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By the end of this section, you will be able to:
  • Explain the interrelationships of the anatomy and functions of the hypothalamus and the posterior and anterior lobes of the pituitary gland
  • Identify the two hormones released from the posterior pituitary, their target cells, and their principal actions
  • Identify the six hormones produced by the anterior lobe of the pituitary gland, their target cells, their principal actions, and their regulation by the hypothalamus

The hypothalamus–pituitary complex can be thought of as the “command center” of the endocrine system. This complex secretes several hormones that directly produce responses in target tissues, as well as hormones that regulate the synthesis and secretion of hormones of other glands. In addition, the hypothalamus–pituitary complex coordinates the messages of the endocrine and nervous systems. In many cases, a stimulus received by the nervous system must pass through the hypothalamus–pituitary complex to be translated into hormones that can initiate a response.

The hypothalamus    is a structure of the diencephalon of the brain located anterior and inferior to the thalamus ( [link] ). It has both neural and endocrine functions, producing and secreting many hormones. In addition, the hypothalamus is anatomically and functionally related to the pituitary gland    (or hypophysis), a bean-sized organ suspended from it by a stem called the infundibulum    (or pituitary stalk). The pituitary gland is cradled within the sellaturcica of the sphenoid bone of the skull. It consists of two lobes that arise from distinct parts of embryonic tissue: the posterior pituitary (neurohypophysis) is neural tissue, whereas the anterior pituitary (also known as the adenohypophysis) is glandular tissue that develops from the primitive digestive tract. The hormones secreted by the posterior and anterior pituitary, and the intermediate zone between the lobes are summarized in [link] .

Hypothalamus–pituitary complex

This illustration shows the hypothalamus-pituitary complex, which is located at the base of the brain and shown here from a lateral view. The hypothalamus lies inferior and anterior to the thalamus, which is sits atop the brainstem. The hypothalamus connects to the pituitary gland by the stalk-like infundibulum. The pituitary gland looks like a sac containing two balls hanging from the infundibulum. The “balls” are the anterior and posterior lobes of the pituitary. Each lobe secretes different hormones in response to signals from the hypothalamus.
The hypothalamus region lies inferior and anterior to the thalamus. It connects to the pituitary gland by the stalk-like infundibulum. The pituitary gland consists of an anterior and posterior lobe, with each lobe secreting different hormones in response to signals from the hypothalamus.
Pituitary Hormones
Pituitary lobe Associated hormones Chemical class Effect
Anterior Growth hormone (GH) Protein Promotes growth of body tissues
Anterior Prolactin (PRL) Peptide Promotes milk production from mammary glands
Anterior Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) Glycoprotein Stimulates thyroid hormone release from thyroid
Anterior Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) Peptide Stimulates hormone release by adrenal cortex
Anterior Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) Glycoprotein Stimulates gamete production in gonads
Anterior Luteinizing hormone (LH) Glycoprotein Stimulates androgen production by gonads
Posterior Antidiuretic hormone (ADH) Peptide Stimulates water reabsorption by kidneys
Posterior Oxytocin Peptide Stimulates uterine contractions during childbirth
Intermediate zone Melanocyte-stimulating hormone Peptide Stimulates melanin formation in melanocytes

Questions & Answers

What is the skin
Astony Reply
What is physiology?
Njaleny Reply
it is the study of the structure of the human body and its reationship
Hannah
Physiology is the function of a living organism.
Tammy
It is the study of human body and how it works.
Excellent
It is d entrance to the uterus
Umunna Reply
It is a small sensitive part of female sex organ which is found above d entrance to the vagina
Umunna
A small hole in d skin which contains d root of a hair
Umunna
A thin membrane which covers d entrance to the vagina in young girls
Umunna
Is a gland that produces milk in women and other female mammals
Umunna
A repeated process in which a woman's uterus gets ready for pregnancy which ends in a period if she does not get pregnant
Umunna
hello
Tamba
hi sir
Mir
so in summary describe the level of structural complexity within the body
Freda Reply
how can we describe briefly the levels of organization
Frimpong
what is blood clotting
Yahya Reply
Tiny bits in your blood called platelets get "turned on" by triggers released when a blood vessel is damaged. They stick to the walls in the area and each other, changing shape to form a plug that fills in the broken part to stop blood from leaking out. When activated, platelets also release chemic
Nilesh
what is a cell membrane?
lameck Reply
the cell membrane also called the plasma membrane regulates the transport materials entering and existing the cell.
Frimpong
what's gonna happen if your body doesn't produce enough white blood cells?
Jovanna
how is speech controlled by the nervous system?
Joseph Reply
The broca's area
Udebuana
what does the HCG
Njaleny
chemical level cellular level tissue level organ level organ system level organism
Chidera Reply
Yes Yes because they can perform more than one activity in the body
Chidera
the functional and structural unit of the body
Chidera
A group of 2 or more tissue that come together to perform a specific function
Chidera
A group of organs that work together to perform a specific function or meet the physiological needs of the body
Chidera
It's the highest level of organization
Chidera
2 or more cells coming together to perform a specific function
Chidera
Skeletal muscles can be tetanized but not cardiac muscle.Discuss
Okeke Reply
what is regional anatomy?
Grace Reply
study of structures that contribute to specific body region
charles
what is human anatomy?
Sam
It's the study of the interrelationships of body structures in a specific region
TM
is the study of the structure of the body and the relationship between body systems
Frimpong
what is grey matter
OJO Reply
it is the major component of the central nervous system consisting of the neuronal cell bodies,neuropil,glial cells,capillaries and synapses
Frimpong
What is neuron cell
Dev Reply
neuron cell are the fundamental units of the brain and nervous system responsible for receiving sensory input from the external world, for sending motor commands to muscles and for transforming and relaying the electrical signals at every step in between
Serphine
What is the perfect defination of Life
Dev
What does a word muscles means ?
Abubakar
the perfect destination of life is to have life without flaws and defects.Alife where nothing can go wrong.
Frimpong
what is Anatomy
Hannah Reply
because she's not yet at term
Nansi Reply
what is physiology?
Grace Reply
what is physiology
David
Physiology is the study of the functions of the human body
Hannah
am a new one!!
sekela
what is Homeopathy
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Source:  OpenStax, Anatomy & Physiology. OpenStax CNX. Feb 04, 2016 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11496/1.8
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