Hypothalamus and pituitary gland
The hypothalamus is a small area of the brain that secretes hormones that help control the body's metabolism. The hypothalamus receives chemical signals from the blood that determine its actions. The hormones of the hypothalamus travel to the pituitary gland where they are either stored or released. The pituitary gland is a pea-shaped gland that hangs from the base of the brain. The pituitary stores and releases many hormones that help regulate body function. It is often called the "master gland" of the body since it controls many hormones and many body functions.
What is the hypothalamus?
The hypothalamus is a small region deep within the brain where chemical signals from the blood stimulate the production of hormones. These hormones travel to the pituitary gland where they can be stored until they are needed by the body.
What is the pituitary gland?
The pituitary gland (sometimes called the hypophysis) is a small gland that dangles from the base of the brain like a "pea on a string." Several hormones produced by the hypothalamus are stored here and released into the blood. It is enclosed the sella turcica (called this because of its shape) portion of the sphenoid bone. Despite its small size, it's hormones have wide-spread critical effects on the body. The pituitary has two functional parts: the anterior pituitary gland (adenohypophysis) and the posterior pituitary gland (neurohypophysis). The neurohypophysis is an extension of the hypothalamus brain tissue, while the adenohypophysis is a separate collection of gland tissue.
What are the hormones secreted by the pituitary?
|Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH)||Pituitary gland||Increases secretion of hormones from the adrenal glands in times of stress|
|Antidiuretic hormone (ADH)||Pituitary gland||Stimulates the kidneys to conserve water|
|Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)||Pituitary gland||Stimulates production of eggs in the ovaries or sperm in the testes|
|Growth hormone||Pituitary gland||Stimulates growth of bones, muscles and other body parts|
|Oxytocin||Pituitary gland||Stimulates the uterus to contract during childbirth and stimulates the release of breast milk|
|Parathyroid hormone (PTH)||Pituitary gland||Stimulates the body organs to release calcium into the blood|
|Prolactin||Pituitary gland||Stimulates the production and release of breast milk|
|Thyroid stimulating hormone (TSH)||Pituitary gland||Stimulates the release of thyroid hormones|
Last Updated (Saturday, 25 September 2010 17:21)