Oxyphil cell (parathyroid)

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Oxyphil cell (parathyroid)
Parathyroid gland high mag cropped.jpg
Micrograph of a parathyroid gland. H&E stain.
MeSH Oxyphil+Cells
Code TH H3.

In the parathyroid gland, the parathyroid oxyphil cell is larger and paler than the parathyroid chief cell.[1]

These cells can be found in clusters in the center of the section and at the periphery.[2][3][4][5] Oxyphil cells appear at the onset of puberty, but have no known function. With nuclear medicine scans, they selectively take up the Technetium-sestamibi complex radiotracer dye to allow delineation of glandular anatomy.[6] Oxyphil cells have been shown to express parathyroid-relevant genes found in the chief cells and have the potential to produce additional autocrine/paracrine factors, such as Parathyroid hormone-related protein (PTHrP) and calcitriol.[7] More work needs to be done to fully understand the functions of these cells and their secretions.


  1. ^ BU Histology Learning System: 15002loa
  2. ^ Gartner, p. 208, Fig. 3
  3. ^ Ross, p. 628, Fig. 1
  4. ^ DiFiore, pp. 270 - 271
  5. ^ Wheater, pp. 312 - 313
  6. ^ "Minimally Invasive Radio-guided Surgery for Primary Hyperparathyroidism," Annals of Surgical Oncology 12/07 14(12) pp 3401-3402
  7. ^ Ritter, Haughey, Miller, Brown (2012). "Differential gene expression by oxyphil and chief cells of human parathyroid glands". J Clin Endocrinol Metab. 97 (8): E1499–505. doi:10.1210/jc.2011-3366. PMID 22585091.