Dr. Laufer's lab is interested in the regulation of steroid producing cells in the adrenal cortex. They study how the adrenal gland forms during embryonic development and how cell populations within the gland are regulated postnatally in response to variations in physiological inputs. They have identified stem/progenitor populations present in the cortex, and are exploring how intercellular signaling pathways regulate the growth and differentiation of these cells, with a current focus on Sonic hedgehog signaling. In addition they are undertaking projects to differentiate ES cells into adrenocortical lineages. These should produce improved cell culture models of adrenal function, and might also contribute to the development of cell replacement therapies for adrenal insufficiency disorders.
Paul, A. and Laufer, E.
Endogenous biotin as a marker of adrenocortical cells with steroidogenic potential. Molecular and Cellular Endocrinology 336(1-2):133-140. (2011)
Krawchuk, D., Weiner, S.J., Chen Y.-T., Lu, B., Costantini, F., Behringer, R. and Laufer, E.
Twist1 activity thresholds define multiple functions in limb development. Dev. Biol. 347(1):133-146. (2010)
Guasti, L., Paul, A., Laufer, E., and King, P.
Localization of Sonic Hedgehog secreting and receiving cells in the developing and adult rat adrenal cortex. Mol Cell Endocrinol. In press:. (2010)
King, P. J., Paul, A., and Laufer, E.
Shh signaling regulates adrenocortical development and identifies progenitors of steroidogenic lineages. PNAS USA 106:21185-90. (2009)
King, P. J., Gausti, L. and Laufer, E.
Hedgehog signalling in endocrine development and disease. Journal of Endocrinology 198:439-50. (2008)