Parafollicular cell

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1] Phone:617-632-7753



Parafollicular cells (also called C cells) are cells in the thyroid which produce and secrete calcitonin.

Embryologically, they associate with the ultimobranchial body, which itself is a ventral derivative of the Fourth Pharyngeal Pouch. The Parafollicular cells themselves are derived from Neural Crest cells.

When parafollicular cells become cancerous, they lead to medullary carcinoma of the thyroid.

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