Parathyroid Gland Histology

The parathyroid glands are small endocrine glands in the neck that produce parathyroid hormone. Humans usually have four parathyroid glands, which are usually located on the rear surface of the thyroid gland, or, in rare cases, within the thyroid gland itself or in the chest. Parathyroid glands control the amount of calcium in the blood and within the bones. (from wikipedia)

Virtual Microscopy

They are composed primarily of chief cells and fat with thin fibrous capsule dividing gland into lobules; may have a pseudofollicle pattern resembling thyroid follicles 
Chief cells: 6-8 microns, polygonal, central round nuclei, contain granules of parathyroid hormone (PTH)
Basic cell type, other cell types are due to differences in physiologic activity. 80% of chief cells have intracellular fat
Chief cell is most sensitive to changes in ionized calcium

Oxyphil cells: slightly larger than chief cell (12 microns), acidophilic cytoplasm due to mitochondria; no secretory granules; first appear at puberty as single cells, then pairs, then nodules at age 40 (adapted from pathology outlines.com)

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