouch. Scale bars, 100 μm (b).
Next, Sasai and his colleagues will attempt the experiment with human stem cells. Sasai suspects it will take them another three years to synthesize human pituitary tissue.
Still, researchers in the stem-cell field are impressed with what Sasai's team has accomplished. "This is just an initial step toward generating viable, transplantable human organs, but it's both an elegant and illuminating study," says Michael G. Rosenfeld, a neural stem-cell expert at the
pituitary development. gfCDM, growth factor-free CDM.