"The Fabric of Life" Pituitary Flow
"The Fabric of Life" is about the pituitary gland (hypophysis). This painting presents the grandeur of this tiny little gland by visually connecting so many of the organs it serves and displaying the intricate portal system.
The pituitary is often considered the Master Gland. It secretes hormones that regulate metabolism, aid in sexual development and reproduction, helps to control blood pressure and so much more.
In this piece I have represented the hormones excreted by the pituitary as flowing drapes of fabric (thus the title). Each of the drapes depicts the histology of eight of the organs that rely on the pituitary for proper function. They are shown, from left to right: thyroid, adrenal gland, breast, ovary, testis, bone, kidney, uterine smooth muscle.
The carotid artery sits in the background as a reminder of the importance of the blood flow to carry the hormones throughout the body. I have taken the wall of the artery off in layers to expose the smooth muscle, the elastic membrane and the endothelium.
I have shown the cells of the adenohypophysis as well as the neurohypophysis (with herring bodies). The blood supply is intricately woven throughout.
The hypothalamus is present in that I have shown pathways for the neurosecretory cells to travel to the posterior lobe as well as to the hypophyseal portal system.
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