Rathke's pouch

In embryogenesis, Rathke's pouch is a depression in the roof of the developing mouth in front of the buccopharyngeal membrane. It gives rise to the anterior pituitary, a part of the endocrine system.


The pouch eventually loses its connection with the pharynx giving rise to the anterior pituitary. The anterior wall of Rathke's pouch proliferates, filling most of the pouch to form pars distalis and pars tuberalis. The posterior wall forms pars intermedia.

In some organisms (humans being a notable exception), the proliferating anterior wall does not fully occupy Rathke's pouch, leaving a remnant (Rathke's cleft) between the pars distalis and pars intermedia.

Clinical significance

Rathke's pouch may also persist as cysts (craniopharyngioma) within the pars intermedia.


It is named for Martin Rathke.


External links

Search another word or see rathke's-pocketon Dictionary | Thesaurus |Spanish
Copyright © 2015, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature