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Ultrastructural study of the human neurohypophysis

I. neurosecretory axons and their dilatations in the pars nervosa

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Neurosecretory axons and their dilatations in the pars nervosa of the human neurohypophysis were studied electron microscopically. The axons are of two different types based on their content of neurosecretory granules (NSGs): (i) NSGs of Type A are 100–300 nm, and (ii) NSGs of type B are 50–100 nm in diameter.

While fibers (or axons) of type B were scarce, showing simple swellings and terminal formations, fibers of type A were ubiquitous in the human pars nervosa, exhibiting numerous dilatations with a diversity of internal structure, apparently representing the ultrastructural manifestation of intraaxonal turnover of neurohypophysial hormones. Based on the predominating aspect of their internal structure, dilatations of type A-fibers were classified into six different types, with various transitional forms: Type I is characterized by abundant NSGs; type II by prominent mitochondria; type III by abundant lysosomal bodies; type IV by an electron-lucent matrix with few organelles; type V by prominent tubuloreticular profiles; and type VI by numerous microvesicles. The functional significance of each type is discussed and a scheme of possible interrelationships between these dilatations is proposed.

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Correspondence to Y. Takei M.D..

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Seyama, S., Pearl, G.S. & Takei, Y. Ultrastructural study of the human neurohypophysis. Cell Tissue Res. 205, 253–271 (1980). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00234684

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Key words

  • Neurohypophysis
  • Neurosecretory axons
  • Neurosecretorygranules
  • Ultrastructure
  • Man