Impacts of Hypothalamus and Pituitary Gland

Hypothalamus: This part act as a bridge between the nervous and endocrine system. It is the basal part of the diencephalon and consists of different types of neurosecretory cells, also called nuclei, involved in the production of hormones. The hormones released by the hypothalamus are of two types, the releasing hormone that acts on the pituitary and stimulates hormone production from it. The other type is inhibiting hormones that cause inhibition of pituitary hormones. The anterior pituitary lobe is connected with the hypothalamus via the hypophyseal portal system, and the posterior lobe of the pituitary is under hypothalamus direct neuronal regulation. Hormones released by the hypothalamus are:

Corticotrophin releasing hormone (CRH) stimulates adrenocorticotropic hormone.

Growth hormone-releasing hormone (GHRH) releases the growth hormones.

Thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) acts on thyrotropin and stimulates hormone production.

Gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) stimulates the follicle-stimulating hormone release and luteinizing hormone.

Somatostatin inhibits growth hormone release.

Prolactin releasing and prolactin inhibitor hormones stimulate the release and inhibition of prolactin.

Melanocyte stimulating hormone-releasing hormone (MRH) stimulates melanocyte-stimulating hormone release.

Melanocyte stimulating inhibiting releasing hormone (MIH) inhibits melanocyte-stimulating hormone release.

The pituitary gland which is otherwise called hypophysis is a pink-colored pea-size gland measuring 1.3 cm in diameter and 0.5-gram weight. It is enclosed in a bony cavity called sphenoid bone which contains sella turca and is connected to the hypothalamus bottom via the structure called the infundibulum. The pituitary gland has two functionally and anatomically different regions, the broader region is called the anterior lobe or adenohypophysis, and the smaller one is called the posterior lobe or neurohypophysis. Adenohypophysis consists of pars distalis and pars intermedia. The pars distalis produce a cluster of hormones, while pars intermedia secrete melanocyte-stimulating hormone (MSH).

Posterior pituitary gland:
The flow of information between the hypothalamus and pituitary takes place with the help of neurosecretory cells. Hormones released by the neurosecretory cells which have cell bodies are filled in a structure called vesicles. It is transported to the axon terminal present at the posterior pituitary, where they are stored. As neurosecretory cells get stimulated, the impulse causes the release of hormones present at the axon terminal into the network of capillaries present in the posterior pituitary. The posterior pituitary releases two hormones such as vasopressin and oxytocin.

Vasopressin This hormone is released due to the osmotic pressure rises in the blood due to the water loss from the body. It results in water reabsorption from urine in DCT, Collecting tubule, and collecting duct in the kidney, thus causing a reduction in urine volume. Reabsorption occurs due to an increase in permeability for water by the action of vasopressin.

Oxytocin This hormone is secreted when the hypothalamus neurons are stimulated due to distension of the uterus by the fetus or due to the sucking of the breast by an infant. Oxytocin causes the smooth muscle contraction of the uterus and mammary glands. Uterine contractions help in the expulsion of a baby during childbirth, and during breastfeeding, it helps in the ejection of milk.

Anterior pituitary gland:
The anterior lobe of the pituitary produces the tropic hormones. It involves the stimulation of other endocrine glands to produce their respective hormones. Hormones produced by the anterior pituitary are as follows:

The growth of body tissues is promoted by the growth hormone. Milk production stimulated by prolactin

The thyroid-stimulating hormone causes the hormone to be released by the thyroid gland.

Adrenocorticotropic hormone causes hormone release from the adrenal cortex.

A follicle-stimulating hormone that stimulates gamete production.

Luteinizing hormone stimulates androgen production by our gonads.

The antidiuretic hormone causes water reabsorption by kidneys.

The uterine contractions are stimulated by oxytocin during childbirth.

Basal metabolic rate stimulated by the thyroxine and triiodothyronine calcium level reduction by calcitonin

Blood calcium levels in increase by the parathyroid hormone.

Aldosterone increases the sodium amount in the blood.

Cortisol increases blood glucose levels.

Epinephrine and norepinephrine are released during an emergency condition.

Melatonin regulates our sleep cycle.

Insulin regulates our blood glucose level.

Testosterone stimulates sperm production and secondary sexual character development in males.

Estrogen and progesterone stimulate female secondary sexual characters’ development.

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