Tutorial 36: Hypothalamus and Pituitary Gland Interaction

Figure 36a: Anterior Lobe of the Pituitary | Bone at the base of the Cranial Cavity | Hypothalamus | Membrane Covering around the Brain | Optic Chiasm | Pituitary Stalk | Posterior Lobe of the Pituitary
Figure 36b: Anterior | Posterior

Part 1: Image-Mapped Tutorial
Part 2: Matching Self-Test
Part 3: Multiple-Choice Self-Test

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The neurosecretory cells of the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland form the foundation for the functions of the endocrine system. The hypothalamus and the pituitary gland control endocrine function via the hormones they synthesize and secrete. These hormones are peptides, or small proteins, by molecular structure. Tutorial 36 illustrates and discusses the activity of the neurosecretory cells, the interactions that occur between the hypothalamus and the pituitary, and the unique functions carried out by two distinct regions of the pituitary.

Suggestions for further study


Byne, W. (1994, May). The biological evidence challenged. Scientific American, 50-55.

Diamond, J. (1996, July). Why women change. Discover, 17(7), 131-137.

Kimura, D. (1992, September). Sex differences in the brain. Scientific American, 267(3), 118-125.

LeVay, S., & Hamer, D.H. ( 1994, May). Evidence for a biological influence in male homosexuality. Scientific American, 44-49.

Sapolsky, R. (1997, March). Testosterone rules. Discover, 18(3), 44-50.

Small, M.F. (1991, July). Sperm wars, Discover, 12(7), 48-53.

Snyder, S.H. (1985, October). The molecular basis of communication between cells. Scientific American, 253(4), 132-141.

Wayt Gibbs, W. (1996, August). Gaining on fat. Scientific American, 88-94.


PubMed literature search results.

(Hypothalamus Nuclei)
Detailed histology of hypothalamic nuclei.

(Endocrine Disorders)
Endocrine Disorders.com - Extensive source of information.

(Estrogen's Influence on the Brain)
Leah Ariniello, from Society for Neuroscience - Brain Briefings, 1997.

(A Role for Ovarian Hormones in Sexual Differentiation of the Brain)
Fitch, R.H. & Denenberg, V.H. (19XX), Behavioral and Brain Sciences.