Dictionary > Pituicyte

Pituicyte

Definition
noun, plural: pituicytes
A specialized glial cell in the neurohypophysis that resembles an astrocyte and plays a role in the storage and in the secretion of neurohypophysial hormones
Supplement
A pituicyte refers to any of the glial cells of the posterior pituitary characterized by having long branching processes and resembling astrocyte (another glial cell). Both the pituicyte and the astrocyte possess intermediate filaments made up of glial fibrillary acidic protein in their cytoplasm.
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 hormone-secreting cells such as somatotrophs, corticotrophs, thyrotrophs, gonadotrophs, and lactotrophs. The posterior pituitary releases hormones, nonetheless. However, the hormones (e.g. vasopressin and oxytocin) are synthesized in the hypothalamus. Pituicytes, in particular, are specialized glial cells that aid in the storage and in the release of the neurohypophysial hormones from the posterior pituitary.
The pituicytes, together with 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. In the pars nervosa, the pituicytes are interspersed with unmyelinated axons and Herring bodies.
See also:


You will also like...

Circulation
Circulation

The circulatory system is key to the transport of vital biomolecules and nutrients throughout the body. Learn about the ..

Ecological Research Measuring & Analysis
Ecological Research: Measuring & Analysis

This lesson is about the methods used for ecological research, such as quadrat and transect sampling, canopy fogging, an..

Oligodendrocyte and Schwann cell
The Central Nervous System

Myelin sheath is essential for a faster conductivity of signals. Know more about this feature of some neurons in the Cen..

"Cronopio dentiacutus", a prehistoric mammal (an illustration)
Mammalian Ancestors

Mammals are a diverse group of organisms, where most of them develop their offspring within the uterus of the mother. Ov..

Human Nervous System
The Human Nervous System

The nervous system is essentially a biological information highway. This tutorial gives an overview of the nervous syste..

Wart-like leaf galls on grape leaves
Plant Cell Defense

Plants protect themselves by releasing hydrogen peroxide to fight against fungal invasion. Another way is by secreting c..

Related Articles...

No related articles found

See all Related Topics