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Chromaffin cell

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Title: Chromaffin cell  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Adrenal gland, Endocrine system, Paraganglion, Adrenal medulla, Pinealocyte
Collection: Adrenal Gland, Human Cells, Neuroendocrine Cells
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Chromaffin cell

Medullary chromaffin cell
Adrenal gland. (Medulla labeled at bottom right.)
Latin endocrinocytus medullaris
Code TH H3.
Anatomical terminology

Chromaffin cells, also pheochromocytes, are hypothalamus), and can also send paracrine signals. Hence they are called neuroendocrine cells.

In the mammalian fetal development (fourth to fifth week in humans),

  • Histology image: 14507loa – Histology Learning System at Boston University - "Endocrine System: adrenal gland, reticularis and medulla"
  • Secretion Control in Adrenal Chromaffin Cells
  • UC-San Diego Chromaffin Cell and Hypertension Research
  • A Primer on Chromaffin Cells
  • Rat Chromaffin cells primary cultures: Standardization and quality assessment for single-cell assays (a protocol)

External links

  1. ^ Ehrlich, ME; Evinger, M; Regunathan, S; Teitelman, G (Jun 1994). "Mammalian adrenal chromaffin cells coexpress the epinephrine-synthesizing enzyme and neuronal properties in vivo and in vitro.". Developmental biology 163 (2): 480–90.  
  2. ^ Schober, Andreas; Parlato, Rosanna; Huber, Katrin; Kinscherf, Ralf; Hartleben, Björn; Huber, Tobias B.; Schütz, Günther; Unsicker, Klaus (1 January 2013). "Cell Loss and Autophagy in the Extra-Adrenal Chromaffin Organ of Zuckerkandl are Regulated by Glucocorticoid Signalling". Journal of Neuroendocrinology 25 (1): 34–47.  
  3. ^ Perry, SF; Capaldo, A (Nov 16, 2011). "The autonomic nervous system and chromaffin tissue: neuroendocrine regulation of catecholamine secretion in non-mammalian vertebrates.". Autonomic neuroscience : basic & clinical 165 (1): 54–66.  
  4. ^ Pohorecky, LA; Wurtman, RJ (Mar 1971). "Adrenocortical control of epinephrine synthesis." (PDF). Pharmacological reviews 23 (1): 1–35.  
  5. ^ Szewczyk, A; Lobanov, NA; Kicińska, A; Wójcik, G; Nałecz, MJ (2001). "ATP-sensitive K+ transport in adrenal chromaffin granules." (PDF). Acta neurobiologiae experimentalis 61 (1): 1–12.  
  6. ^ Young; Lowe; Stevens; Heath, eds. (2006). Wheater's Functional Histology (5th ed.). Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone.  


Neoplasms arising from these cells are pheochromocytomas (also called chromaffin or sympathetic paragangliomas, in contrast to non-chromaffin or parasympathetic paragangliomas of glomus cells). Sometimes only neoplasms of adrenal origin are named pheochromocytomas, while others are named extra-adrenal paragangliomas.


Paraganglia are clusters of either chromaffin cells or glomus cells near sympathetic ganglia.

The enterochromaffin cells are so named because of their histological similarity to chromaffin cells (they also stain yellow when treated with chromium salts), but their function is quite different and they are not derivatives of the neural crest.

The word 'Chromaffin' comes from a portmanteau of chromium and affinity. They are named as such because they can be visualized by staining with chromium salts. Chromium salts oxidize and polymerize catecholamines to form a brown color, most strongly in the cells secreting noradrenaline. Chromaffin cells are also called pheochromocytes.


Chromaffin cells of the adrenal medulla are innervated by the splanchnic nerve and secrete adrenaline (epinephrine), noradrenaline (norepinephrine), a little dopamine, enkephalin and enkephalin-containing peptides, and a few other hormones into the blood stream. The secreted adrenaline and noradrenaline play an important role in the fight-or-flight response. The enkephalins and enkephalin-containing peptides are related to, but distinct from endogenous peptides named endorphins (which are secreted from the pituitary); all of these peptides bind to opioid receptors and produce analgesic (and other) responses. The hormones are secreted from chromaffin granules; this is where the enzyme dopamine β-hydroxylase catalyzes the conversion of dopamine to noradrenaline.[5] Distinct N and E cell forms exist (also Na and A cells in British nomenclature - noradrenaline and adrenaline); the former produce norepinephrine, the latter arise out of N cells through interaction with glucocorticoids, and convert norepinephrine into epinephrine.[6]



  • Function 1
  • Nomenclature 2
  • Pathology 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5

In non-mammals, chromaffin cells are found in a variety of places, generally not organized as an individual organ, and may be without innervation, relying only on endocrine or paracrine signals for secretion.[3][4]

. liver, and behind the prostate wall, bladder In lower concentrations, extra-adrenal chromaffin cells also reside in the [2]

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