The hypothalamus and pituitary gland (video) | Khan Academy
The hypothalamus–pituitary complex can be thought of as the “command center” of The posterior pituitary gland does not produce hormones, but rather stores and .. relationship of the anterior and posterior lobes of the pituitary gland to the . Functional Anatomy of the Hypothalamus and Pituitary Gland to the right, from the Visible Human Project, shows these anatomical relationships in the Visible. Therefore, the hypothalamus regulates the function of the pituitary gland. This is the relationship between hypothalamus and pituitary gland.
And then the next major gland that we need is the pituitary gland. And the pituitary gland is the gland that dangles right below the hypothalamus.
The Hypothalamus and Pituitary Glands
And you can see that the hypothalamus is a structure right here in the forebrain and the pituitary dangles right beneath it. And as a member of the brain, the hypothalamus receives neural signals from the brain and from the peripheral nervous system, and it funnels those signals to the pituitary gland, which ultimately controls the other endocrine glands and our body's hormonal response to the environment.
And there are two different parts to the pituitary gland. You have the anterior pituitary gland, and then you have the posterior pituitary gland. And the hypothalamus interacts with the anterior and posterior part in two different ways.
- The hypothalamus and pituitary gland
- Relationship Between Hypothalamus and Pituitary Gland
And so it interacts with the anterior pituitary gland, primarily through the hypophyseal portal system which, I've kind of drawn in here. And the hypophyseal portal system is a capillary system, so little blood vessels that flow between the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland.
And the hypothalamus secretes hormones into this little system, and they go down and they signal the pituitary gland, and so that would be an example of a paracrine signal, or a really regionally-acting signal. And so one example of the hypothalamus hormones that signal the pituitary gland is gonadotropin-releasing hormone, or GnRH.
Overview of Hypothalamic and Pituitary Hormones
And gonadotropin-releasing hormone is going to go down to the anterior pituitary, and it's going to stimulate the release of follicle-stimulating hormone and luteinizing hormone-- so FSH and LH. And these hormones are going to travel down to the gonads-- in the male, the testes, and in the female, the ovaries-- and they're going to stimulate the gonads to release their hormones.
Another example of how the hypothalamus controls the pituitary gland, which ultimately controls the endocrine glands, is corticotropin-releasing hormone. And corticotropin-releasing hormone stimulates the anterior pituitary's release of adrenocorticotropic hormone-- ACTH. Adrenocorticotropic hormone goes down to the adrenal glands, and it stimulates the adrenal gland's release of its hormones.
An Overview of the Pituitary Gland
And so moving along, the hypothalamus also releases thyroid-releasing hormone, or TRH. And thyroid-releasing hormone goes down to the anterior pituitary, and it stimulates the anterior pituitary's release of thyroid-stimulating hormone, TSH. And thyroid-stimulating hormone goes down, and it stimulates the thyroid gland to release its hormones, thyroxine and triiodothyronine. And so continuing in that list, you have growth-hormone-releasing hormone.
And growth-hormone-releasing hormone is the hypothalamus's signal to the pituitary gland to release its hormone, growth hormone. And growth hormone goes to the long bones and the big muscles in our body, and it stimulates growth.The hypothalamus and pituitary gland - Endocrine system physiology - NCLEX-RN - Khan Academy
And then last but not least, we have prolactin inhibitory factor, PIF. And prolactin inhibitory factor is a little bit different, because it's constantly being released. GH is essential in early years to maintaining a healthy body composition and for growth in children. In adults, it aids healthy bone and muscle mass and affects fat distribution.
LH works with FSH to ensure normal functioning of the ovaries and testes. Prolactin stimulates breast milk production. TSH stimulates the thyroid gland to produce hormones. The posterior lobe contains the ends of nerve cells coming from the hypothalamus.
Relationship Between Hypothalamus and Pituitary Gland | Definition, Anatomy, Physiology
The hypothalamus sends hormones directly to the posterior lobe via these nerves, and then the pituitary gland releases them. This hormone prompts the kidneys to increase water absorption in the blood. Oxytocin is involved in a variety of processes, such as contracting the uterus during childbirth and stimulating breast milk production. Diseases and Disorders of the Pituitary Gland Pituitary tumors are the most common pituitary disorder, and many adults have them.
However, they are not, in the great majority of cases, life-threatening. There are two types of pituitary tumors—secretory and non-secretory. These hormonal imbalances can cause problems in many different areas of the body.
If you have a secretory tumor that is overproducing thyroid-stimulating hormone, for instance, you will experience hyperthyroidism. Another pituitary disorder is known as pituitary apoplexy.