The Anterior Lobe of the Hypophysis

  • José Cara


Cells in the anlage of the anterior lobe of the pituitary differentiate very early in the human fetus. Basophilic cells can be identified by about the 8th week of gestation, and the acidophils are found 1–2 weeks later.(45) The fine structure of the fetal pituitary at about the 12th week is consistent with a gland that is producing and secreting hormone, and by the 18th week, the anterior lobe of the pituitary resembles the adult organ.(45) The human pituitary gland increases its weight 4-fold between the 10th and 24th weeks of gestation.(97) The anterior lobe of the pituitary in perinatal life contains five or more distinct cells,(142) which secrete at least six independent hormones. The development of more elaborate techniques of histochemistry, immunofluorescence, and electron microscopy has permitted further validation of the concept that each major hormone of the pituitary is produced by a distinct cell type, the “one cell, one hormone theory.”(133)


Growth Hormone Cord Blood Pituitary Gland Amniotic Fluid Human Growth Hormone 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Publishing Corporation 1978

Authors and Affiliations

  • José Cara
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Pediatrics, Coney Island HospitalState University of New York Downstate Medical CenterBrooklynUSA

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