The 4th pouch contains two wings; the dorsal and ventral wings. Each set of wings develops into a different structure.
The dorsal wings of the 4th branchial pouch form the top of the parathyroid gland, known as the superior parathyroid glands.
The superior parathyroid glands are formed from the dorsal wing of the 4th branchial pouch. This gland produces parathyroid hormone, which helps regulate calcium levels in the body.
The ventral wings of the 4th branchial pouch forms the ultimobranchial body, which gets integrated into the thymus. From here, it induces formation of parafollicular cells or C-cells for the production of calcitonin.
The parafollicular cells or C-cells, produce calcitonin, and are formed because of the ultimobranchial body. The ultimobranchial body first gets integrated into the thymus, after differentiation from the ventral swellings of the 4th pouch. The ultimobranchial body then releases signaling, inducing the migration and differentiation of nearby neural crest cells into parafollicular (C) cells of the thyroid gland.
The ultimobranchial body releases signaling, inducing the migration and differentiation of nearby neural crest cells into parafollicular (C) cells of the thyroid gland.
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