Pituitary Gland

Intro | Amygdala | Brainstem | Cerebellum | Cerebrum | Corpus Callosum | Reticular Formation | Hippocampus | Hypothalamus | Medulla | Pituitary Gland | Pons | Spinal Cord | Thalamus

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The Pituitary Gland is a structure in the endocrine system. Often called the "Master" gland, this small region regulates the release of hormones from all other glands in this system. More information on the pituitary and the effects of hormones on other glands can be found in Figure 12.


The pituitary gland is attached to the bottom of the hypothalamus via a stalk that contains blood vessels and neurons. These connections allow the hypothalamus to control the release of substances from the pituitary. The pituitary gland is divided into two distinct regions, the anterior and the posterior pituitary. The posterior pituitary is composed of neural tissue and considered an extension of the hypothalamus. This region stores and releases two hormones (oxytocin and vasopressin) that are produced by the hypothalamus. The anterior pituitary is composed of glandular tissue and produces its own hormones, adrenocorticotrophic hormone (ACTH), thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), prolactin, and somatotropin or growth hormone (GH).