Mechanism of secretion in endocrine glands

  • Kazumasa Kurosumi
Part of the Electron Microscopy in Biology and Medicine book series (EMBM, volume 1)


The main difference between exocrine and endocrine glands is the absence of ducts in the endocrine glands. Therefore, the latter are often called ductless glands, ‘glandulae sine ductibus’. Because they have no means of conveying secretory products away from the gland, the secretion enters the circulation via the blood vessels richly distributed throughout the gland. In a few cases lymphatic vessels receive the secretory products. As the action of secretion of endocrine glands transported either by blood or lymph is usually stimulation of other sensitive organs, the endocrine substance is called a hormone, meaning stimulator or accelerator. The sensitive organs which are stimulated by the hormones are termed target organs.


Golgi Apparatus Secretory Granule Endocrine Cell Rough Endoplasmic Reticulum Neurosecretory Cell 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Kurosumi K, Kobayashi Y: Nerve fibers and terminals in the rat anterior pituitary gland as revealed by electron microscopy. Arch Histol Jap 43: 141–155, 1980.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Fujita T: The gastro-enteric endocrine cell and its paraneuronic nature. In: Chromaffin, enterochromaffin and related cells. Coupland RE, Fujita T (eds), Amsterdam, Elsevier, 1976, pp 191–208.Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Kurosumi K, Yukitake Y: Morphological and morphometric studies on the terminal boutons on the neurosecretory cells of the rat paraventricular nucleus. Arch Histol Jap 40: Suppl 293–302, 1977.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Yagi K, Azuma T, Matsuda K: Neurosecretory cell capable of conducting impulse in rats. Science 154: 778–779, 1966.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Pearse AGE: The cytochemistry and ultrastructure of polypeptide hormone-producing cells of the APUD series, and the embryologic, physiologic and pathologic implications of the concept. J Histochem Cytochem 17: 303–313, 1969.Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Matsuzawa T, Kurosumi K: The ultrastructure, morphogenesis and histochemistry of the sweat glands in the rat foot pads as revealed by electron microscopy. J Electron Micr 12: 175–191, 1963.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Kurosumi K, Inoue K: Surface pits of typical gonadotrophs and castration cells of the rat anterior pituitary suggestive of exocytosis and micropinocytosis. Arch Histol Jap 43: 373–382, 1980.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Palade GE, Siekevitz P, Caro LG: Structure, chemistry and function of the pancreatic exocrine cell. In: The exocrine pancreas, de Reuck AVS, Cameron MP (eds), London, J and A Churchill Ltd, 1962, pp 23–49.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Farquhar MG, Wellings RS: Electron microscopic evidence suggesting secretory granule formation within the Golgi apparatus. J Biophys Biochem Cytol 3: 319–322, 1957.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Palade GE: Intracisternal granules in the exocrine cells of the pancreas. J Biophys Biochem Cytol 2: 417–422, 1956.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Farquhar MG, Rinehart J: Cytologic alterations in the anterior pituitary gland following thyroidectomy: an electron microscopic study. Endocrinology 55: 857–876, 1954.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Kurosumi K, Kawarai Y, Yukitake Y, Inoue, K: Electron microscopic morphometry of the rat castration cells. Gunma Symp Endocrinol 13: 221–236, 1976.Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Kawabata I: Electron microscopy of the rat hypothalamic neurosecretory system. III The supraoptic nucleus after vital staining with trypan blue. Arch Histol Jap 26: 215–240, 1966.Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Palade GE: Intracellular aspects of the process of protein synthesis. Science 189: 347–358, 1975.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Novikoff AB: GERL, its form and function in neurons of rat spinal ganglia. Biol Bull 127: 358A, 1964.Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Inoue K, Kurosumi K: Cytochemical and three-dimensional studies on Golgi apparatus and GERL of rat anterior pituitary cells by transmission electron microscopy. Cell Str Func 2: 171–186, 1977.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Claude A: Growth and differentiation of cytoplasmic membranes in the course of lipoprotein granule synthesis in the hepatic cell. I Elaboration of elements of the Golgi complex. J Cell Biol 47: 745–766, 1970.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Pelletier G, Novikoff AB: Localization of phosphatase activities in the rat anterior pituitary gland. J Histochem Cytochem 20: 1–12, 1972.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Fujita H, Okamoto H: Fine structural localization of thiamine pyrophosphatase and acid phosphatase activities in the mouse pancreatic acinar cells. Histochemistry 64: 287–295, 1979.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Nakagami K, Warshawsky H, Leblond CP: The elaboration of protein and carbohydrate by rat parathyroid cells as revealed by electron microscope radioautography. J Cell Biol 51: 596–610, 1971.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Kurosumi K, Shibuichi I, Tosaka H: Ultrastructural studies on the secretory mechanism of goblet cells in the rat jejunal epithelium. Arch Hiatol Jap 44: 263–284, 1981.Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Smith RE, Farquhar MG: Lysosome function in the regulation of the secretory process in cells of the anterior pituitary gland. J Cell Biol 31: 319–347, 1966.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Lacy PE, Howell SL, Young DA, Fink CJ: New hypothesis of insulin secretion. Nature 219: 1177–1179, 1968.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Kurosumi K: Electron microscopic analysis of the secretion mechanism. Internat Rev Cytol 11: 1–124, 1961.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. 25.
    Honjin R, Takahashi A, Maruyama H, Hanyu T: Electron microscopy of a case of insulinoma. J Electron Micr 14: 183–188, 1965.Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Guraya SS, Motta PM: Interstitial cells and related structures. In: Biology of the ovary. Motta PM, Hafez ESE (eds), The Hague, Martinus Nijhoff, 1980, pp 68–85.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Kurosumi K, Fujita H: An atlas of electron micrographs: functional morphology of endocrine glands, Tokyo, Igaku-Shoin, 1974.Google Scholar
  28. 28.
    Correr S, Motta PM: Relationship between the marginal layer and parenchymal cells of the rat adenohypophysis as revealed by scanning electron microscopy. Biomed Res 2: Suppl 109–113, 1981.Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Correr S, Motta PM: The rat pituitary cleft: a correlated study by scanning and transmission electron microscopy. Cell Tiss Res 215: 515–529, 1981.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Fujita H: Electron microscopic studies on the thyroid gland of domestic fowl, with special reference to the mode of secretion and the occurrence of central flagellum in the follicular cell. Z Zellforsch 60: 615–632, 1963.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Fujita H: Studies on the iodine metabolism of the thyroid gland as revealed by electron microscopic autoradiography of 125I. Virchow Arch Abt B Zellpath 2: 265–279, 1969.Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Enders AC, Nelson DM: Pinocytic activity of the uterus of the rat. Am J Anat 138: 277–300, 1973.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. 33.
    Parr MB, Parr EL: Endocytosis in the uterine epithelium of the mouse. J Reprod Fert 50: 151–153, 1977.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    Nagasawa J, Douglas WW, Schulz RA: Ultrastructural evidence of secretion by exocytosis and of ‘synaptic vesicle’ formation in posterior pituitary glands. Nature 227: 407–409, 1970.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    Krisch B, Becker K, Bargmann W: Exocytose im Hinterlappen der Hypophyse. Z Zellforsch 123: 47–54, 1972.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Kodama Y, Fujita H: Some findings on the fine structure of the neurohypophysis in dehydrated and pitressin-treated mice. Arch Histol Jap 38: 121–131, 1975.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  37. 37.
    Kurosumi K: Morphological and morphometric studies on the ultra- structural changes during the active release of neurosecretory substance from the neurohypophyseal nerve terminals in dehydrated rats. Arch Histol Jap 40: 225–242, 1977.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  38. 38.
    Inoue K, Kurosumi K, Deng Z-P: An improvement of the device for rapid freezing with use of liquid propane and an application of immunocytochemistry to resin section of rapid-frozen, substitution fixed anterior pituitary gland. J Electron Micr. 31: 93–97, 1982.Google Scholar
  39. 38.
    Inoue K, Kurosumi K, Deng Z-P: An improvement of the device for rapid freezing with use of liquid propane and an application of immunocytochemistry to resin section of rapid-frozen, substitution fixed anterior pituitary gland. J Electron Micr. 31: 93–97, 1982.Google Scholar
  40. 40.
    Nagasawa, J, Douglas WW, Schulz RA: Micropinocytotic origin of coated and smooth microvesicles (‘synaptic vesicles’) in neurosecretory terminals of posterior pituitary glands demonstrated by incorporation of horseradish peroxidase. Nature 232: 341–342, 1971.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  41. 41.
    Pelletier G: Secretion and uptake of peroxidase by rat adenohypophyseal cells. J Ultrast Res 43: 445–459, 1973.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. 42.
    Farquhar MG, Skutelsky EH, Hopkins CR: Structure and function of the anterior pituitary and dispersed pituitary cells, in vitro studies. In: The anterior pituitary gland. Tixier-Vidal A, Farquhar MG (eds), New York, Academic Press, 1975, pp 83–135.Google Scholar
  43. 43.
    Gonatas NK, Kim SU, Stieber A, Avrameas S: Internalization of lectins in neuronal GERL. J Cell Biol 73: 1–13, 1977.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  44. 44.
    Farquhar MG: Recovery of surface membrane in anterior pituitary cells. Variations in traffic detected with anionic and cationic ferritin. J Cell Biol 77: R35–42, 1978.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. 45.
    Ishimura K, Egawa K, Fujita H: Freeze- fracture images of exocytosis and endocytosis in anterior pituitary cells of rabbits and mice. Cell Tiss Res 206: 233–241, 1980.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  46. 46.
    Berger W, Dahl G, Meissner H-P: Structural and functional alterations in fused membranes of secretory granules during exocytosis in pancreatic islet cells of the mouse. Cytobiologie 12: 119–139, 1975.Google Scholar
  47. 47.
    Dahl G, Berger W, Meissner H-P: Intracellular membrane junctions during the exocytosis of insulin. J Physiol Paris 72: 703–709, 1976.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  48. 48.
    Chandler DE, Heuser J: Membrane fusion during secretion. Cortical granule exocytosis in sea urchin eggs as studied by quick-freezing and freeze-fracture. J Cell Biol 83: 91–108, 1979.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. 49.
    Heuser JE, Reese TS, Dennis MJ, Jan Y, Jan L, Evans L: Synaptic vesicle exocytosis captured by quick freezing and correlated with quantal transmitter release. J Cell Biol 81: 275 - 300, 1979.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. 50.
    Kurosumi K: Mitosis of the rat anterior pituitary cells: an electron microscope study. Arch Histol Jap 33: 145–160, 1971.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  51. 51.
    Kurosumi K: Formation and release of secretory granules during mitosis in the anterior pituitary gland. Arch Histol Jap 42: 481–486, 1979.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  52. 52.
    Inoue K, Kurosumi K: Mode of proliferation of gonadotrophic cells of the anterior pituitary after castration - Immunocytochemical and autoradiographic studies. Arch Histol Jap 44: 71–85, 1981.PubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Martinus Nijhoff Publishers, Boston, The Hague, Dordrecht, Lancaster 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • Kazumasa Kurosumi
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Morphology, Institute of EndocrinologyGunma UniversityMaebashiJapan

Personalised recommendations