Are you hot right now? Cold? perhaps you"re choose Goldilocks and are just right. What about your height? room you tall? Average? Short? maybe your management is lightning fast and also you"re constantly hungry, or perhaps it"s a little slow and also you stay full longer. All of these—regardless of i m sorry one you determine with—are regulation by the endocrine system.What is the endocrine system? It"s a network that glands throughout the body that regulate certain body functions, consisting of body temperature, metabolism, growth, and sexual development.

Want to learn an ext about glands and also hormones? inspect out our cost-free Endocrine mechanism eBook!

Though there are many glands, now we’ll emphasis on simply two: the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland.

You are watching: What connects the hypothalamus to the pituitary gland?

Image fromHuman Anatomy Atlas.

I"m going to it is in throwing a lot of info at you, too ~ reader, for this reason brace yourself!

Hormone Reaction Regulation

It’s no mystery your mind is one liven place—neurons relocate at incredible speeds, synapses space constantly firing, blood is pumping, and also glands are producing hormones. This glands, particularly the hypothalamus and pituitary, are working all the time to save your body running at optimal performance.Every hormone the endocrine mechanism releases follows a straightforward set-up: a signal is received, hormones room secreted, and the target cell undergoes changes to its basic functions.


The almond-sized hypothalamus is located listed below the thalamus and also sits just over the brainstem. All vertebrate brains have a hypothalamus. That is primary function is to maintain homeostasis (stability of the interior environment) in the body.

Image fromHuman Anatomy Atlas.

The hypothalamus links the nervous and also endocrine solution by means of the pituitary gland. Its duty is come secrete publication hormones and inhibiting hormones the stimulate or inhibit (like your names imply) manufacturing of hormone in the anterior pituitary. Dedicated neuron clusters referred to as neurosecretory cell in the hypothalamus develop the hormone Antidiuretic Hormone (ADH) and Oxytocin (OXT), and transport them to the pituitary, whereby they"re save on computer for later release.

Think that the hypothalamus together the pituitary"s larger sibling—it not only controls the actions of the pituitary however it secretes at least nine hormones to the pituitary"s seven.

Pituitary Gland

Attached come the hypothalamus, the pituitary gland is a pea-sized, reddish-gray body that stores hormones from the hypothalamus and also releases them right into the bloodstream. The pituitary consists of an anterior lobe and a posterior lobe, each of which have distinctive functions.

Image fromHuman Anatomy Atlas.

Pituitary: Anterior Lobe (Adenohypophysis)

The anterior lobe (or adenophyophosis) secretes hormones that manage a wide selection of bodily functions. Over there are five anterior pituitary cells the secrete 7 hormones:


Secrete human growth hormone (hGH), aka somatotropin, which stimulates organization to secrete hormones the stimulate body growth and also regulate metabolism.


Secrete follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and also luteinizing hormone (LH), i m sorry both plot on the gonads. They stimulate the cheap of estrogen and progesterone, maturation of egg cells in the ovaries, and stimulate sperm production and also secretion of testosterone in the testes.


Secrete prolactin (PRL), i m sorry initiates milk manufacturing in the mammary glands.


Secrete adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), i beg your pardon stimulates the adrenal cortex to secrete glucocorticoids (like cortisol). Also secretes melanocyte-stimulating hormone (MSH).


Secrete thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), i m sorry controls secretions of the thyroid gland.

This table to represent the types of hormones secreted through the cells of the anterior pituitary.


Target Area


Human-growth hormone (hGH)


Stimulates tissue development in the liver, muscles, bones, and protein synthesis, tissue repair, and also elevation that blood glucose levels.

Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH)

Thyroid gland

Stimulates thyroid gland to secrete thyroid hormones.

Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)

Ovaries and also testes (gonads)

Stimulates advancement of oocytes (immature egg cells) and secretion that estrogen in females; stimulates sperm production in the testes in males.

Luteinizing hormone (LH)

Ovaries and testes (gonads)

Stimulates cheap of estrogen and progesterone, including throughout ovulation, in females; stimulates testes to create testosterone in males.

Prolactin (PRL)

Mammary glands

Stimulates milk production.

Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH)

Adrenal cortex

Stimulates secretion of glucocorticoids (cortisol) through the adrenal cortex during the body’s response to stress.

Melanocyte-stimulating hormone (MSH)


When in excess, can reason darkening of the skin; may influence mind activity (its exact role unknown—there is very little MSH in humans).

Pituitary: Posterior Lobe (Neurohypophysis)

While the anterior lobe shoulders many of the work in producing hormones, the posterior lobe stores and also releases just two: oxytocin and antidiuretic hormone (ADH), or vasopressin.




Oxytocin (OT), aka the "love" drug

Secretes in an answer to uterine distention and also stimulation that the nipples.

Stimulates smooth muscle contractions of the uterus throughout childbirth, as well as milk ejection in the mammary glands.

Antidiuretic hormone (ADH), or vasopressin

Secretes in solution to dehydration, blood loss, pain, stress; inhibitors that ADH secretion encompass high blood volume and also alcohol.

Decreases urine volume to conserve water, to reduce water loss through sweating, raises blood press by constricting arterioles.

Pituitary Disorders

Even despite it"s an extremely small, the pituitary gland isn"t complimentary from ailment—nothing is totally foolproof, ~ all.

Most disorders of the pituitary glands space tumors, i beg your pardon are typical in adults. These growths are not considered brain tumors, nor room they always malignant. In fact, they"re practically always benign in nature! There are two types of pituitary tumors—secretory and non-secretory. A secretory tumor produces too much of a hormone, if a non-secretory tumor walk not. Regardless, if the tumor is large enough, it can hinder normal pituitary function. These tumors can be removed, or monitored and controlled through medication.

Problems resulted in by tumors autumn into details categories:

Hyposecretion: Too small of a hormone is produced, interfering in common function.

Hypersecretion: Too much of a hormone is produced, interfering in common function.

Mass effects: The tumor presses top top the pituitary or other areas of the brain, bring about pain, vision issues, or various other problems.

While the pituitary and also hypothalamus have the right to run right into the over issues, top top the totality they work-related a balancing action on your body. Therefore the next time you"re emotion juuuust right, you can thank the pituitary, hypothalamus, and all the other organs the the endocrine system.

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