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-
ADH and oxytocin produced here
■ 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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This ebook provides an introductory explanation of the workings of the human body, with an effort to draw connections between the body systems and explain their interdependencies. A framework for the book is homeostasis and how the body maintains balance within each system. This is intended as a first introduction to physiology for a college-level course.