Dictionary > Herring body

Herring body

Definition
noun, plural: Herring bodies
The neurosecretory terminal of the axons from the hypothalamus and located in the neurohypophysis, involved in the storage of neurohypophysial hormones
Supplement
A Herring body refers to any of the several neurosecretory bodies located in the posterior pituitary. The posterior pituitary (also referred to as neurohypophysis) is the part of the pituitary gland that is non-glandular and an extension of the hypothalamus as opposed to the anterior pituitary (also called adenohypophysis) that is glandular and comprised of various cells that produce and secrete hormones. The posterior pituitary does not produce hormones. Instead, the hypothalamus synthesizes hormones that are then released from the posterior pituitary. The posterior pituitary is an extension of the hypothalamus. The cells that produce neurohypophysial hormones (e.g. vasopressin and oxytocin) are located in the hypothalamus but their axons extend to the posterior pituitary.
Together with the pituicytes, the Herring bodies make up the pars nervosa of the posterior pituitary. The pars nervosa forms the bulk of the posterior pituitary and serves as the storage site for oxytocin and vasopressin. Pituicytes are specialized glial cells that are involved in the storage and the release of the neurohypophysial hormones from the posterior pituitary.
The Herring bodies are also involved in the temporary storage of neurohypohysial hormones. Oxytocin and ADH, though, are not stored simultaneously in the same Herring body. Apart from the hormone, other components include ATP and neurophysins (binding proteins). The neurophysin may either be neurophysin I or neurophysin II that binds to oxytocin or ADH, respectively. Neurophysin is bound to the hormone, forming a complex, and then stored as a single protein in the neurohypophysis.
The name, Herring bodies, is derived from Percy Theodore Herring, an English physiologist (1872-1967), who first described the structure in 1908.
See also:


You will also like...

DNA - schematic
Genetic Mutations

This tutorial looks at the mutation at the gene level and the harm it may bring. Learn about single nucleotide polymorph..

The process of photosynthesis
Photosynthesis – Photolysis and Carbon Fixation

Photosynthesis is the process that plants undertake to create organic materials from carbon dioxide and water, with the ..

Human gastrointestinal tract
Human Biology – Food and Digestion

This tutorial recognizes the importance of food as a source of energy that will fuel many biological processes. A good d..

Electromagnetic spectrum of a brain
Sleep and Dreams – Neurology

While learning and intelligence are associated with the functions of a conscious mind, sleep and dreams are activities o..

Consciousness and behavior
Consciousness and Behavior

Human consciousness and behavior are an interesting topic since they are determined and controlled by the brain. Conscio..

Hominid
The Hominids

The hominid family diversified from the apes around 6 to 8 million years ago. Since then, the evolutionary path has prov..