Pituitary Gland is a small but very important gland in the Endocrine System.

It is found just adjacent to the Hypothalamus at the base of the Brain.

The pituitary fossa is an area where the gland itself rests.

The function of this gland is the release of several types of hormones that affect balance for the body.

It has three distinct lobes:

1.)  Anterior Pituitary (Adenohypophysis)
2.)  Posterior Pituitary (Neurohypophysis)
3.)  Intermediate Pituitary  (Pars intermedia)

Anterior Pituitary

  • Secretes the following hormones:

1.)  TSH

  • Thyroid stimulating hormone
  • Regulates the function of the Thyroid

2.)  PRL

  • Prolactin hormone
  • This hormone regulates/stimulates lactation

3.)  ACTH  

  • Adrenocorticotripic hormone
  • Causes increased androgens (Cortisol) from adrenal cortex adrenal cortex

GH

  • Growth hormone
  • Stimulates growth, development, and cell reproduction.

4.)  FSH

  • Follicle-stimulating hormone
  • Regulates growth and development of the reproduction systems [male and female]

5.)  LH

  • Luteinizing hormone
  • Effects the reproductive system [male and female]

Posterior Pituitary

Secretes the following hormones:

1.)  Oxytocin

  • Affects the Uterus [Contractions] and Mammary glands [Lactation]

2.)  ADH

  • Antidiuretic hormone (Vasopressin)
  • Effects Kidney to retain water

Intermediate Pituitary

Is located between the other 2 lobes. Is only a small sheet of cells.

Secretes the following hormone:

1.)  MSH

  • Melanocyte stimualting hormone
  • Stimulate the release of melanin by melanocytes found in skin

 

Diseases that Affect the Pituitary Gland

Pituitary Adenoma

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