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Ultimopharyngeal body

Ultimopharyngeal body
Precursorfourth pharyngeal pouch
Gives rise toparafollicular cells
Latincorpus ultimopharyngeum
TEbody_by_E5. E5.
Anatomical terminology

The ultimopharyngeal body, or ultimobranchial body or ultimobranchial gland is a small organ found in the neck region of many animals. In humans, it develops from the fourth pharyngeal pouch into the parafollicular cells of the thyroid to produce calcitonin. It may not develop in DiGeorge syndrome.


The ultimopharyngeal body is a small organ of the neck. It is found in many animals. In humans, it develops into other tissues.


In humans, the ultimopharyngeal body is an embryological structure, and is a derivative of the ventral recess of the fourth pharyngeal pouch.[1][2] It is technically from the fifth pharyngeal pouch, but this is rudimentary and merges with the fourth.[2] It develops into the parafollicular cells of the thyroid.[2] The cells that give rise to the parafollicular cells are derivatives of endoderm.[3] Endoderm cells migrate and associate with the ultimopharyngeal body during development.


In humans, the ultimopharyngeal body develops into the parafollicular cells of the thyroid.[2] These secrete calcitonin.[4] In other animals, the ultimopharyngeal body may produce calcitonin.[4]

Clinical significance

The ultimopharyngeal body may not develop in DiGeorge syndrome.


The ultimopharyngeal body may also be known as the ultimobranchial body or the ultimobranchial gland.[2]


  1. ^ "Ultimobranchial bodies" at Dorland's Medical Dictionary
  2. ^ a b c d e Adams A, Mankad K, Offiah C, Childs L (February 2016). "Branchial cleft anomalies: a pictorial review of embryological development and spectrum of imaging findings". Insights into Imaging. 7 (1): 69–76. doi:10.1007/s13244-015-0454-5. PMC 4729717. PMID 26661849.
  3. ^ Johansson E, Andersson L, Örnros J, Carlsson T, Ingeson-Carlsson C, Liang S, et al. (October 2015). "Revising the embryonic origin of thyroid C cells in mice and humans". Development. 142 (20): 3519–3528. doi:10.1242/dev.126581. PMC 4631767. PMID 26395490.
  4. ^ a b Agathos EA, Tomos PI, Kostomitsopoulos N, Koutsoukos PG (February 2019). "Calcitonin as an anticalcification treatment for implantable biological tissues". Journal of Cardiology. New insights in treatment for heart failure. 73 (2): 179–182. doi:10.1016/j.jjcc.2018.07.010. PMID 30377016. S2CID 53110929.
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Ultimopharyngeal body
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