Ultimobranchial and parathyroid glands of the pigeon Columba livia in response to 1,25OH2D3 administration.
In the chicken, the cranial and caudal parathyroid glands (parathyroid gland III and IV), which are connected to each other, are located adjacent to the carotid body. In the present study, we found that a mass of glomus cells surrounded by a thick layer of connective tissue was frequently distributed within the parathyroid gland III. The glomus cells in the parathyroid III, as well as those of the carotid body, expressed intense immunoreactivity for serotonin, chromogranin A, and tyrosine hydroxylase but no immunoreactivity for neuropeptide Y. The cells possessed long cytoplasmic processes containing dense-cored vesicles of 70–220 nm in diameter, and were in close association with sustentacular cells. In and around the glomus cell clusters of the parathyroid III, dense networks of varicose fibers showed immunostaining with the monoclonal antibody TuJ1 to a neuronspecific class III β-tubulin isotype, cβ4. Furthermore, the distribution was also detected of numerous galanin-, vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP)-, substance P-, and calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP)-immunoreactive fibers.