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Pituitary hormones are produced by parts of pituitary gland. Hypothalamic-pituitary hormones refer to a class of hormones that are produced by the hypothalamus and pituitary gland.

Although the organs in which they are produced are relatively small, the effects of these hormones cascade throughout the body.

Posterior pituitary (neurohypophysis)

Main article: Neurohypophysial hormone

The hormones secreted by the posterior pituitary are

Anterior pituitary (Adenohypophysis)

The anterior pituitary hormones, and the hypothalamic hormones that modulate their release are listed below, along with the associated cell types.

Anterior pituitary hormone Hypothalamic hormone Staining type Cell type
growth hormone release caused by GHRH (growth hormone releasing hormone) acidophil somatotrope
prolactin release INHIBITED by DA (dopamine, "prolactin inhibiting factor"/PIF) acidophil lactotroph (or mammotroph)
follicle-stimulating hormone release caused by GnRH (gonadotropin-releasing hormone) basophil gonadotrope
luteinizing hormone release caused by GnRH (gonadotropin-releasing hormone) basophil gonadotrope
thyroid-stimulating hormone release caused by TRH (thyrotropin-releasing hormone) basophil thyrotrope
adrenocorticotropic hormone release caused by CRH (corticotropin-releasing hormone) chromatophobe corticotrope
endorphins - - -

The hypothalamic hormones travel to the anterior lobe by way of a special capillary system, called the hypothalamic-hypophyseal portal system.

There is also an interaction between the hormones from the hypothalamus, i.e. TRH induces the release of prolactin.

The control of hormones from the pituitary is in a negative feedback loop. Their release is inhibited by increasing levels of hormones from the target gland on which they act.

It is possible for the function of these hormones to be altered by physical activity.[1]

See also


  1. Bobbert T, Brechtel L, Mai K, et al. (November 2005). Adaptation of the hypothalamic-pituitary hormones during intensive endurance training. Clinical endocrinology 63 (5): 530–6.


Target-derived NGF, BDNF, NT-3