Pituitary Gland and hormones of Anterior Pituitary Gland

April 19, 2012 | By | Reply More

Pituitary Gland and hormones of Anterior Pituitary Gland

Pituitary Gland

In vertebrate anatomy the pituitary gland, or hypophysis, is an endocrine gland about the size of a pea and weighing 0.5 g (0.02 oz.) in humans. It is not a part of the brain. It is a protrusion off the bottom of the hypothalamus at the base of the brain, and rests in a small, bony cavity (sella turcica) covered by a dural fold (diaphragma sellae). The pituitary is functionally connected to the hypothalamus by the median eminence via a small tube called the infundibular stem (Pituitary stalk). The pituitary fossa, in which the pituitary gland sits, is situated in the sphenoid bone in the middle cranial fossa at the base of the brain. The pituitary gland secretes nine hormones that regulate homeostasis.


Size of a grape
Pituitary Gland  hangs by a stalk from the hypothalamus and protected by the sphenoid bone. It has two functional lobes :

Hormones of the Anterior Pituitary

There are six anterior pituitary hormones
  • Two affect non-endocrine targets
  • Four stimulate other endocrine glands (tropic [“tropic” = “feeding”] hormones)
  • All six are secreted by the anterior pituitary (glandular tissue)

These hormones are as follow :

  1. Growth Hormone (GH)
  2. Prolactin (PRL)
  3. Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH)
  4. Thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH)
  5. Luteinizing hormone (LH)
  6. Follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH)
Characteristics of all anterior pituitary hormones
  • Proteins (or peptides)
  • Act through second-messenger systems
  • Regulated by hormonal stimuli, mostly negative feedback

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Category: Anatomy, Medical

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