Hypothalamic-pituitary axis

Hypothalamic-pituitary axis

The Hypothalamic-pituitary axis is the regulating center of our endocrine system.

Biology

Keywords

hypothalamus, pituitary gland, hypothalamo-hypophyseal portal system, feedback, regulation, endocrine system, hormone, inhibiting hormones, stimulating hormones, front lobe, posterior lobe, neurosecretion, adenohypophysis, oxytocin, vasopressin, ADH, endocrine, growth hormone, ACTH, prolactin, TSH, FSH, LH, acromegaly, gigantism, dwarfism, human, biology

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Scenes

  • - Part of the diencephalon, center of the hormonal system.
  • - The center of the hormonal system. It is regulated by the hormones of the hypothalamus.

  • - Part of the diencephalon, center of the hormonal system. It contains neurosecretory cells that produce hormones regulating the pituitary gland.

  • - It stimulates the contraction of smooth muscles during childbirth and breastfeeding and plays an important role in certain emotions and social behaviors.

  • - Part of the diencephalon, center of the hormonal system.
  • - The center of the hormonal system. It is regulated by the hormones of the hypothalamus.
  • - Part of the diencephalon, center of the hormonal system. It contains neurosecretory cells that produce hormones regulating the pituitary gland.
  • - It stimulates the contraction of smooth muscles during childbirth and breastfeeding and plays an important role in certain emotions and social behaviors.

Narration

The Hypothalamic-pituitary axis is the regulatory center of our endocrine system. The hypothalamus is part of the diencephalon; it is connected to the pituitary gland by a tube called the pituitary stalk.

The hypothalamus contains neuroendocrine cells. Small neuroendocrine cells empty their secretions into the frontal lobe of the pituitary gland, where they stimulate hormone production.
Large neuroendocrine cells produce ADH, or anti-diuretic hormones, and oxytocin, which are hormones stored in the posterior lobe of the pituitary gland and then emptied into the bloodstream.

Oxytocin is a hormone that stimulates the contraction of smooth muscles, it plays an important role in childbirth and breastfeeding. It is often called the ´love hormone´, as it is important in forming bonds between mother and child or in romantic relationships. ADH is also known as vasopressin. It reduces the amount of urine by increasing water absorption in the kidneys.
The frontal lobe of the pituitary gland secretes prolactin and growth hormone. Prolactin stimulates the mammary glands to produce milk. Growth hormone deficiency causes proportional dwarfism, while its excess causes gigantism or, if it develops in adult age, acromegaly, that is, abnormal growth of the tongue, hands, nose and ears. The frontal lobe plays an important role in the regulation of other endocrine glands. Hormones produced by the hypothalamus cause the frontal lobe to secrete hormones that stimulate other endocrine glands.
The hormone secretion of the hypothalamus and the pituitary gland is regulated through negative feedback inhibition by the hormones secreted by other endocrine glands. Negative feedback inhibition prevents the hyperproduction of hormones, while if the concentration of a hormone is low, it stimulates production. This allows the fine tuning of hormone concentrations in the body.

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