Accessory mammillary bodies formed by the enlarged lateral mammillary nuclei: cytoarchitecture

  • Thomas Corso
  • George Grignol
  • Randy Kulesza
  • Istvan Merchenthaler
  • Bertalan DudasEmail author
Short Communication


Post mortem examination of the hypothalamus of a 79-year-old woman, deceased in cardiac arrest without recorded neurological symptoms, revealed well-defined spherical protrusions located rostro-laterally to the mammillary bodies that appear to be regular size when compared to normal. Cytoarchitectonically, these accessory mammillary bodies are formed by the enlarged lateral mammillary nucleus that is normally a thin shell over the medial. The mammillary nuclei appear to function synergistically in memory formation in rats; however, the functional consequences of the present variation are difficult to interpret due to lack of human data. Most importantly, in addition to the possible functional consequences, lateral mammillary bodies can be falsely identified as various neuropathological processes of the basal diencephalon including gliomas; therefore, it is extremely important to disseminate this unique morphological variant among clinicians.


Mammillary Hypothalamus Cytoarchitecture Morphology Brain Human 


Author contributions

TC, acquisition of data and critical revision of manuscript for intellectual content. GG, acquisition of data and critical revision of manuscript for intellectual content. RK, acquisition of data and critical revision of manuscript for intellectual content. IM, critical revision of manuscript, interpretation of data, and study supervision. BD, study concept and design, critical revision of manuscript for intellectual content, analysis and interpretation of data, and study supervision.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Research Involving Human Participants

The brain utilized in these studies was harvested 12 h post mortem period in accordance with the regulations of the Institutional Review Board of Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine (LECOM). See materials and methods.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas Corso
    • 1
  • George Grignol
    • 1
  • Randy Kulesza
    • 1
  • Istvan Merchenthaler
    • 2
  • Bertalan Dudas
    • 1
    Email author
  1. 1.Neuroendocrine Organization Laboratory (NEO)Lake Erie College of Osteopathic MedicineErieUSA
  2. 2.Department of Epidemiology and Public HealthUniversity of Maryland BaltimoreBaltimoreUSA

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