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Updated: Jun 15 2019


  • Overview
    • Synthesis
      • made in parafollicular cells (C cells) of thyroid in response to hypercalcemia
        • inferior parathyroid glands derived from the 3rd pharyngeal pouch
        • superior parathyroid glands derived from the 4th pharyngeal pouch
        • parafollicular C cells derived from ultimobranchial body (4th/5th pharyngeal pouch)
          • originally thought to be of neural crest in origin but are now considered to be a derivative of endoderm
    • Function
      • ↓ serum Ca2+ via
        • ↓ bone resorption
        • PTH antagonism
      • not essential in normal Ca2+ homeostasis
      • can be used in management of osteoporosis or hypercalcemia (not first line for either)
    • Pathology
      • medullary carcinoma of the thyroid
        • parafollicular C cells overproduce caltonin creating sheets of cells in an amyloid stroma
        • stains with Congo red
        • associated with MEN 2A and 2B (mutation in RET)
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