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Anatomy Atlases: Atlas of Microscopic Anatomy: Section 1 - Cells Atlas of Microscopic Anatomy: Section 15 - Endocrine Glands

Plate 15.282 Pituitary Gland

Ronald A. Bergman, Ph.D., Adel K. Afifi, M.D., Paul M. Heidger, Jr., Ph.D.
Peer Review Status: Externally Peer Reviewed

Anterior lobe

Plate 15.282 Pituitary Gland

Human, 10% formalin, Masson's* stain, 612 x.


Chromophobe: Small, poorly staining cell. The cytoplasm is scanty and devoid of granules. Cell contours are rounded or polygonal. Also known as reserve or chief cell.

Acidophil: Larger than a chromophobe. Cytoplasm rich in granules, which stain with acid dyes. Since they also take basic dyes, a better name might be alpha cell. Secrete growth and lactogenic hormones. The lactogenic hormone- producing acidophils increase during pregnancy. Excessive use or production of growth hormone as occurs in pituitary tumors produces gigantism if it occurs before puberty and acromegaly if it occurs after puberty.

Basophil: Beta cell. Larger than the average acidophil and less heavily granulated. Secretes thyroid- stimulating hormone (TSH), adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), and luteinizing hormone (LH).

Colloid: Secretion product. Found in center of some cords.

*Masson, 1880-1959, was a Canadian pathologist.  

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