Plate 15.284 Pituitary Gland
Ronald A. Bergman, Ph.D., Adel K. Afifi, M.D., Paul M. Heidger,
Peer Review Status: Externally Peer Reviewed
Human, Susa, AFT, 220 x.
Herring* body: Herring bodies represent dilated terminal portions of neurosecretory axons constituting the hypothalamohypophyseal tract. They are always in close proximity to capillaries. Within the dilatations of various sizes are neurosecretory granules, which stain blue in this preparation. The Herring body granules consist of hormone precursors for either oxytocin or vasopressin, plus a binding protein for each hormone and adenosine triphosphate (ATP). The neurosecretory material is synthesized in neurons located in the hypothalamus and transported down the axons of the hypothalamohypophyseal tract to reach the axon terminals (Herring bodies). Most of the vasopressin is thought to be synthesized in neurons located in the supraoptic nucleus and oxytocin in neurons of the paraventricular nucleus. Vasopressin (pitressin, 13-hypophamine) is an antidiuretic hormone and in pharmacologic doses causes smooth muscle to contract, particularly those in blood vessels. Oxytocin (pitocin, A-hypophamine) causes myometrial contractions at term and promotes milk release during lactation.
*Herring bodies also contain synaptic vesicles 40 to 60 nm in diameter that are similar in structure to those found in cholinergic synapses. Their function here is not known.
Next Page | Previous Page | Section Top | Title Page
Please send us comments by filling out our Comment Form.
All contents copyright © 1995-2015 the Author(s) and Michael P. D'Alessandro, M.D. All rights reserved.
"Anatomy Atlases", the Anatomy Atlases logo, and "A digital library of anatomy information" are all Trademarks of Michael P. D'Alessandro, M.D.
Anatomy Atlases is funded in whole by Michael P. D'Alessandro, M.D. Advertising is not accepted.
Your personal information remains confidential and is not sold, leased, or given to any third party be they reliable or not.
The information contained in Anatomy Atlases is not a substitute for the medical care and advice of your physician. There may be variations in treatment that your physician may recommend based on individual facts and circumstances.