File:Pituitary histology 001.jpg

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Pituitary Histology - Adenohypophysis

Basophil cells

Based on their hormone products basophils are divided into three subtypes (PAS stain all types reddish).

  • Thyrotrophs - produce thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH or thyrotropin).
  • Gonadotrophs - produce follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH)
    • FSH stimulates in the male seminiferous tubule and female early follicular growth.
    • LH stimulates male Leydig cell testosterone production and female oestrogen (estrogen) production, late follicular maturation, formation of corpus luteum.
  • Corticotrophs - (or adrenocorticolipotrophs) produce adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH or corticotropin) and lipotropin (LPH).
    • cell type in the pars intermedia where ACTH and LPH precursor undergoes hydrolysis into melanocyte stimulating hormone (MSH) and other peptides.

Chromophobe cells

  • cells are unstained or weakly stained cells.
  • either acidophils or basophils in a dormant or recently degranulated stage.
  • may also include the secretory stem cells.

Acidophil cells

  • about 65% of all cells.
  • rounded and smaller than basophil cells (other stains identify subtypes).
  • Somatotrophs - produce growth hormone (GH or somatotropin), stimulates liver cells to produce polypeptide growth factors which stimulate growth (stain with orange G)
  • Mammotrophs - (lactotrophs) produce prolactin, maternal numbers increase in third trimester and postnatally in early lactation.

Pituitary, sheep - (Stain - Haematoxylin Eosin) Acidophils are dark pink and basophils look light pink/blue.

Pituitary Histology: Pituitary overview | Anterior H&E | Anterior H&E | Anterior labeled | PAS/O Overview | Acidophils | Basophils | Posterior labeled | Posterior unlabeled | Histology Stains | BGD - Endocrine Histology | Pituitary Development

Links: Histology | Histology Stains | Blue Histology images copyright Lutz Slomianka 1998-2009. The literary and artistic works on the original Blue Histology website may be reproduced, adapted, published and distributed for non-commercial purposes. See also the page Histology Stains.

Cite this page: Hill, M.A. (2024, May 27) Embryology Pituitary histology 001.jpg. Retrieved from

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© Dr Mark Hill 2024, UNSW Embryology ISBN: 978 0 7334 2609 4 - UNSW CRICOS Provider Code No. 00098G

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