What Does the Pituitary Gland Do?

Pituitary gland function

Often called the “master gland,” the pituitary gland produces hormones that regulate the functions of other glands in the endocrine system. There are four parts of the pituitary gland: the anterior lobe, posterior lobe, pars intermedia, and the pituitary stalk.

Firstly, the pituitary stalk (or infundibulum) forms the connection of the posterior lobe to the interbrain. The interbrain contains the hypothalamus and the thalamus. The pituitary stalk causes the posterior lobe to consist mostly of nerve fibers coming from the hypothalamus. This connection allows a deep connection between the pituitary and hypothalamus that allows them to maintain homeostasis in the body.

Secondly, the pars intermedia is the intermediate part connecting the two lobes. Though it primarily connects the lobes, it also produces intermedin. This hormone regulates appetite, sex drive, and stimulates melanin production in the skin. The two lobes perform the main functions of the pituitary gland and act independently of each other.

Thirdly, the anterior lobe produces and releases hormones. It most often acts on its own, but sometimes the it acts only after the hypothalamus signals it to do so. Two types of hormones are produced: hormones that control other endocrine glands (hormone glands) and hormones that directly affect the body. The hormones that control other glands regulate hormone production in the ovaries. testicles, and the thyroid gland, and stimulates hormone production in the adrenal glands. Growth hormone and prolactin (stimulates mammary glands and ovaries) directly affect the body.

Finally, the posterior lobe releases the hormones into circulation. However, it stores oxytocin and vasopressin. Oxytocin plays numerous roles, including causing contractions during labor to emotional bonding. Vasopressin regulates the amount of water in the body by influencing the kidneys and blood vessels.

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