Hypothalamic Control of the Anterior Pituitary

At one time the anterior pituitary was called the "master gland" because it secretes hormones that regulate some other endocrine glands (fig. 11.14 and table 11.6). Adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH), thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH), and the gonadotropic hormones (FSH and LH) stimulate the adrenal cortex, thyroid, and gonads, respectively, to secrete their hormones. The anterior pituitary hormones also have a "trophic" effect on their target glands in that the health of these glands depends on adequate stimulation by anterior pituitary hormones. The ante-


Supraoptic -nucleus

ADH and oxytocin produced here

Optic chiasma

Posterior pituitary

Hypothalamus Infundibulum


hypophyseal tract

Posterior pituitary

Anterior pituitary

■ Figure 11.13 Hypothalamic control of the posterior pituitary. The posterior pituitary, or neurohypophysis, stores and releases hormones—vasopressin and oxytocin—that are actually produced in neurons within the supraoptic and paraventricular nuclei of the hypothalamus. These hormones are transported to the posterior pituitary by axons in the hypothalamo-hypophyseal tract.

rior pituitary, however, is not really the master gland, since secretion of its hormones is in turn controlled by hormones secreted by the hypothalamus.

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  • atso
    Why anterior pituitary is not really the master gland hypothalamus?
    8 years ago

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