Epithelial–mesenchymal transition (EMT) and cell migration are important processes in embryonic development of many tissues as well as oncogenesis. The pituitary gland is a master endocrine tissue and recent studies indicate that Sox2
-expressing stem/progenitor cells actively migrate and develop this tissue during embryogenesis. Notably, although migration activity of stem/progenitor cells in the postnatal period seems to be reduced compared to that in the embryonic period, it is hypothesized that stem/progenitor cells in the adult pituitary re-migrate from their microenvironment niche to contribute to the regeneration system. Therefore, elucidation of EMT in the pituitary stem/progenitor cells will promote understanding of pituitary development and regeneration, as well as diseases such as pituitary adenoma. In this review, so as to gain more insights into the mechanisms of pituitary development and regeneration, we summarize the EMT in the pituitary by focusing on the migration of pituitary stem/progenitor cells during both embryonic and postnatal organogenesis.
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