2024 Endocrine Images Award Winners

May 15, 2024

Grand Prize Winner:

Lily Ng, PhD, and Douglas Forrest, PhD

National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD

One of the most important functions of thyroid hormone is to promote the development of the brain. Deiodinase enzymes in the brain can modify the level of active thyroid hormone available for neurons. This image shows an astrocyte cell that expresses type 2 deiodinase (pale blue), a thyroid hormone-amplifying enzyme. The astrocyte projects an extensive network of fibers for signaling to neighboring cells.

Second Place:

Federico Salas-Lucia, PhD, and Sergio Escamilla, MSc, PhD candidate

University of Chicago in Chicago, IL

An approach for studying the mechanisms of thyroid hormone action in the developing human brain constitutes a “holy grail” for the field. Brain organoids fit this purpose and provide evidence that thyroid hormone impacts the neural precursor cells of the brain.

This image shows a neural rosette from an iPSC-derived brain organoid stained to highlight dividing human neural precursor cells (green and red) and nuclei (blue).

Third Place:

Celeste Laporte, HSBc 

McGill University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

This section through a rat paraventricular nucleus shows magnocellular vasopressin neurons implicated in the regulation of water balance in mammals. Studying this system will help us understand the role that these neurons play in normal physiology and in diseases such as hypertension. 

Neurons were labeled using antibodies directed against vasopressin. This microphotograph was acquired on a Laser Scanning Confocal Microscope (LSM880, Zeiss) at 20X magnification and pseudocoloured red using ImageJ (NIH).

Honorable Mention

Natasha Ingles, Darcie Seachrist, Ruth Keri (Cleveland Clinic)

This is an image of a murine mammary tumor (right) infiltrating into normal mammary tissue (left) and beginning to engulf a normal gland (near center). Tissue was stained for DNA/nuclei (blue), pan-cytokeratin, a marker of epithelial cells (green), alpha-smooth muscle actin (α-SMA, red), indicating myoepithelium surrounding mammary ducts and blood vessels, and CD45, an immune cell marker (yellow).

Carolina Duarte (University of Miami)

Islets of Langerhans Formation: The image shows pancreatic islet morphogenesis in the mouse pancreas at e18. Insulin-positive cells (Insulin - Cyan) and glucagon-positive cells (glucagon - green) form organized aggregates surrounded by an intricate neuronal network (Beta Tubulin III - red).  Images taken with a laser scan confocal microscope.

Hanne Hoffmann, Alexandra Yaw, Lorenzo Sempere (Michigan State University)

This IHC image of the hypothalamus focuses on the suprachiasmatic nucleus (base of the picture). Neurons of the suprachiasmatic nucleus project to many brain areas, to relay time of day and light information. The suprachiasmatic nucleus is the brains master pacemaker and it controls the circadian release of many hormones in the body, allowing optimal physiology.

Rustam Salimkhanov, Ekaterina Kim, Liliya Urusova, Evgeny Shirshin, Natalia Mokrysheva (Endocrinology Research Centre Moscow, Russia)

Confocal visualization of an atypical parathyroid neoplasm in an adult patient with genetically proven MEN type 1 syndrome. Images were generated using autofluorescence detection of native parathyroid tissue in vector beam forming mode. The images show parathyrocytes with rounded dark nuclei and autofluorescent granules in various spectra, predominantly localized in the cytoplasm.

Elena Azizan (Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia)

The highway of connective tissue in an aldosterone-producing adenoma. Highlights the interaction of different cell types in an adrenal cortex adenoma.

Randy Ballesteros (Valparaiso University), Abir Mukherjee (Royal Veterinary College)

This is a 3D image reconstruction of the entire width of a 6-day-old male mouse seminiferous tubule showing all cells housed within the tubule during the period of Sertoli cell proliferation (3pd to 15pd in mice). Z-stack of images has been acquired using a Leica SP8 confocal microscope. DNA is stained blue with DAPI, Sertoli cells are marked with WT1 in red and proliferating cells are marked with ki67 in grey. This image shows a representative wild-type seminiferous tubule during the period of tubule elongation which is driven by Sertoli cell proliferation. Spermatogenesis, the process by which the male gametes are produced, is completely nursed by Sertoli cell whose functional response is regulated by testosterone from Leydig cells outside the seminiferous tubule among other local and endocrine factors. Sperm produced throughout male reproductive lifespan correlates with the number of Sertoli cell available within the testis. This image depicts the crucial developmental stage where the entire Sertoli cells endowment required during male reproductive lifespan is establish. This stage of Sertoli cell proliferation is governed by Activin and its inhibitory chaperon Fstl3.

Pratyusa Das (Southern Illinois University School of Medicine), Buffy S. Ellsworth (SIU School of Dentistry)

The anterior lobe of the pituitary gland, originating from Rathke's pouch, plays a pivotal role in the secretion of hormones. Central to this process is the pituitary transcription factor PIT1 (RED), which is a crucial determinant in the somatotrope lineage. The administration of dexamethasone induces premature maturation of somatotropes, evidenced by the overlapping expression of GH (GREEN). This is captured in a coronal section of an e15.75 mouse embryo.

Li-Wei Kuo, Nicole Spoelstra, Jennifer K. Richer (University of Colorado- Anschutz Medical Campus)

Triple-negative breast cancer(TNBC) presents high rate of distant metastasis related death. In order to mimic metastasis, we utilized anchorage independent culture for one of the human TNBC cell lines BT549 and elucidate the potential candidate of proteins that promotes metastasis. The image revealed Androgen receptor (Green) and Tryptophan 2,3-Dioxygenase 2 (TDO2) (Red) were highly expressed in anchorage independent culture of TNBC, and can serve as therapeutic targets for TNBC treatment.


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