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Hormones In The Pituitary Gland

How Does The Hypothalamus And Pituitary Gland Interact

Pituitary gland hormone tricks and mnemonics

Together, your pituitary gland and hypothalamus form a hypothalamus-pituitary complex that serves as your brains central command center to control vital bodily functions.

Your hypothalamus is the part of your brain thats in charge of some of your bodys basic operations. It sends messages to your autonomic nervous system, which controls things like blood pressure, heart rate and breathing. Your hypothalamus also tells your pituitary gland to produce and release hormones that affect other areas of your body.

Your pituitary gland is connected to your hypothalamus through a stalk of blood vessels and nerves . Through that stalk, your hypothalamus communicates with the anterior pituitary lobe via hormones and the posterior lobe through nerve impulses. Your hypothalamus also creates oxytocin and antidiuretic hormone and tells your posterior pituitary when to store and release these hormones.

Your hypothalamus makes the following hormones to communicate with and stimulate your pituitary gland:

  • Corticotrophin-releasing hormone .

Follicle Stimulating Hormone & Lutenizing Hormone

The hypothalamus regulates the release of FSH and LH through gonadotropin-releasing hormone . In males, LH stimulates the testosterone production. The role of FSH in males remains uncertain, but may work with testosterone for normal sperm production. In females, LH is a major regulator of ovarian hormone synthesis and oocyte maturation. FSH plays a critical role in follicle growth and in regulating estrogen production in the ovary.

Types Of Pituitary Disorders

Doctors classify each pituitary tumor based on whether it produces hormones.

  • Secretory tumors, also called functioning adenomas, affect hormone production. Some people produce too much of a hormone, called hypersecretion. Others experience hyposecretion, or not having enough of a hormone.
  • Nonsecretory tumors, also called nonfunctioning adenomas, do not affect hormone production. However, when they grow too large, they can press on the pituitary gland and other brain structures, causing headaches and vision problems.

Learn more about these pituitary disorders:

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Read A Brief Summary Of This Topic

pituitary gland, also called hypophysis, ductless gland of the endocrine system that secreteshormones directly into the bloodstream. The term hypophysis another name for the pituitaryrefers to the glands position on the underside of the brain. The pituitary gland is called the master gland because its hormones regulate other important endocrine glandsincluding the adrenal, thyroid, and reproductive glands and in some cases have direct regulatory effects in major tissues, such as those of the musculoskeletal system.

What Hormones Are Produced By The Posterior Pituitary Gland

Anterior pituitary function, anterior pituitary hormones

The hormones produced by the include and . Vasopressin is also referred to as and acts on the kidney to conserve water. It is also important for maintaining fluid and electrolyte balance in the . There are specialized osmoreceptors in the that assist with . Osmoreceptors are nerve cells that have the inherent ability to detect the amount of solute, such as sodium or potassium, in the blood. When the loses water , may occur and the plasma solute concentration increases. The osmoreceptors then initiate the release of ADH from the posterior pituitary gland. ADH primarily acts on the kidneys to increase the amount of water reabsorbed from the kidney filtrate back into the blood. The amount of urine produced thereby decreases and, consequently, the urine filtrate becomes more concentrated and darker in . Increased reabsorption of water helps counter the increased solute concentration of the blood.

A decrease in blood volume or , such as during , can also prompt ADH release. By promoting greater water reabsorption in the kidney, blood volume increases, thereby maintaining blood pressure in times of volume loss. ADH can also function as a vasopressor, or an agent that constricts the blood vessels, further increasing and normalizing blood pressure. This action of ADH is especially prevalent in the peripheral, small arteries.

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The Gonads And Their Hormones

The gonads serve two major functions. First, they produce the germ cells . Second, the gonads synthesize steroid sex hormones that are necessary for the development and function of both female and male reproductive organs and secondary sex characteristics as well as for pregnancy, childbirth, and lactation. Three types of sex hormones exist each with different functions: estrogens , which exert feminizing effects progestogens , which affect the uterus in preparation for and during pregnancy and androgens , which exert masculinizing effects. In addition to the reproductive functions, sex hormones play numerous essential roles throughout the body. For example, they affect the metabolism of carbohydrates and lipids, the cardiovascular system, and bone growth and development.

Who Gets Pituitary Disorders

Pituitary disorders can affect people of any age or sex.

Inherited disorders: If you have a family history of certain genetic conditions, you have a higher chance of developing a pituitary disorder. Genetic conditions include:

  • Multiple endocrine neoplasia, type I
  • Familial isolated pituitary adenoma

Consider talking with your doctor about genetic testing. The OHSU Neuro Genetics Clinic can advise you about your level of risk as well as testing options.

Rare disorders: Many pituitary disorders are uncommon. At the same time, estimates for the number of people with acromegaly or Cushing disease/syndrome may be too low. Estimates include:

  • About six to 11 people in 100,000 live with acromegaly, a disorder caused by too much growth hormone.
  • About 10 to 15 people per million are diagnosed with Cushing disease/syndrome, caused by too much cortisol, each year in the U.S.
  • Craniopharyngiomas, noncancerous pituitary tumors, affect one or two people per million each year in the U.S.

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The Adrenal Glands And Their Hormones

The adrenal glands are small structures located on top of the kidneys. Structurally, they consist of an outer layer and an inner layer . The adrenal cortex produces numerous hormones, primarily corticosteroids . The cortex is also the source of small amounts of sex hormones those amounts, however, are insignificant compared with the amounts normally produced by the ovaries and testes. The adrenal medulla generates two substancesadrenaline and noradrenalinethat are released as part of the fight-or-flight response to various stress factors.

The primary glucocorticoid in humans is cortisol , which helps control carbohydrate, protein, and lipid metabolism. For example, cortisol increases glucose levels in the blood by stimulating gluconeogenesis in the liver and promotes the formation of glycogen in the liver. Cortisol also reduces glucose uptake into muscle and adipose tissue, thereby opposing the effects of insulin. Furthermore, in various tissues, cortisol promotes protein and lipid breakdown into products that can be used for gluconeogenesis.

In contrast to the glucocorticoids, pituitary, or hypothalamic, hormones do not regulate aldosterone release. Instead, it is controlled primarily by another hormone system, the reninangiotensin system, which also controls kidney function. In addition, the levels of sodium and potassium in the blood influence aldosterone levels.

What Do Hormones Do

Pituitary Gland Hormones

Hormones are chemical messengers that affect and manage hundreds of bodily processes. Often, a bodily process involves a chain reaction of several different hormones.

A hormone will only act on a part of your body if it fits if the cells in the target tissue have receptors that receive the message of the hormone. Think of a hormone as a key and the cells of its target tissue, such as an organ or fat tissue, as specially shaped locks. If the hormone fits the lock on the cell wall, then itll work the hormone will deliver a message that causes the target site to take a specific action.

Your body uses hormones for two types of communication. The first type is communication between two endocrine glands: One gland releases a hormone, which stimulates another gland to change the levels of hormones that its releasing. An example of this is the communication between your pituitary gland and thyroid. Your pituitary gland releases thyroid-stimulating hormone , which triggers your thyroid gland to release its hormones, which then affect various aspects of your body.

The second type of communication is between an endocrine gland and a target organ. An example of this is when your pancreas releases insulin, which then acts on your muscles and liver to help process glucose.

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What Hormones Does The Pituitary Gland Make

The pituitary gland makes:

  • growth hormone, which regulates growth
  • thyroid stimulating hormone, which tells the thyroid gland to make thyroid hormones
  • prolactin, which controls breast milk production
  • adrenocorticotrophic hormone, which tells the adrenal glands to make hormones to control blood pressure, blood sugar levels and stress
  • follicle stimulating hormone, which is involved in the reproductive system
  • luteinising hormone, which is also involved in the reproductive system
  • oxytocin, which is involved in childbirth and breastfeeding

Key Takeaways: Pituitary Gland

  • The pituitary gland is called the “Master Gland” because it directs a multitude of endocrine functions in the body. It regulates hormone activity in other endocrine glands and organs.
  • Pituitary activity is regulated by hormones of the hypothalamus, a brain region connected to the pituitary by the pituitary stalk.
  • The pituitary is composed of an anterior and posterior lobe with an intermediate region between the two.
  • Hormones of the anterior pituitary include adrenocorticotropin hormones , growth hormone , luteinizing hormone , follicle-stimulating hormone , prolactin , and thyroid-stimulating hormone .
  • Hormones stored by the posterior pituitary include antidiuretic hormone and oxytocin.
  • Melanocyte-stimulating hormone is an intermediate pituitary hormone.

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Whats Dopamines Role In Addiction To Recreational Drugs

Recreational drugs interfere with the way nerve cells in your brain send and receive messages. Drugs like marijuana and heroin mimic natural neurotransmitters. Other drugs, like amphetamine and cocaine, cause the release of large amounts of natural neurotransmitters or prevent the recycling of these neurotransmitters.

Recreational drugs overstimulate your brains reward center. Over time, with repeated drug exposure, a certain area of your brain becomes less sensitive and you dont get the same feeling of pleasure from anything else but the drug. Also, youll often need to take larger and larger amounts of drugs to produce the same effect. At the same time, another area of your brain becomes more sensitive to the feelings of withdrawal, such as anxiety and irritability, as the drug effects wear off and youll seek drug use for another reason to get relief from this discomfort. So, addiction is a vicious cycle that develops from multiple mechanisms.

Scientists now think that dopamines role isnt to directly cause euphoria, but serves as a reinforcement for remembering and repeating pleasurable experiences. So, when drugs cause surges in dopamine, its teaching your brain to remember the experience. Your brain links your drug use and all of your routines and other cues surrounding the drug event. Its a reason why you might crave drugs when returning to the location where you once used drugs long after youve quit.

What Happens If The Hypothalamus Is Damaged

Pituitary Hormone Functions The Two Lobes Anterior And Posterior ...

When your hypothalamus is damaged, it doesnt function as it should. Another term for when theres a problem with your hypothalamus is hypothalamic dysfunction.

Causes of hypothalamic dysfunction include:

  • Birth defects involving the brain or hypothalamus.
  • Inflammatory disease including multiple sclerosis and neurosarcoidosis.
  • Some genetic disorders, such as growth hormone deficiency.

Hypothalamus dysfunction plays a role in:

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What Could Go Wrong With My Pituitary Gland

The pituitary gland is an important gland in the body and the hormones it produces carry out varied tasks and regulate the function of many other organs. This means that the symptoms experienced when the pituitary gland stops working correctly can be different, depending on which hormone is affected.

Conditions that affect the pituitary gland directly can be divided into three main categories:

  • Conditions that cause the pituitary gland to produce too much of one or more hormone. Examples include acromegaly, Cushing’s disease and prolactinoma.
  • Conditions that cause the pituitary gland to produce too little of one or more hormone. Examples include adult-onset growth hormone deficiency, diabetes insipidus and hypopituitarism.
  • Conditions that alter the size and/or shape of the pituitary gland. Examples include empty sella syndrome.
  • What Are The Parts Of The Pituitary Gland

    Your pituitary gland has two main parts, or lobes: the anterior lobe and the posterior lobe. Each lobe has different functionality and different types of tissue.

    The anterior pituitary, the larger of the two lobes, consists of hormone-secreting epithelial cells and is connected to your hypothalamus through blood vessels.

    The posterior pituitary consists of unmyelinated secretory neurons and is connected to your hypothalamus through a nerve tract.

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    Hormones Secreted By The Posterior Pituitary:

  • Antidiuretic Hormone or Vasopressin
  • Hormones secreted by the Pituitary Gland and their Functions

    Hormones Secreted by Pituitary Glands and their Functions:

    1. Thyroid stimulating hormone or Thyrotropin: This hormone which is secreted by the anterior lobe of the pituitary.

    • TSH acts on the Thyroid gland to release Thyroxine and Triiodothyronine which Regulates Body Metabolism
    • Hypothalamus secretes Growth Hormone inhibiting hormone to inhibit the secretion of TSH.

    2. Growth hormone : Growth Hormone is also called as or Somatotrophin. Growth hormone is released by the Anterior Pituitary.

    • Growth hormone stmulates the Special Liver cells which produce somatomedin-C, which is critical for the growth of all body tissues.
    • It assists with the movement of amino acids into tissue cells and the transformation of amino acids into proteins that the body requires.
    • It aids in the release of fatty acids from adipose tissue so that they can be used for energy.
    • Growth Hormone helps to regulate blood nutrient levels after eating and during periods of fasting.
    • When sufficient amounts of Growth Hormone has been released the hypothalamus secretes GHIH which inhibits the further release of growth hormone.

    3. Prolactin : It is secreted by Anterior lobe of Pituitary.

    • Prolactin hormone stimulates milk production in women following pregnancy.
    • Men secrete Prolactin whose function is not known yet.
    • Stimulates breast milk production and controls menstrual periods following pregnancy.

    What Are The Most Important Facts To Know About The Posterior Pituitary Hormones

    2-Minute Neuroscience: Hypothalamus & Pituitary Gland

    The plays a critical role in hormone production. The two hormones produced by the posterior pituitary gland are and , also known as . The purposes of oxytocin include facilitating uterine contractions during , allowing for milk let down during , promoting social bonding, and moderating levels. Vasopressin regulates by increasing the amount of water retained by the kidneys in times of or loss of blood. Dysfunctions in the posterior pituitary gland can result in and , among several other disorders. The functions of the are highly regulated by the , an area of the brain whose primary function is to maintain homeostasis in the . In addition to regulating the posterior pituitary gland, the hypothalamus also sends hormone signals to the of the to promote the secretion of other hormones throughout the .

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    Symptoms Of A Pituitary Gland Condition

    Your pituitary gland is involved in a range of things, so any condition involving it can produce a diverse set of symptoms.

    Make an appointment with your doctor if you regularly notice:

    Most of the conditions that cause these symptoms are easy to treat and manage once you determine the underlying cause.

    Pituitary: The Master Gland

    The pituitary, a pea-sized gland at the base of the brain, produces a number of hormones. Each of these hormones affects a specific part of the body . Because the pituitary controls the function of most other endocrine glands, it is often called the master gland.


    * These hormones are produced in the hypothalamus but are stored in and released from the pituitary.

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    Which Hormones Does The Pituitary Gland Make

    The anterior lobe of your pituitary gland makes and releases the following hormones:

    • Adrenocorticotropic hormone : ACTH plays a role in how your body responds to stress. It stimulates your adrenal glands to produce cortisol , which has many functions, including regulating metabolism, maintaining blood pressure, regulating blood glucose levels and reducing inflammation, among others.
    • Follicle-stimulating hormone : FSH stimulates sperm production in people assigned male at birth. FSH stimulates the ovaries to produce estrogen and plays a role in egg development in people assigned female at birth. This is known as a gonadotrophic hormone.
    • Growth hormone : In children, growth hormone stimulates growth. In other words, it helps children grow taller. In adults, growth hormone helps maintain healthy muscles and bones and impacts fat distribution. GH also impacts your metabolism .
    • Luteinizing hormone : LH stimulates ovulation in people assigned female at birth and testosterone production in people assigned male at birth. LH is also known as a gonadotrophic hormone because of the role it plays in controlling the function of the ovaries and testes, known as the gonads.
    • Prolactin: Prolactin stimulates breast milk production after giving birth. It can affect fertility and sexual functions in adults.
    • Thyroid-stimulating hormone : TSH stimulates your thyroid to produce thyroid hormones that manage your metabolism, energy levels and your nervous system.

    The Inside Scoop On Pituitary Tumors

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    Tumors on the pituitary gland are quite common, says McAninch. And when a patient consults her about one, she’s often able to give this good news: “Most pituitary tumors are not cancerous and often don’t require surgery.”

    Still, doctors monitor pituitary tumors because they can cause problems. For example, they can press against the optic nerve and disrupt vision, or they can trigger a hormone imbalance.

    In many cases, medications can shrink the tumor and bring hormones back into balance or even cause the tumor to go away.

    When surgery is required, skull base and pituitary care at Rush includes the care of a multidisciplinary team that includes endocrinologists, neurosurgeons, and ear, nose and throat surgeons.

    “The endocrinologists take care of regulating the hormones. And the neurosurgeons and ear, nose and throat surgeons collaborate to safely remove the tumor when surgery is needed. This multidisciplinary approach to pituitary tumors translates to better care for the patient,” McAninch says.

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