The morphology of the hypophysis in Bactrian camel has not been described in the literature, despite it being the master of endocrine organs in vertebrates. In the present study, we examined the morphological features of the hypophysis in Bactrian camel by means of gross anatomy, light and electron microscope. Our findings showed that the gland was a protrusion of the bottom of the hypothalamus at the base of the brain with about 1.54 g in weight and 2 cm3 in volume. The hypophysis consists of two major parts: fully developed adenohypophysis and underdeveloped neurohypophysis, the adenohypophysis consists of pars distalis and pars intermedia. Seven type cells of the pars distalis could be distinguished with immunohistochemical techniques and electron micrographs: somatotroph, mammotroph, thyrotroph, corticotroph, gonadotroph, chromophobe and stellate cells which is in accordance with most mammals. Notably, the stellate cells could be obviously distinguished from chromophobe cells in histological oberservation. Moreover, the corpusculum neurosecretorium (Herring bodies) were rare in the external neurohypophysis, and mainly distributed in the internal neurohypophysis, this was different from most mammals. Results from this study would provide a necessary theoretical basis for ongoing investigations for Bactrian camels and their good adaptability in arid and semi-arid circumstances.
KEY WORDS: Bactrian camel; Hypophysis; Morphology; Ultrastructure.