Difference between revisions of "2018 Group Project 1"

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The Contribution of Neural Crest Cells to the Adrenal Medulla

Projects 2018: 1 Adrenal Medulla | 3 Melanocytes | 4 Cardiac | 5 Dorsal Root Ganglion


Z5014972 (talk) 12:47, 14 August 2018 (AEST)z5014972 good review article https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs12022-009-9070-6


Embryonic origins

Development of neural crest .jpg

Developmental time course

Developmental/adult function

Tissue/organ structure


The cells of the adrenal medulla are derived from the neural crest as opposed to the mesodermal origins of the cortex. The medulla contains secretory cells called chromaffin cells, due to the agents they produce when oxidised, such as chromate. These cells secrete epinephrine and norepinephrine in response to various substances such as acetylcholine.

There are three types of cells in the adult adrenal medulla: 1) Epinephrine cells 2) Norepinephrine cells 3) Small granule-containing cells (SGCs) These cells also produce various other peptides such as substance P and neurotensin. The adrenal medulla also contains presynaptic sympathetic ganglion cells.

Related Anatomy

The tissue and organ structure of the adrenal medulla should be understood with regard to its specialised function within the sympathetic nervous system.

The medullary region of the adrenal glands is tasked with the endocrine secretions of adrenaline and nor-adrenaline in response to environmental stressors that are signalled for by the sympathetic nervous system. That is, the secretion of fight-or-flight response hormones in order to restrict vasculature to the trunk and increase vascular activity in the peripheral musculature.

The adrenal glands are supplied by several branches of the great vessels in the abdominal cavity. The secreted catecholamines in the medulla are directly able to pass to the blood stream this way.

These adrenal glands and their contents are retroperitoneal in the adult and varied in shape, with the left often being semilunar and right being pyramidal. Nervous supply of the adrenal glands is achieved by contributions from the splanchnic nerves of the celiac plexus.


Molecular mechanisms/factors/genes

Abnormalities/abnormal development

Animal models

Current research (labs)


Reference list