File:Pituitary histology 002.jpg

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Pituitary Histology - Adenohypophysis

Stain - Periodic acid-Schiff / Orange G

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.

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.

Pituitary, sheep - PAS/ORANGE G Identify acidophils, basophils and chromophobes and verify that the relative frequencies of the cells are different in different parts of the adenohypophysis.

Periodic acid-Schiff / Orange G

(Stain Periodic acid-Schiff / Orange G)

  • Basophil cells - magenta
  • Acidophil cells - yellow
  • Red blood cells - yellow
  • Nuclei - blue/black
  • Chromophobes - pale blue/grey

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 29) Embryology Pituitary histology 002.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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