Thyroid gland
Ultimobranchial body development in thyroid gland

Topic Completed: 9 March 2009

Revised: 2 May 2019

Copyright: 2019,, Inc.

PubMed search: ultimobranchial body development in thyroid gland

Related topics: Embryology

Shahid Islam, M.D., Ph.D.
Page views in 2018: 539
Page views in 2019 to date: 544
Cite this page: Islam S. Ultimobranchial body development in thyroid gland. website. Accessed August 20th, 2019.
Definition / general
  • Ultimobranchial body is outpouch of 4th pharyngeal pouch that fuses with thyroid diverticulum, giving rise to calcitonin producing C cells (Dev Dyn 2006;235:1300)
  • Forms a small organ in many animals, but is only an embryonic structure in humans
  • C cells are derived from neural crest, migrate to ultimobranchial bodies

Stages of development:
  • Stage 1: branchial pouch stage at 5 - 7 weeks gestation - thick walled stratified epithelial cyst in continuity with primitive pharyngeal cavity; part of branchial pouch complexes IV and V
  • Stage 2: separation stage at 7 - 8 weeks - separates into parathyroid and ultimobranchial components
  • Stage 3: incorporation stage at 8 - 9 weeks - merges with developing lateral lobes
  • Stage 4: dissolution stage at 9 weeks to term - ultimobranchial body divides into central thick walled epithelial cyst (disappears postnatally) and peripheral C cells
Diagrams / tables

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Relative to pharyngeal pouches

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